'Proud of Atlas Lions': Sheikh Mohammed, Sheikh Hamdan hail Morocco's dream run at World Cup

They became the first African and Arab country to reach the World Cup semi-final, a feat widely celebrated

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Published: Thu 15 Dec 2022, 1:13 AM

Last updated: Thu 15 Dec 2022, 1:41 AM

As soon as the Morocco-France semi-final match ended on Wednesday night, the Ruler of Dubai and the Crown Prince of the emirate took to Twitter to pay rich tributes to the Atlas Lions who made history at the Fifa World Cup in Qatar and reached the semi-finals of the tournament.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said: "Proud of the Lions, proud of the performance... proud of the spirit. Morocco raised the head of the Arabs in the largest international sports forum. Thank you, Atlas Lions."

While Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, posted: "Thank you to the stars of the Moroccan national team. You honoured the Arabs with this exceptional football performance in the World Cup Qatar 2022, and you achieved pride for every Arab who knows that nothing is impossible with determination and ambition. The future, God willing, is better for our Arab youth everywhere."

The Arab world, along with the leaders, rooted for the brave North African team throughout the tournament. Supporters in fan zones across the UAE went ecstatic as they followed their historic achievements in each and every game.

Reaching the semis is not only a triumph for Morocco but an additional gloss to another Arab success at the tournament.

In Arab nations, Morocco's exploits have particularly captured people's imaginations during the first World Cup ever held in an Arab country.

Morocco has outdone expectations by beating a succession of much higher-ranked European teams - Belgium in the group stage and then Spain and Portugal in the knockout rounds.

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