Morocco coach Herve Renard stands on the threshold of making history after guiding his Morocco side to a quarter-final berth at the 2017 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) taking place in Gabon, the third successive time he has achieved that in as many competitions, as a national team coach in Africa.
The Atlas Lions will engage Egypt in an all-North Africa quarter-final duel and Renard insists there are better teams than his side, despite the widely held view that he has enough experience and perhaps, the magic wand to steer his side through, having achieved similar feat and went all the way to win the title with Zambia (2012)and Cote d’Ivoire (2015).
In his latest achievement, the Frenchman has his team to the last eight with a 1-0 win over Cote d’Ivoire, the team he led to the 2015 title.
“I was very lucky and it was a pleasure working with Cote d’Ivoire and we shave a lot in common. But now I have to continue and try to take Morocco far,” he told a post match press conference.
“Definitely, Morocco are not favourites to win the tournament, there are better teams than us. But we are still in it and we will give it our best shot..”
Despite such an impressive history of lifting an unprecedented third AFCON title within a short time, knocking on his door, the Frenchman chooses to be modest, saying, “each team is different and we will take it a match at a time.”
He was also cautious after last Tuesday’s win over the Ivorians as they face Egypt on Sunday.
“Playing against a team with such high pedigree and equally high ambitions like Egypt won’t be easy. It is an all North Africa challenge and obviously will attract much attention. We have survived and come this far, beating among others, the African champions and that is good and we are happy, but there is still work to be done and we will be preparing towards Sunday’s game. Don’t forget, Egypt are seven times champions.”