The Dynamo Kiev star and his team-mates in the national side are desperate to put those troubled times behind them and finally give their fans something to cheer about by returning to the World Cup stage. To achieve that dream, they will be keen to avoid the heartbreak of winner-takes-all qualifying clashes such as the ones they lost to Senegal in 2002 and to Tunisia in 2006, memories of which still cause Moroccan fans to grimace.
“We have a duty to our country and to ourselves. The people know that we want to qualify just as much as they do. There’s a good feeling in the camp right now, and we must do everything we can to bring this run of bad luck to an end. The greatest gift we could give to our supporters would be a spot at Russia 2018,” said Belhanda, who was too young to take part in the unsuccessful qualifiers for Korea/Japan 2002 and Germany 2006.
The 25-year-old is currently competing in his second qualifying campaign in a row, hopeful that his experience of playing in a variety of positions – he was converted from a defence-minded player to an attacking midfielder by his coach at Montpellier, Rene Girard, in 2010 – can help the North Africans to qualify for the World Cup for the fifth time. http://myfifashop.mobi/