Bayern Munich’s Noussair Mazraoui is expected to take his place back in Morocco’s starting XI for their semifinal match against France in the 2022 FIFA Men’s World Cup, from Almarssad Pro (via @iMiaSanMia). The talented full-back had been an injury scratch in the side’s quarter-final victory over Portugal.
Good news for Bayern fans rooting for Morocco, whose run into the semis has captivated at this year’s tournament — but after all the injury issues the club has sustained, there’ll be some holding their breaths. Mazraoui, after all, had already been carted off the field once this tournament. Teammate Sofyan Amrabat (Fiorentina) endured injections to get through a previous match. It’s a run that has asked everything physically of this team, and Wednesday’s test against defending champions France will require them all to get after it one more time.
Mazraoui is staking his place as one of the world’s finest full-backs at this World Cup, and it’s all the more impressive that he is doing so playing on the opposite side of his natural position on the right. That spot is occupied for his national team by former Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund man Achraf Hakimi, now at PSG.
Mazraoui’s versatility might prove an asset for Julian Nagelsmann, too — with France’s Lucas Hernández out for the season, the day might well come that Mazraoui is called upon at left-back for Bayern.
For now, though, Mazraoui’s only thoughts will be getting his team to the final.