Zaki appointed as Morocco’s national football team coach

Badou Zaki was chosen ahead of Giovanni Trapattoni and Dick Advocaat

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Former African Footballer of the Year Badou Zaki was named as coach of Morocco on Friday and he will have the responsibility of guiding the host team’s fortunes during next year’s African Nations Cup.

The 55-year-old, chosen ahead of Giovanni Trapattoni and Dick Advocaat, was reappointment to a job he held between 2002 and 2006 was announced at a Royal Moroccan Football Federation press conference in Rabat.

Zaki will take charge of the team for next year’s tournament, which runs from Jan. 17 to Feb. 8.

Veteran Italian coach Trapattoni and Dutchman Dick Advocaat both held talks with Morocco for the post but the north Africans decided to go with one of their own.

Zaki took Morocco to the final of the 2004 African Nations Cup, where they lost to hosts Tunisia, and has had a varied coaching career at club level in his home country, including winning the championship with Wydad Casablanca.

Zaki made his name as the goalkeeper who helped Morocco to become the first African country to advance past the first round at the World Cup when they beat Portugal and drew with England and Poland in Mexico in 1986.

He defied West Germany in the knockout round with a series of stunning saves until a late freekick from Lothar Matthaeus saw the north Africans eliminated.

He was later voted African Footballer of the Year for 1986, when it was still awarded by France Football magazine, and went on to play for Mallorca in Spain.

Mustapha Hadji, the 1998 African Footballer of the Year, was named as the new assistant coach. He is a former midfielder with Sporting Lisbon, Deportivo La Coruna, Coventry City, Aston Villa and Espanyol.

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