Moroccan players confident of victory

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The Atlas Lions have an amazingly poor Nations Cup record despite their reputation as one of Africa's giants. They won the tournament but have appeared in just one other final, losing to hosts Tunisia in 2004.

However, both Hadji and fellow striker Marouane Chamakh claim that the current squad have matured at the right time.

“When one sees how we have performed in the friendly matches we have every right to dream about winning the African Nations Cup,” Hadji told Moroccan weekly, Tel Quel.

“We know what our qualities are, we have players who really are coming into explosive form at the moment.

Every one is in top form, but this time round, our opponents are awaiting us,” added the 27-year-old, who plays for French First Division side Nancy.

Chamakh was also optimistic, saying: “I think that we have a real chance. We have almost the same squad as 2004, but everyone has more experience.

“But when one looks at the squad and witness their mental state, I am confident,” added the 23-year-old Bordeaux striker.

Morocco are in Group A along with hosts Ghana, Guinea and Namibia.