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Morocco skipper Medhi Benatia has hit out at people “close” to the team whom he called “puppets” saying that they wanted to show them what “we are capable of.”

Benatia, 31, was addressing the media following the Atlas Lions’ spirited display against Portugal in a match they narrowly lost, 1-0, in Moscow Wednesday.

Real Madrid striker and the tournament’s leading top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo netted the lone goal in the 4th minute with a tight header from a set piece situation.

Despite the early set back, the coach Herve Renard’s charges composed themselves and bossed the remainder of the proceedings but were very unlucky in front of goal.

“I feel proud. Especially since certain people close to the team had turned their backs on us thinking we didn’t belong here.

“We wanted to show those puppets what we’re capable of,” the Juventus central defender said.

With the loss, Morocco, who also went down by a similar margin to Iran in their opening Group B match, became the first team to exit the 2018 Russia World Cup.

Their last group match before they hit the runway will be against 2010 champions Spain on Monday, 25th June.

African Football Writer contributing @Soka25east | Commentator; appeared on @MySoccerAfrica, @KweseSports, @ntvkenya, others | Keen follower of African Football. E-mail:

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