January 9, 2017 / 2:01 AM / 7 months ago

FACTBOX-Soccer-Profile of Morocco squad for African Nations Cup

Jan 9 (Reuters) - Factbox on African Nations Cup qualifiers Morocco.

African Nations Cup record:

Previous appearances in finals: (15) 1972, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1986, 1988, 1992, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013.

Best performance: Winners 1976

Drawn in Group C with the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Ivory Coast and Togo.

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Coach: Herve Renard

The 48-year-old Frenchman has won two of the last three Nations Cup titles and seeks an unprecedented third with three different countries.

He returned just months before for a second spell as Zambia coach and took them to a surprise title in 2012, when Gabon co-hosted the tournament.

Two years ago he guided Ivory Coast to the title, earning praise from captain Yaya Toure for his leadership ability.

Renard played at Cannes in France before working as an assistant under compatriot Claude Le Roy in China, England and with Ghana's Black Stars.

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Key player: Mehdi Benatia. Age: 29. Defender.

The French-born centre back came through the ranks at Olympique Marseille but never made a breakthrough. After moving to Italy, he came to prominence.

He made 80 appearances for Udinese after debuting in 2010 before signing for Roma three years later for 13.5-million euros ($14 million).

He moved to Bayern Munich in 2014 before moving back to Serie A on a season-long loan at champions Juventus.

A former French junior international, this will be his third Nations Cup finals tournament appearance.

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FIFA world ranking Dec. 2016: 57

How they qualified: Top place team in Group F, ahead of the Cape Verde Islands, Libya and Sao Tome e Principe.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Yassine Bounou (Girona), Yassine El Kharroubi (Lokomotiv Plovdiv), Munir Mohamedi (Numancia)

Defenders: Amine Attouchi (Wydad Casablanca), Mehdi Benatia (Juventus), Fouad Chafik (Dijon), Manuel da Costa (Olympiakos), Nabil Dirar (Monaco), Hamza Mendyl (Lille), Romain Saïss (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Midfielders: Youssef Aït Bennasser (Nancy), Nordin Amrabat (Watford), Sofiane Boufal (Southampton), Mbark Boussoufa (Al Jazeera), Mehdi Carcela (Grenada), Karim El Ahmadi (Feyenoord Rotterdam), Fayçal Fajr (Deportivo Coruña), Mourir Obbadi (Lille)

Forward: Rachid Alioui (Nimes), Aziz Bouhaddouz (St Pauli), Khalid Boutaib (Racing Strasbourg), Youssef El Arabi (Al Lekhwiya), Youssef Ennesyri (Malaga).

$1 = 0.9497 euros Compiled by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town,; Editing by Pritha Sarkar

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