Morocco vs Portugal — a reminder of a colonial past

By Dylan Bettencourt

After defeating Spain, Morocco have been placed in the World Cup quarter-finals where they will face either Portugal or Switzerland.

Portugal walked away 6-1 winners over Switzerland and will be hoping that they can successfully conquer Morocco.

Morocco and Portugal may not have much history on the soccer field but their history off the field dates back centuries. It’s a battle that started far from the football pitch in 1415 when Portugal sought to expand their empire across the globe and there was none closer than Morocco.

The conquerors named the captured territory Ceuta and saw Portugal occupying parts of the coastline before Morocco reclaimed the areas three years later.

Portugal and their neighbours Spain came to an agreement in 1496 on which areas of Morocco they could each attempt to colonise.

Portugal seized six Moroccan cities on the Moroccan Atlantic coast between the river Loukos in the north and the river of Sous in the south.

Over 100 years later Portugal had to abandon the majority of their occupation sites in Morocco due to the offences of leader Mohammed ash-Sheikh.

The Treaty of Lisbon in 1668 all but ended any rule Portugal had over Morocco with the city of Magazan being abandoned in 1769.

Five years later in 1774 Morocco and Portugal signed a Peace and Friendship Agreement.

However there may not be much friendship between the two football sides when they take to the field on Saturday.

A spot in the final four is up for grabs and a shot at history is at stake.

Morocco have never gone this far in any World Cup and could become the first African side to reach the tournament’s semi-final stage.

Portugal on the other hand will be looking to better their best performance of fourth place at the 2006 World Cup.

The Moroccan fans, as they did against Spain, will provide a hostile atmosphere in an attempt to strike fear into the hearts and minds of the Portuguese players.

Pictured above: Cristiano Ronaldo scoring the winner against Morocco at the 2018 World Cup during the group stages

 Image source: @TheTelegraph

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