Moroccan defender, Romain Saiss says has declared operation- settle- for -nothing but the final as the 34th edition of the Nations Cup kicks off on January 13.
The Atlas Lions were the first to arrive in Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday, 07 January where they landed in Abidjan before departing for San Pedro where they will be based for their Group F pool consisting of DR Congo, Zambia and Tanzania.
Coming fresh from a historic semi-final finish at the FIFA World Cup, the Atlas Lions are raring to roar to a second TotalEnergies CAF AFCON title since last lifting the title in 1976.
Speaking exclusively to CAFOnline from San Pedro, Saiss who plies his trade in the Saudi Pro League for Al-Shabab says the team understands that all eyes will be on Morocco, and they are ready to make their nation proud.
“We have set high goals for ourselves. We want to have a big AFCON. We know that everyone is waiting for us now after our 2022 World Cup and we have a big responsibility of doing well. So we want to have a great competition for Morocco and make all the people who follow us proud,” said the defender.
“We arrived quite early to acclimatize to the weather here. We are preparing very well. We know that the competition starts soon, and we still have a few days to refine the details before the start” concluded Saiss.
On the ideal finish, the hard-tackling defender emphasized that the plan is to be in Cote d’Ivoire for as long as possible and making it to the final.
“A successful AFCON for Morocco, means going as far as possible and that means going to the end of the tournament. When we start a tournament, it is to go as far as possible and the furthest possible is the final. We will concentrate on the group matches, get through the groups and then we will take it game by game once this first objective is achieved. The goal is to stay in Cote d’Ivoire for a long time,” he concluded.
The Atlas Lions kick off the campaign on 17 January against Tanzania before facing DR Congo four days later. They then finish the group stages with an interesting clash against Zambia on 24 January.