"We want to win the World Cup. My words aren't empty if you're not hungry in the semi-finals of the World Cup": Morocco coach Walid Regragui does not hide his ambitions.
Tomorrow his national team will challenge reigning world champions France, a challenge within a challenge that he knows not only about football.
The millions of Moroccan fans who emigrated to Europe dream of celebrating again, Paris is on the alert, and the goal of the Qatar 2022 revelation team, the first African national team to play in a world semi-final, is to continue to surprise.
And win for "Africa and the Arab world", as his coach says.
Regragui, 47, a true revelation of this World Cup, was born in the Paris region, in Corbeil-Essonnes, and has spent almost his entire professional career in France, in Toulouse, Ajaccio or Grenoble.
Then, he took over as coach of Morocco to replace Vahid Halilhodzic at the end of August.
"I have dual nationality, it's an honor and a pleasure to meet France - he assured him - it will be a special match for my relatives, my family, my friends".
And not just for them.
"We have faith, we want to write history, bring Africa to the top of the world - continues Regragui in the press conference on the eve - Perhaps we have made the most difficult journey, every time we were predicted to be eliminated and we are still here, with the our values. Tomorrow we will fight to go further".
Regragui knows the value of tomorrow's opponents well ("France is the best team in the world"), but he also knows the potential of his men and is preparing to live this historic semi-final with bravado.
"They'll have to be strong to eliminate us, even if we know that all the odds are against us - he underlines - We have faith and we're not tired; no, you can't be tired when you're in the semi-finals of the World Cup".
"We have many injuries, but we are recovering well, we have a high-level medical staff, every day brings good news - explained the coach at the press conference - We will field the best team possible, with 100% players".
Nayef Aguerd, hit by the flu and out against Portugal with a hamstring problem, is training but is doubtful for tomorrow.
The same goes for captain Romain Saiss, while he recovered Noussair Mazraoui.
"If France let us have possession, we'll take it but I don't think they'll let us. So we'll need to know how to stop them from shooting on goal. I think European journalists don't appreciate the fact that we play a bit like European teams. They want say: these Africans dancing were cute... It's over, we want to win. Maybe tomorrow I'll look like an idiot and people will tell me I talked too much, but we believe it".
A trust that, assures the Morocco coach, crosses national borders.
"We want to win for Africa, for developing countries in football. I repeat, we are not tired, tomorrow we will race, for Europe, for Africa, for the Maghreb, for our brothers in sub- Saharan, all those who have dreamed of seeing Africa in the final or semi-final of the World Cup: I don't want us to hold the same press conference in 40 years to say that we have the possibility of bringing an African team back to the final", But there is a message also for the crowds of fans living in France.
Regragui reminds them that tomorrow's match against Les Bleus must be a party" and "there must be no accidents". "Football is a way to bring people together, to send out positive messages,
I think that in France it must be a celebration," he concluded. "For Moroccans who grew up in France, Africans, it must be a celebration, it's just football, whether you win or lose, excesses like those that occurred in Belgium must not happen.
Tomorrow may the best man win.
If we don't pass, we will congratulate the French.
If we pass, I'm sure they will congratulate us". (ANSA).