Morocco full of belief ahead of World Cup

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Both Morocco and Iran could be forgiven for feeling hard done by when they were pitted against 2010 winner Spain and reigning European champion Portugal in the group stage.

The turmoil in the Spain camp after the sacking of Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the tournament and Fernando Hierro's appointment for the duration of the event may give hope to both sides.

Morocco is playing in a World Cup for the first time since 1998, when Iran claimed its sole win in the history of the tournament, and Ziyech says confidence in the camp is high.

"If we don't believe that we can progress, what is the point of going to the tournament?" Ziyech said. "This is a difficult group, but if we look at it through a positive lens it can be good... good for us as players, but also good for us as a country.

"To play against these kinds of countries will be difficult, but it will be nice too. Playing against the likes of [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Andres] Iniesta is a great motivation, but we believe in ourselves."

Iran is playing in successive World Cups after exiting the 2014 tournament with just a point, though only a last-gasp Lionel Messi free-kick denied it a draw with Argentina.

Its preparation has been bizarrely hindered by Nike's refusal to supply the squad with boots for the tournament because of economic sanctions imposed against the country by the United States.

That decision left coach Carlos Queiroz furious but he told Sky Sports that it would be "a source of inspiration" for Iran as it seeks to end its long wait for a second win.