The 2018 World Cup in Russia will give defender Medhi Benatia his first chance to impress on the world stage.

The centre-back has never played at a World Cup, with Morocco’s last appearance coming back in 1998.

They have made four appearances at the World Cup, with their best ever finish in 1986 taking them to the last 16. Benatia is the poster boy for Morocco’s World Cup campaign, having scored the goal that helped them qualify for the tournament.

He described his header against the Ivory Coast as the most beautiful moment of his career and Benatia will now be determined to showcase his ability.

The 30-year-old has proved himself in Europe at Udinese, Roma, Bayern Munich and Juventus and won the Serie A title last season.

His ability on the ball will be crucial for Morocco this summer as they try to battle past Spain, Iran and Portugal.

Morocco topped their qualifying group and reached the quarter-finals of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

As captain, Benatia will be looking to lead by example and they have a great chance of winning their first game of Group B.

They play Iran on Friday, June 15 and can be backed at odds of 2.30 to win. The draw is 3.00 while Iran are the outsiders at odds of 3.30.

Spain and Portugal remain favourites to win the group, with Morocco 17.00 to finish above their rivals this summer.

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