As the final whistle blew on Wednesday night in Al Khor, Moroccan players dropped to the ground in a culmination of disappointment and physical exhaustion.
France had beaten them 2-0, but the Atlas Lions – the tournament’s giant killers – had gone toe to toe with the current champions throughout.
Amid the wild celebrations from the French players, their superstar forward, Kylian Mbappe, could be seen weaving his way around his teammates
before leaning over his good friend and stalwart of the Moroccan defence, Achraf Hakimi. He helped the full-back to his feet before the two men shared a warm embrace.
The heartwarming moment reflects the sincere and public respect the two friends showed each other during Morocco’s first-ever World Cup semifinal appearance last night.
Before the match, the two were visibly pleased to see each other shaking hands and hugging in the tunnel, and during the game, they were seen sharing a joke.
And barely a couple of hours after the match, Mbappe made his respect for his friend and the Moroccan side public.
“Don’t be sad bro, everybody is proud of what you did, you made history,” the French star posted on Twitter, with an image of the friends embracing.