After a season full of suspense, AS FAR regained the title of champion of Morocco. It took fifteen long years to see the military raise the “Botola Pro” in Tangier. One of the team’s internationals, the Rwandan left-back Emmanuel Imanishimwe (30 caps), talks about the contours of this success built in pain.

Emmanuel Imanishimwe, after a long and difficult season, AS Far is finally champion of Morocco, what feelings animate you?

Emmanuel Imanishimwe:

“First of all, I’m so happy because it’s the Professional League of Morocco, the “Botola Pro D1 inwi”. So it was not easy to win this championship title with my team, AS FAR, after years of waiting. That’s why I’m very happy to finally get there.”

What were the keys to this coronation?

Emmanuel Imanishimwe:

“In my opinion, the first key to this championship title is that we were a team. In all situations, we responded as a team and together. This is the essential element that allowed us to finish as champions ahead of Wydad Casablanca.

Haven’t you been a little afraid that the title will escape you during the last meetings?

“Yes, I recognize it. I was scared because, in my mind, if we lost this title race, it would be the biggest disappointment of my life as a footballer. That’s why we had some doubts about the end of the season, which was complicated.”

Emmanuel Imanishimwe: “next goal, the Champions League final”

In two seasons, AS FAR has won two trophies (Cup + Championship), what will be your ambitions next season?

“These are good things. Now I want to continue with the team to be in the final of the CAF Champions League. Because, for me, we have a good team and I am convinced that we can do it next season.”

Do you have any requests from other clubs, especially outside Morocco?

“(Laughs). All I can say is that for the moment, I am under contract with AS FAR. So, at my level, I’m already focusing on the next season here with the team. Afterwards, if other clubs want to sign me, they have to negotiate AS FAR before…”

What did the team miss in the CAF Cup and the Arab Cup?

“It is true that we were not in the final in these two competitions. We missed the mark. But that’s the law of football. Sometimes you win, other times you lose. But I remain convinced that things will go better in these competitions next year.”

What will be the objectives with your national team, Rwanda. The next CAN is already out of reach, but do you think you are sufficiently armed not to miss CAN 2025?

“My ambition with the national team is to compete in the CAN, the biggest African competition. But I know that you have to work harder, because it’s already very difficult to participate. However, I think that in 2025, we will be there.

How do you find Morocco, its football, the demands of the public, life…

First Morocco is a nice country with good people. Here, almost 90% of the people love football. And they also love top football.”

What is the difference between the Moroccan league and the Rwandan league?

“There is a difference between the two countries, because Morocco is now one of the best football countries in Africa. On our side, we are starting to improve in football. This also involves building more stadiums and supporting young people so that they can launch their professional careers. Our football will evolve more if we have more professional players like here in Morocco and in other African countries.”

Emmanuel Imanishimwe, Rwandan defender of AS FAR

Source: SNA

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