Qatar 2022: Three things to know about Morocco's safe gloves

Qatar 2022: Three things to know about Morocco's safe gloves

Yassine Bounou has propelled Morocco to the quarterfinals of the World Cup 2022. In the round of 16 against Spain, the Atlas Lions' goalkeeper was impeccable. He kept his goal untouched before stopping two attempts in the fateful penalty shootout. Sport News Africa tells you three things you need to know about the 31-year-old goalkeeper.

A product made in Morocco

Born in Montreal, Canada, Yassine Bounou is a pure product of Moroccan soccer. After his parents returned to the Kingdom of Morocco, the 31-year-old goalkeeper was trained at Wydad Casablanca. It is in this formation that he began his professional career. He then played in the youth categories of Morocco. First in the U20. Then in the Olympic selection before joining the national team in 2013. He played with the Atlas Lions three CAN and two World Cups.

Only Spanish clubs for Bounou

Yassine Bounou has taken Spain out of this World Cup. A country that he masters perfectly. Since he left Morocco, he has only known Spanish clubs. Formed in Morocco, Bounou moved very quickly to Atletico Madrid in 2012. However, he would remain in the B team for a long time before being loaned to Real Zaragoza in 2014. Back at the Colchoneros, he was promoted as the second keeper after Jan Oblak. A position that does not suit the Moroccan who joins Girona. Then he moved to Sevilla. And it is in the Andalusian club that he will know the glory. But for his debut, he was blocked by the brilliant performance of Czech goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik. An injury to the latter finally gave Bounou his chance, the talented keeper seizing the opportunity to play a full role in the Andalusian club. With Sevilla, he won the Europa League in the 2019-2020. In the same season, he won the coveted Ricardo Zamora trophy in La Liga, awarded to the goalkeeper with the lowest ratio of goals conceded per game during the campaign.

Records galore

Yassine Bounou is playing his second World Cup with the Atlas Lions. The Montreal native was indeed present in Russia in 2018. But as a second goalkeeper. He was then under the shadow of Munir Mohamedi. Bounou did not play a single minute while Morocco was eliminated from the group stage after games against Iran, Portugal and Spain. Four years later, the 31-year-old Moroccan is playing the leading roles for his team in Qatar. Since 2021, the keeper is stratospheric. His record of achievements is well stocked. At Sevilla, Bounou became the first goalkeeper in the history of Sevilla to score a goal in La Liga. He is also the first African goalkeeper to score a goal in the five major leagues. Bounou is the goalkeeper with the most assists in the 21st century in La Liga with three.

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