Yassine Bounou’s brilliant performance in the match against Spain, Tuesday (6/6), guaranteed Morocco to qualify for the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar.
The goalkeeper not only made good saves during normal time, but also took three penalties and did not allow the Spaniard to score on penalties.
However, what many people don’t know is that Bounou was born in Canada and his childhood favorite team was River Plate.
Morocco is waiting for the game between Portugal and Switzerland to take place this Tuesday, at 16.00 (Brasília time), to find out who will face them in the quarter-finals of the Cup.
Although born in Montreal, Canada, Bounou moved to Morocco at the age of eight.
He started in the youth system at Wydad Casablanca, reaching the professional ranks in 2010. After appearing in just eight games in two years, he transferred to Atlético de Madrid B in 2012 and has been in Spanish football ever since.
In the B team of the Madrid team, he stayed until 2016, but was loaned to Zaragoza between 2014 and 2016. After that, he started defending Girona Futbal Club, a Catalan team.
In 2019, the goalkeeper was loaned to Sevilla and was hired the following year. Bounou continued to defend the Rojiblanca team which made him very familiar with the players of the Spanish national team.
Carlos Soler and Sergio Busquets, whose penalty was saved by the Morocco goalkeeper this Tuesday afternoon, are old acquaintances in the Spanish Championship. Soler, who was recently transferred to PSG, defended Valencia and Busquets wore a Barcelona jersey.
In March 2021, he scored a goal in a 1-1 draw against Real Valladolid, already in stoppage time of the second half. Bounou took advantage of the confusion in the opposing area, and kicked him into the back of the net in a legit match for the Spanish Championship.
He received a yellow card shortly after scoring for removing his shirt in celebration.
The goalkeeper said in an interview with Argentine broadcaster ‘TyC Sports’ that he is a River Plate fan and he named his dog Ariel in honor of former midfielder Ariel Ortega, the club’s big idol.
“My dog is named Ariel. I love Ortega. This type of football player is disappearing. He is one of my favorite players and I named the dog,” he told the vehicle.
In the group stage match against Belgium, the goalkeeper starred in an unusual situation. Bounou entered with his team, stood his ground and sang the Moroccan national anthem, but was substituted before the game had even started.
After the situation had many impacts, the national team coach stated that the goalkeeper felt that his physical condition was not fit after the warm-up and asked not to play.
“He got hit against Croatia, he was unstable. We tried until the last moment, but after the warm-up and just before the game, he didn’t feel well and had the honesty to give up his place to someone else. If a player wants to be in my team, you must be 100%. He understands that and gives his place to Munir, who had a great game”, said Reragui.
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