Morocco stars in demand after W’Cup heroics
Drawn in Group F alongside European heavyweights Belgium and Croatia, few pundits gave the North African nation much hope of reaching the last 16.
Not only did they qualify, but they won the group with an unbeaten record, before claiming major scalps in the knockout stages with victories over Spain and Portugal….Continue Reading
Having reached the final four of the global showpiece, the attention of some of Europe’s biggest clubs has turned to the underdogs.
Ahead of their semi-final clash with France, we take a look at the Morocco stars that could win big moves following their World Cup heroics.
Morocco goalkeeper Yassine Bounou only conceded one goal en route to the semi-finals and saved two penalties in the last-16 shootout win against Spain.
This came as no surprise to LaLiga followers, with the Sevilla stopper having won the Zamora Trophy last season, which is awarded annually to the best goalkeeper in Spain.
A Europa League winner with Sevilla in 2020, it took time for Bounou to establish himself in LaLiga. After initially signing for Atletico Madrid from Wydad Casablanca in 2012, he found first Thibaut Courtois and then Jan Oblak in front of him.
Spells with Zaragoza and Girona came before the move to Sevilla and now the 31-year-old is attracting the attention of even bigger clubs. Manchester United are long-standing admirers and Real Madrid have also been linked.
Another Moroccan player who is at a strong European club and now seems set for an even bigger move is Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat.
Born in the Netherlands, Amrabat has been playing in Serie A since 2019 and came close to joining Tottenham in the January transfer window earlier this year.
After an extraordinary World Cup in which the defensive midfielder has been one of the best players at the tournament, a move from Florence now seems a certainty.
Amrabat’s talent for ball recovery continues to see Spurs linked with an approach, while Liverpool and Manchester United have also emerged as contenders.
A player that has impressed alongside Amrabat in midfield is Azzedine Ounahi, whose career is progressing at a rapid rate.
As recently as 2021, Ounahi was playing in the French third tier at Avranches, before making a transfer to Ligue 1 side Angers.
Quickly establishing himself at his new club, the 22-year-old only made his Morocco debut earlier this year at the Africa Cup of Nations.
The 6ft midfielder’s stamina and technique has been on show at this World Cup, attracting the attention of Barcelona and Sevilla, with Leicester said to be ready to make a £39million bid.
Azzedine Ounahi has been a reliable performer for Morocco in Qatar.