Yassine Bounou, goalkeeper of the Moroccan national team | Encyclopedia

Yassine Bono, a professional Moroccan football goalkeeper, started his career at the Moroccan club Wydad Casablanca School, and finished in all age groups of the club, until he reached the first team with which he won the local league championship in the 2009/2010 season. , and reached the final of the African Champions League in 2011.

He moved to the Spanish league in 2012, and played for a number of Spanish clubs in the first and second divisions, the last of which was the Sevilla club, for which he plays with a contract until 2025, and at the same time he is considered the first goalkeeper of the Moroccan national football team , and dreams of making history at the World Cup in Qatar.

Birth and upbringing

Yassin Bono was born on April 5, 1991 in the Canadian city of Montreal to Moroccan parents from the city of Fez. His father is a government engineer and a former professor at the Hassania School of Public Works.

He returned to Morocco with his family as a child, and they settled in the Mars Al-Sultan area in the city of Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city, and this is where his sporting journey began.

Yassin Bono speaks four languages ​​fluently: Arabic, English, Spanish and French, is married and has one child.

Scientific study and training

Bono’s passion for football started from an early age, when he played it with his friends from the neighborhood, so his father enrolled him in the school of the Moroccan football club Wydad in Casablanca, when he was 8 years old.

Two years later, he participated in the Casa Cup competition. Thanks to his quick reflexes and tall stature compared to his teammates; The coach of the team put him in the position of goalkeeper.

Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou (France)

And the child Bono began to pave the way for his future in the world of football, so he began to regularly watch videos of great international goalkeepers, such as: the Italian Gianluigi Buffon and the Dutchman Edwin van der Sar.

Bono spent more than a decade at Wydad Sports Club, graduating in all its age groups, until he reached the first team, combined with his academic studies at Casablanca city schools.

Sports experience with teams

When Bono turned 18, French club OGC Nice expressed their desire to sign him in 2009, but the financial demands of Wydad Sports Club prevented this.

In the 2009/2010 season, at the age of 19, Bono joined the first team of the Moroccan club Wydad, as the second goalkeeper, behind Nader Lamyaghri, who was then the first goalkeeper of the club from Casablanca. Bono remained on the bench for the entire season.

Yassine Bounou played his first game with Wydad Athletic Club in front of 80,000 fans on 12 November 2011, in the second leg of the CAF Champions League final at Stade Rades, against Esperance of Tunisia, after the team’s main goalkeeper Nader Lamyaghri was injured. Tunisia’s Esperance Club won the title after the match ended 1-0.

On November 21, 2011, Bono played his first game in the Moroccan Professional League Championship against New Defense Club Hassani and conceded the only goal of the game. He then took part in 8 league games, before the goalkeeper returned to Miagari after an injury to resume his official career.

Yassine Bono during training at Al-Duhail Stadium in Qatar 2022 (French)

And at the end of the football season in June 2012, Bono’s contract expired with Wydad, who finished third in the league that season, prompting Bono to look elsewhere for a change of atmosphere and professionalism in Europe.

On 15 June 2012, Bono signed a one-year contract with Spanish club Atletico Madrid, worth €360,000, with an option for two additional years, as the third goalkeeper behind Thibaut Courtois and Daniel Aranzubia, noting that his salary with the Spanish team is less than his salaries in the former club.

Bono played most of the games in the reserve team of Atletico Madrid, which plays in the third division, and in his first season with the Spanish team, he played 24 games in the third division; However, he spent most of his time on the bench of the first team, in order to be ready in case one of the goalkeepers was injured.

The first team of Atletico Madrid managed to win the Spanish championship in the 2013/2014 season, and reach the final of the Champions League under the leadership of Diego Simeone on May 24, 2014 against Real Madrid, in a game in which Yassin Bono sat on the bench for 90 minutes.

Thibaut Courtois and Daniel Aranzubia left Atletico Madrid during the 2014 summer transfer window, and Yassin Bono rose to the first team as a second-choice goalkeeper behind goalkeeper Jan Oblak, but did not get a chance to play with the team, much to his displeasure and demanded that his the team goes to a team that offers him the opportunity to play. The official goalkeeper, especially after the high levels he showed in the reserve team, which is why many Spanish clubs playing in the second division wanted to include him and benefit from his services.

Bono was loaned to Spanish club Real Zaragoza twice, during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 football seasons, and each time he played almost 20 matches in the Spanish second division.

Yassine Bono in the Canada-Morocco match on December 1, 2022 (French)

He then moved to Girona FC on 12 July 2016, when he signed a three-year contract, and Bono played a major role in the club’s rise to the first division, “La Liga”, 87 years after its foundation.

After Yassin Bono’s contract with Girona expired in 2019, he was loaned to Sevilla on a season-long loan with an option to buy the contract on 2 September 2019, to play as the team’s second goalkeeper behind Czech goalkeeper Tomasz Vaclik.

And when Vaklik was injured in the middle of the 2019-2020 season, Yassin Bono had a full opportunity to play as the team’s main goalkeeper in the remaining games of the second part of the season. He finished his first season with Sevilla in fourth place in La Liga, which gave him the opportunity to play in the Champions League in the 2020-2021 season.

On 4 September 2020, the Sevilla club bought Bono’s contract for 4 million euros, and then the contract was extended until June 2025 with a salary increase, following the great levels the Moroccan international goalkeeper showed with the Andalusian club. .

On September 24, 2020, Yassin Bono played his official match in the European Super Cup against FC Bayern Munich and conceded two goals as his team lost.

In February 2021, Bono made history for the Andalusian club after keeping a clean sheet for 528 minutes in the Spanish league, surpassing the record set by Portuguese goalkeeper Beto from the 2014/2015 season by 516 minutes.

Yacine Bounou in one of the 2021 African Cup of Nations matches (French)

Sports experience with the national team

Yassin Bono played several international matches with different age groups for the Moroccan national team between 2011 and 2012, and participated in the 2012 London Olympics with the Moroccan Olympic team.

In November 2012, he was called up for the first time to the Morocco national football team by coach Rachid Taoussi to take part in the match on 14 November 2012 against the national team of Togo, but remained on the bench.

During this period, Benito Floro, the coach of the Canadian national team, contacted Yacine Bono to represent the Canadian national team, given that Bono has both Moroccan and Canadian citizenship, but he declined and said in press statements: “My dream has always been was playing for Morocco. I played in all age groups of the Moroccan national team and it was natural. My dream is to play for the Atlas Lions.”

Bono played his first game with the Moroccan national team on 14 August 2013 against Burkina Faso at the Ibn Battuta Stadium in Tangiers, a friendly match that the Atlas Lions lost 1–2.

After that, Bono participated in several competitions with the Moroccan national team, with which he won 3 copies of the African Cup of Nations in 2017, 2019 and 2022 and two copies of the World Cup in 2018 and 2022.

Bono became the official goalkeeper of the Moroccan national football team and achieved great success with him, one of which is the placement in the second round of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar at the head of Group F, which includes strong teams Belgium, Croatia and Canada.

Yacine Bono felt dizzy before the match Morocco - Belgium
Yassine Bounou in the Morocco-Belgium match (Reuters)

Awards and titles

Yassin Bounou won several titles with the teams and teams he played with, as well as several titles and awards on a personal level.

Awards and titles with teams:

  • Moroccan professional league title with Wydad Sports Club, season 2009/2010.
  • Spanish League title with Atletico Madrid in the 2013/14 season.
  • Spanish Super Cup with Atletico Madrid in the 2013/14 season.
  • Europa League title with Sevilla FC 2020.

Personal awards and titles:

  • Best African Player of the Month for November in Spain’s La Liga according to France Football Magazine 2018.
  • In 2018, the French magazine “France Football” selected him in the team of models.
  • Bono was declared the best goalkeeper of the UEFA Europa League 2019-2020.
  • Elected to the model team of the European League 2019-2020.
  • He won the title of the best African player in the Spanish “La Liga” season 2021-2022.
  • He is the winner of the Zamora 2022 award.
  • Selected in Model Team by CIES Football Observatory.
  • He is the winner of the award for the best Moroccan goalkeeper abroad, awarded by the Moroccan Federation of Professional Footballers.
  • France Football named him the best goalkeeper in the world.
Yassine Bounou, goalkeeper of the Moroccan national team (social networks)

Record numbers

Yassine Bounou achieved several records, including:

  • The first Arab goalkeeper to win the Europa League title.
  • The first Arab and African goalkeeper to score in five major leagues.
  • The first Arab goalkeeper to be nominated for the France Football magazine award for the best goalkeeper in the world.
  • The first goalkeeper in the history of the Spanish club Sevilla to score a goal in the Spanish league “La Liga”.
  • The first goalkeeper in the history of the Spanish club Sevilla to win the Zamora award.
  • The goalkeeper scored the most goals in the Spanish league of the 21st century, with 3 goals.
  • In 2021, the goalkeeper with the Spanish Sevilla kept the most goals, 557 minutes.
  • The goalkeeper kept the most goals in Europe 2021 in 32 games.

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