Ezzedine Onahi.. A star journey from the Casablanca quarter to the embrace of the clouds in the sky of Qatar | Encyclopedia
In the center of the center plays Azzedine Onahi, a professional Moroccan footballer, who started his football career at the school of the Raja Casablanca football club, then joined the Mohammed VI football academy in the city of Sale, which opened the doors of professionalism to the French home at an early age, while now playing for Angers SCO, with a contract that runs until 2026.
Onahi is considered one of the main pillars of the Moroccan national football team that has written a new era of Moroccan, Arab and African football on the soil of Qatar, after the historic success at the World Cup in Qatar 2022.
Birth and upbringing
Ezzedine Onahi was born on April 19, 2000 in the city of Casablanca, in a family passionate about sports. He is the middle son of his family consisting of 3 brothers. His two brothers also play soccer at the amateur level, and his uncle is a former soccer player Raja Casablanca. At the level of the club’s lower categories before an injury ended his football career, and his cousin Reda Mahnawi is a professional footballer who plays as a right back for the Royal Army Football Club.
Ezzedine Onahi started playing football at the age of five, in the Lalla Meryem district of Casablanca, before being spotted by a researcher. He soon joined Raja Casablanca’s smaller groups, and participated with him in the Danone Nations Cup. ), and he is less than 10 years old, and he played in the under-13 category.
After turning 15, Onahi left the club Raja Casablanca in 2015 and joined the Mohammed VI Football Academy, where he played for 3 years before the doors of professionalism opened for him at the French club at the age of 18, when in 2018 signed a contract with “Strasbourg Club.” (RC Strasbourg Alsace). However, the Moroccan boy failed to prove himself in the team of the French North, because he did not play a single game with the club’s first team.
Sports experience in clubs
After the failure of his experience with Strasbourg, Ezzedine Onahi moved to France’s “US Avranches Club”, who train in the third division, on a free transfer deal in August 2020, where he marked a good start after scoring his first goal with the new club against the club “Briochan Stadium” (Stade Briochin) on September 18, 2020 in the French third division championship.
Onahi presented a wonderful season with Avranches Club and proved to be one of the stars of the team at the level of the playing industry, showing his technical skills in dribbling, passing and scoring, as he played 27 league games and scored 5 goals, he also played 3 games in the “French Cup” (Coupe de France).
Onahi’s outstanding performance with the club Avranches prompted the officials of the French club Angers, who play in the league “First Division” (Ligue 1), to sign him on July 14, 2021 on a 4-year contract.
Onahi played his first game in the colors of the Ongers club on August 15, 2021 when he came on as a substitute for his compatriot Sofiane Boufalo, who plays for the same team, in a match that brought their club together at the “Olympique Lyonnais”. ” in the matches of the French “First League”, and then Onahi made his debut for the elite football club Ligue 1.
Onahi finished his first season with his club, Angers, in 14th place in the French league table, as he appeared in 32 games, during which he scored two goals and assisted the other two. He also participated in one match of the Coupe de France.
His outstanding performance with Onger made French “LOSC Lille” express their desire to sign him, but that did not happen after his club announced a contract extension for an additional season until 2026.
Sports experience with national teams
In July 2018, Azzedine Onahi was invited to participate in the Alcúdia International Football Tournament (COTIF Tournament) with the Moroccan U-20 national team. He participated in two matches against Russia and the U20 Uruguayan national team, and managed to score a goal.
On August 18, 2019, Onahi was called up by the coach of the Moroccan Olympic team, Patrice Beaumelle, to the preliminary list to face the Mali national team, as part of the qualifying matches for the African Cup under 23. But he was not retained in the final list of invitees for these two talks.
The credit for Onahi’s first appearance in the first Moroccan national team goes to Bosnia and Herzegovina coach Vahid Halilhodžić, who was at the head of the technical management of the Moroccan national team, when he surprised the public and the Moroccan media by calling Onahi to the Moroccan national football team.
The factor of coincidence played a big role in the presence of Onahi with the Moroccan national team. Wahid Halilhodzic went to watch Sofiane Boufal, who also played for “Onage” club, but was surprised by the good level Onahi showed and decided to invite him.
Onahi was officially invited to strengthen the ranks of the Moroccan national football team on December 23, 2021, among the list of 28 players selected by Halilhodžić for the African Cup of Nations, in Cameroon in January 2022.
Izz al-Din Onahi’s first official match for the Moroccan national team was against Ghana in January 2022 in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, a match that ended with the Atlas Lions winning by a goal to nil, and Onahi was in the official squad that played this match and played 87 minutes.
Ezzedine Onahi’s first goals with the Moroccan national team were on 29 March 2022, during the second leg of the play-off against the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Casablanca, in the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualification draw. Onahi scored two goals. 4 goals, so the match ended with a 4-1 victory for Atlas Lions, thus Morocco registered a qualification card for the World Cup in Qatar 2022.
On November 10, 2022, he was officially invited by the coach of the Moroccan national football team, Walid Rekragui, who succeeded Halilhodžić, to be Onahi on the list of 26 players to participate in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
way of playing
Azzedine Onahi enjoys a modern style of play that combines speed and technical skills, which he acquired from his childhood playing ball in the suburbs of Casablanca, and was greatly influenced by the style and style of Spain national team and former club Barcelona Andres Iniesta. This method has greatly helped him to rise to stardom, especially with the French club Angers, which has become one of his main pillars since the beginning of 2022 under the guidance of coach Gerald Baticle.
Ezz El-Din Onahi is a talented and versatile player in playing positions, he plays as a winger, but also a player who connects the defense and attack lines, and a distributor.
His modern playing style is characterized by technical ease, forward play, deep passing, quality shots, set pieces and ball retention, along with his high physical fitness; He runs about 13 km in each match, and in the match that brought together the Moroccan national team and the Spanish national team in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar 2022, he ran 14.70 km.
His role is similar to that of an attacking midfielder, but he is more inclined to pass than to score, especially with assists. He can keep the ball well over long distances, with his ability to dribble and deal with opponents one by one.
Awards and titles
Ezzedine Onahi set a record as the player who ran the most in a French first league match, as he ran 13.95 km during the match between his team, Angers, and the team “Olympique de Marseille” on September 22nd. , 2021.
He was chosen as the “Player of the Month” (Pépite du mois) in the same league in 2021.
They said about Izz al-Din Onaha
Spanish coach Luis Enrique: During a press conference following the decisive match between Morocco and Spain in the round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Enrique said: “I was surprised by the player who wears the number 8 (which means Onahi), sorry, no his name comes to me, my god, where did that player come from? He plays great. We know Ashraf (Hakimi), Ziyech, and Al-Nusairi of course, as well as Amrabat, but this young man didn’t stop running while I was talking about his performance with the team, unbelievable.”
Former Brazilian star Ricardo Kaka: In his analysis of the Qatar 2022 World Cup quarter-final between Morocco and Portugal on beIN Sports, Kaka commented on Onahi’s performance saying: “Oh my God, what a player this is!”.
Mohamed Abu Trika, former star of the Egyptian national team: Aboutrika, in his analysis of the match between Morocco and Portugal in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Qatar 2022 on the sports channels of BN Sport, said: “Ezzedine Onahi is one of the best players in the Moroccan national team”, and added that he “presented a performance at the highest level against the national team of Portugal , “No one was allowed to pass or come close to Yassine Bounou’s goal. Onahi looks like world star Iniesta. World-class performance at the highest level.”