At the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Morocco created a sensation by becoming the first for both African and Arab teams to reach the semi-finals in the history of the world’s championships. Considerable merit in this belongs to the team’s goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, who became the hero of the playoff series, not conceding a single goal either from Spain or Portugal. There was one other thing frustrating his Spanish opponents during the tense shootout in the last 16 against Spain: the 31-year-old defender’s smile! Yes, Yassine can smile for days! So with a smile, let’s dive into this article about this steller defender!
Yassine Bounou: Interesting Facts (Childhood, Wife, and Career)
Born in Canada not Morocco:
Yassine Bounou was born in Canada (Montreal not Morocco) on April 5, 1991.
His homesick parents were Moroccan by nationality and decided to move to the land of their ancestors when their son was 3 years old. The Bounou family settled in Casablanca, the largest city and business center of the country, located on the Atlantic coast.
At the age of 8, Yassine was already in Vidad FC:
Yassine started playing football at an early age, and at the age of 8 he already joined the football academy of the Vidad club, which is considered the most famous and successful in Morocco, has over 20 national champion titles and a dozen international cups.
Like most boys, Yassine Bounou dreamed of playing in attack, but he quickly grew up, overtaking his peers, and with his size, the guy was offered to stand at the gate. Without unnecessary signs, he agreed and did not regret for a minute, besides, his football idols were just goalkeepers and goal protectors only such as the legendary Gianluigi Buffon and Edwin van der Sar.
At the age of 17, the Moroccan footballer is 192 cm, and weighs 78 kg. Also during this time Yassin made an attempt to leave for France to play in the youth team of the Nice club, but financial problems did not allow this, so the goalkeeper began his professional career for Vidad, who raised him.
Bounou officially made his professional debut thanks to Nadir Lamyaghri:
Yassine Bounou had to make his debut for the Vidad main team urgently: in November 2011, in the final of the CAF Champions League, the reinforced concrete goalkeeper of the base Nadir Lamyaghri, who was number one in both the club and the national team, had to stand on the gate. However, an injury before the decisive game brought the experienced goalkeeper out of action, and Yassin came on to replace him.
The debutant failed to defend dry, and Vidad lost with a score of 0: 1, losing the trophy to the Tunisian Esperance, but Bounou was recognized as the best player of the match in his team.
Bounou stood at the club’s goal for another 8 matches until he recovered from Lamyagri’s injury, and in the summer of 2012 it became known that the Moroccan was moving to Atlético Madrid.
Career at Madrid:
The goalkeeper spent the first 2 years in the reserve camp and played in the Spanish second division, until finally in the summer of 2014 he was entrusted to play for the main team. However, Yassine B did not stay long in the camp of Atletico, going on loan to Zaragoza from Aragon, playing in the Segunda.
Career as a Sevilla goalkeeper:
The next stage in the professional career of the Moroccan football player is associated with the Girona team, with which the goalkeeper signed a contract in the summer of 2016. At the time of his debut, the club played in the second division, but at the end of the season they moved to the Spanish championship. This was the merit of Bounou, not without reason he soon became the number one goalkeeper in Girona, bypassing the experienced Gorka Iraisos.
In 2019, Yassine was loaned to Sevilla, where he finally showed up in all his glory. At the end of the season, he and the team celebrated the victory in the UEFA Europa League, and the next game cycle became the brightest in the career of the Moroccan. He managed not only to defend dry 15 matches, but also to become the author of a goal and an assist. True, the goalkeeper also scored an own goal, but this does not count compared to his merits, thanks to which the Andalusians signed a four-year contract with him.
In parallel with club achievements, the footballer developed his career at the national team level. For the national team of Morocco, he began to play as a junior, and made his debut for the main team of the adult team in 2013.
Yassine’s wife and son:
Yassine’s personal life is no less successful than a career on the football field because he met his future wife Imane in 2012. The girl is from Morocco and is only 1 year younger than her husband. When Bounou moved to Spain, she followed him, and therefore she can always be seen in the stands, rooting for Sevilla.
In 2020 (in August) Imane and Yassine B had a son, who was named Isaac.
The new mother excitedly and proudly shares photos of the baby on Instagram because the wife of a football player can be called a blogger: she has hundreds of thousands of subscribers, and she often posts advertising posts in her account promoting Moroccan brands of textiles and accessories.
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