|Yassine Bounou Quick Info|
|Height||6 ft 4 in|
|Date of Birth||April 5, 1991|
Yassine Bounou is a Moroccan-Canadian professional soccer player who has represented, as a goalkeeper, Wydad AC (2010-2012) in Morocco; and Atlético Madrid B (2012-2014), Atlético Madrid (2014-2016), Girona FC (2016-2020), and Sevilla FC (2020-Present) in Spain. Atlético Madrid B is the reserve team of Atlético Madrid and competes in the 4th tier of the Spanish soccer league system. He has also spent loan spells with the Spanish professional soccer clubs Real Zaragoza (2014-2016) and Sevilla FC (2019-2020). With Atlético Madrid, he won the Supercopa de España in 2014. The trophy (founded in 1982 as a 2-team competition) has been contested since the 2019-20 season by 4 teams – the winners and runners-up of La Liga (the top tier of the Spanish soccer league system) and the Copa del Rey (the premier domestic knockout soccer competition in Spain). At the international level, Yassine represented Morocco at the under-20 and under-23 tiers before making his senior national debut in August 2013. He was an integral member of the Moroccan squad that created history by finishing in 4th place in the 2022 edition of the FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) World Cup.
Montréal, Québec, Canada
He holds dual nationality.
Professional Soccer Player
- 18, 22, 1 – Morocco
- 37 – Wydad AC
- 13, 1 – Atlético Madrid B
- 35 – Atlético Madrid
- 13 – Real Zaragoza, Girona FC, Sevilla FC
6 ft 4 in or 193 cm
78 kg or 172 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Yassine has dated –
- Imane Khb (2016-Present) – Yassine began dating a woman named Imane Khb in 2016 and they got married later. They have a son together named Isaac Bounou.
Race / Ethnicity
He is of Moroccan descent.
- Toned physique
- Side-parted, wavy hair
- Charming smile
- Clean-shaven look
Yassine Bounou Facts
- Born in Canada, Yassine was about 3 years old when his family returned to its native Morocco and settled in Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco and the country’s economic and business center.
- His junior career started in 1999 when, as an 8-year-old, he joined the youth system of Wydad AC, a Moroccan sports club based in Casablanca. Yassine started as an outfielder but his coaches asked him to switch to goalkeeping, due to his height. He stayed in the system until 2010 when he was promoted to Wydad AC‘s senior team.
- With Wydad AC, he won the Botola (the top division of the Moroccan soccer league system) title in the 2009-10 season. With the club, he also reached the final of the CAF (Confederation of African Football, the administrative and controlling body for soccer, futsal, and beach soccer in Africa) Champions League (the most prestigious club competition in African soccer) in 2011.
- Due to his birth in Canada and his Moroccan heritage and residency, Yassine was eligible to represent both Canada and Morocco at the international level. Around 2011, due to his Canadian citizenship, he was contacted by the then-manager of the Canadian national team to discuss the possibility of him playing for Canada.
- Yassine would later reveal in an interview that talks with Canada did not materialize because he mostly grew up in Morocco and had a strong belief that he would soon earn Moroccan selection. He was proved right quite soon as between 2011 and 2012, he made 4 appearances for Morocco at the under-20 tier.
- With Sevilla FC, he won the UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) Europa League (the 2nd-tier club competition in European soccer, ranking below the UEFA Champions League) title in the 2019-20 season. For his performances in the tournament, Yassine was included in the ‘UEFA Europa League Squad of the Season’. This was the club’s record-extending 6th such title and they had won the title every time they had reached the final of the tournament – 2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2020. As of December 2022, no other club had won this title more than 3 times.
- In March 2021, representing Sevilla FC, in the last minute of a match against Real Valladolid, he scored a goal to help his team secure a 1-1 draw. This was the first goal of Yassine’s senior-level career as a professional goalkeeper. He had played more than 200 senior-level professional domestic/club matches by that time.
- He came into the spotlight during the 2021 edition (held in January and February 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic) of the Africa Cup of Nations (the biennial international men’s soccer championship of Africa) when he refused to speak to the press in French or English. It was seen as a dig at the CAF (Confederation of African Football), the organizer of the tournament, which was criticized for not hiring even a single Arabic translator for the event.
- For his performances in the 2021-22 season of La Liga, Yassine was named the ‘Mid-season African MVP (Most Valuable Player)’ and the ‘African MVP’. He was included in the overall ‘Team of the Season’ as well. For his performances in that season, he also won the ‘Zamora Trophy’, established by MARCA (Spain’s national daily sports newspaper) in 1958, which is presented to the goalkeeper with the lowest ‘goals conceded-to-games played’ ratio in the league. It was instituted to honor the legendary Spanish goalkeeper Ricardo Zamora.
- At the 2022 edition of the FIFA World Cup, Yassine recorded a clean sheet (a term used to refer to a goalkeeper who prevents the opposing side from scoring even a single goal in a match) in Morocco’s goalless draw against 2018 runners-up Croatia in the team’s opening group-stage encounter.
- He did not play in Morocco’s next match, a shock 2-0 win over European heavyweights Belgium. This was Morocco’s first win in a FIFA World Cup match since 1998 and played a vital role in helping the country progress to the pre-quarterfinal stage of the tournament for just the 2nd time in history – the first and only other such occasion was in 1986.
- Yassine returned for Morroco’s final group-stage encounter, against Canada. Morocco won the match by a 2-1 margin and the goal that Yassine conceded was an own goal by Nayef Aguerd. This meant that no opposition player could score a goal against the Moroccan defense in any of the 3 group-stage matches in the tournament.
- In the pre-quarterfinal match of the tournament, Morocco upset 2010 champions Spain on penalties, winning the shootout by a 3-0 margin. The victory meant that the country had qualified for the quarter-final stage of the FIFA World Cup for the first time in history. Spain could not convert any of its 3 penalty kicks, 2 of which were saved by Yassine. He was named the ‘Player of the Match’ for his stellar performance.
- Morocco then defeated Portugal (by a 1-0 margin) in the quarter-final to become the first African nation ever to reach the semi-final stage of the FIFA World Cup. Yassine was again named the ‘Player of the Match’ for recording another clean sheet.
- In a strange coincidence, Morocco and its 2 victims in the knockout stages of the 2022 FIFA World Cup (Spain and Portugal) were all part of the same group (Group B) in the previous (2018) edition of the tournament. On that occasion, Spain and Portugal had advanced to the knockout stage while Morocco ended up in the last spot in the group with just 1 point to their name. That solitary point was achieved in the last match of the group stage when Morocco held Spain to a 2-2 draw.
- Morocco’s fairytale journey in the 2022 FIFA World Cup was halted in the semi-final stage by defending champions France who beat them by a 2-0 margin. The first of those 2 goals was the first occasion in the entire tournament that an opposition player had scored a goal against Morroco.
Featured Image by Yassine Bounou / Instagram