|Zakaria Aboukhlal Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 10 in|
|Date of Birth||February 18, 2000|
|Eye Color||Dark Brown|
Zakaria Aboukhlal is a Moroccan-Dutch professional soccer player who has represented, as a forward, Jong PSV (2018-2019), PSV Eindhoven (2019), Jong AZ (2019-2022), and AZ Alkmaar (2019-2022) in the Netherlands; and Toulouse FC (2022-Present) in France. Jong PSV is the reserve team of PSV Eindhoven while Jong AZ is the reserve team of AZ Alkmaar. Both Jong PSV and Jong AZ compete in the 2nd tier of the Dutch soccer league system. At the international level, Zakaria represented his birth country, the Netherlands, at the under-17, under-18, under-19, and under-20 tiers. Born to a Moroccan mother and a Libyan father, he was eligible to represent Morocco and Libya at the international level as well, besides the Netherlands. He eventually chose to represent Morocco at the senior national level, a decision that was heavily influenced by the fact that he grew up among the Moroccan community residing in the Netherlands. He was called up for trials by the Libyan senior national team as well but declined the offer. 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.
Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
He splits his time between Morocco and Netherlands.
He holds dual nationality.
Professional Soccer Player
- Father – Mustafa Aboud
- Mother – Faheema Aboud
- 17, 15, 14 – Morocco
- 48, 26 – PSV Eindhoven
- 17, 7 – AZ Alkmaar
- 6 – Toulouse FC
5 ft 10 in or 178 cm
74 kg or 163 lbs
Race / Ethnicity
He is of Moroccan descent on his mother’s side and Libyan descent on his father’s side.
- Toned physique
- Slightly overgrown afro hair
- Affable smile
- Sports a trimmed goatee
Zakaria Aboukhlal Facts
- Born in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Zakaria started his youth career with Willem II, a Dutch professional soccer club based in Tilburg, Netherlands. He later joined the youth academy of PSV Eindhoven, one of the Netherlands’ ‘Big 3’ soccer clubs (the others being AFC Ajax and Feyenoord). His senior career began in 2018 when he started turning out for Jong PSV, the reserve team of PSV Eindhoven.
- In December 2019, while representing Jong AZ, the reserve team of AZ Alkmaar, Zakaria scored all 4 of his team’s goals in a win against a professional club called Helmond Sport.
- He made his senior national debut for Morocco in November 2020 and scored a goal on his debut – his team’s 4th goal in a 4-1 win over the Central African Republic. The match was a part of the qualification process for the 2021 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations. At the tournament proper (played in January and February 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic), the 33rd edition of the biennial international men’s soccer championship of Africa, Zakaria scored the 2nd goal of his senior-level international career for Morocco – the 2nd goal of a 2-0 win over Comoros in the group stage. The win was vital in helping Morocco finish at the top of the points table in its group. Morocco eventually bowed out in the quarter-final stage of the competition.
- At the 2022 edition of the FIFA World Cup, Zakaria scored the 2nd goal (in the stoppage time that was added after the end of the regulation time of 90 minutes) in Morocco’s shock 2-0 win over European heavyweights Belgium in the teams’ 2nd match of the group stage. It was just the 3rd goal of his senior-level international career for Morocco.
- 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.
- 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. Morocco then defeated Portugal in the quarter-final to become the first African nation ever to reach the semi-final stage of the FIFA World Cup. Their fairytale journey was halted in the semi-final stage by defending champions France who beat them by a 2-0 margin.
- 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.
Featured Image by Zakaria Aboukhlal / Instagram