By Morocco World News -
Rabat – French-Moroccan footballer Soufiane Boufal has surpassed Lionel Messi as the player with the most successful dribbles in Spain’s La Liga football league for the 2018/2019 season.
With 131 successful dribblings, Celta de Vigo’s Boufal is ahead of Messi (117) and Eibar’s Fabian Orellana (75).
Although Boufal made the most dribbles this year, he only scored two goals, one against Girona and one against Sevilla, according to the Spanish sports daily, Marca.
The 25-year-old attacking midfielder, who was born in Paris, joined the Celta de Vigo football club in western Spain on a loan for the from Southampton in the UK.
In order for Celta de Vigo to keep Boufal, they will have to negotiate a fee of €15 million as the club agreed with Southampton last summer.
Celta de Vigo is currently in 17th place out of 20 teams in La Liga’s standings.
The club is having a difficult season, struggling to stay in La Liga with only six matches left in the season.
Boufal made his debut with the Moroccan national team in March 2016 in a 1-0 Africa Cup of Nations qualification victory over Cape Verde. He also made two appearances with the Moroccan team in 2017 in friendly matches against Tunisia and Burkina Faso.
On February 10, the Moroccan international footballer secured the first hat trick in the Leganes club’s history.
By Morocco World News -
Rabat – Good news for Moroccan football fans: La Liga has listed Moroccan footballer Youssef En-Nesyri as one of three nominees for the best player of the month in February.
The two other candidates are Getafe striker Jaime Mata and FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.
After scoring a hat trick last month, the footballer expressed satisfaction at being the first in his football club, Leganes, to achieve the feat.
(BBC sport) Morocco's Youssef En-Nesyri becomes the first Leganes player to hit a hat-trick in Spain's La Liga.
Morocco striker Youssef En-Nesyri described his hat-trick in Leganes' 3-0 Spanish La Liga home win over Real Betis on Sunday as "one to remember".
En-Nesyri smashed home the opener in the 22nd minute, adding another from close range before half-time and sealed his hat-trick after the hour mark, to become the first Leganes player to score a La Liga hat-trick.
"It wasn't a personal success, rather a collective team effort and scoring a hat-trick will always be one to remember," he said post match.
"I feel happy to be the first player to score a hat-trick but it took the collective efforts of those with me on the pitch, others on the bench and our fans inside the Butarque [Leganes stadium] to make it happen.
"The match ball will definitely find a place at home but getting all three points is very important for us."
"A great performance for the team in addition to three goals," he added in a post on Instagram.
21-year-old En-Nesyri, who only joined Leganes from Malaga last August, has now scored seven goals in his last five league matches for the club.
Born in the Moroccan city of Fès, he began his youth career at Académie Mohammed VI before moving to Spanish club Malaga's youth side in the summer of 2015.
He represented Morocco at U-20 and U-23 level before making his senior debut in a 0-0 friendly draw against Albania in August 2016.
Drafted in as a late replacement for defender Badr Benoun, he scored with a superb header on his only appearance at the 2018 World Cup in the thrilling 2-2 draw against Spain.
He has six goals in 21 appearances for the Atlas Lions and played all Group B matches as the North Africans secured a spot at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
By Morocco World News -
Rabat – Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou’s stellar performance with Girona is gaining him recognition across the European footballing spectrum.
Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo has ranked Bounou 10th among “brilliant goal keepers who are having a great season in Europe’s top 5 divisions,” based on their number of saves so far this season.
Bounou has earned the trust of both Girona and the Moroccan national team, where he is the starting goalkeeper.
Of the 10 goalies whose performance outshone the rest of Europe’s elite leagues, only Manchester United’s Spanish goalie De Gea, ranked 4th, was a household name of acknowledged class and reputation.
While keepers like Bounou or Lukasz Fabianski (5th) may not have the flamboyance of Real Madrid’s Courtois or Manchester City’s Ederson or the price tags of Liverpool’s Alison and Chelsea’s Kepa, their performance and importance for their respective teams is no less significant.
In Bounou’s case, while Girona, his current club, languishes in 17th place in La Liga, Spain’s top league, the club’s place in the championship table would have been far lower had it not been for the Moroccan’s form.
Mundo Deportivo’s rankings:
1) Oier Olazabal (Levante, Spain), 96 saves
2) Michael Esser (Hannover, Germany), 94 saves
3) Luis Sepe (Parma, Italy), 92 saves
4) David De Gea (Manchester United, England), 90 saves
5) Lukasz Fabianski (West Ham, England), 88 saves
6) Marco Sportiello (Frosinone, Italy), 88 saves
7) Neil Etheridge (Cardiff, England), 88 saves
8) Sergio Asenjo, (Villarreal, Spain), 86 saves
9) Regis Gurtner (Amiens, France), 83 saves
10) Yassine Bounou (Girona, Spain), 83 saves
The former international midfielder returns to Spain after leaving Getafe 2013.