(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.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino will visit Morocco in January 2019 to take part in the session of a selection of FIFA Member federations in Marrakech.
During the symposium, Infantino will review the possible World Cup W bid of Morocco, Portugal, and Spain.
Spain proposed the bid during the visit of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez to Morocco in November.
In a press conference with Head of Government Saad Eddine El Othmani, Sanchez said that the bid would unite the peoples from two continents. “We are launching a joint message, which is that this will be a bid between two continents. The King of Morocco is receptive and we’re going to work on it with Portugal. We are very excited about it,” said Sanchez.
Morocco, however, has not officially decided whether it will submit a solo or a joint bid with the European countries.
According to Spanish sports news outlet AS, the FIFA committee will discuss the “so-called continental rotation law to boost the Ibero-Moroccan candidacy to [host] the 2030 World Cup.”
The committee will also discuss the expansion of the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams in Qatar.Infantino already announced that he prefers joint bids for the World Cup after the North American United 2026 World Cup bid defeated Morocco’s bid in June.
While Spain is hoping for a joint bid with Morocco and its Iberian neighbor, Portugal said it has not received an official proposal from Spain.
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said that the proposal is “an uncertain idea that has never been officially put to us, and when it is we naturally have to study it.”
A World Cup held on two different continents is also not a preference for the president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Aleksander Ceferin.
Earlier this month, Ceferin said he is not “in favor of cross-confederation bids.”
“Someone should say once to the politicians it’s not up to them to speak if they will be hosts of the Euros or the World Cup or not,” said UEFA president.
After being named Girona’s player of the month for February, Moroccan international goalkeeper Yassine Bounou was named player of the month for November as well.
By Morocco World News
Rabat – Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou received the title of African player of the month in November by users on the France Football website.
Over 20,000 people voted for Yassine Bounou, constituting 69 percent of the total votes.
The Moroccan professional player is ahead of Algeria’s Youcef Atal (Nice) who got 29 percent of the votes, and the Ivorian Gervinho (Parma) who got 2 percent of the votes.
Bounou, 27, born in Canada, began his professional career with La Liga’s giants Atletico reMadrid following a transfer from Wydad De Casablanca (WAC) in June 2012.
He initially played for Atletico Madrid’s B-team, but in 2014, he joined the main squad following the departure of Atletico’s two main goalkeepers, Thibaut Courtois and Daniel Aranzubia.
The goalkeeper currently plays for the Spanish club Girona, which named him their best player of the month in February.
Bounou was one of 23 players to participate in the World Cup with the Atlas Lions and appeared with the Moroccan national football team on several occasions.