The FIFA World Cup 2022 may have finally come to a close last night, but the buzz around the globally watched tournament is far from over. Along with Lionel Messi, captain of this year’s winning team Argentina, and Kylian Mbappé, who single-handedly brought France inches away from winning the trophy last night, the world is now also talking about Yassine Bounou, the charming Morocco team goalie. Below, Vogue Arabia shares everything you need to know about the footballer, and takes you through three instances that had #YassineBounou topping trending charts this season.
Who is Yassine Bounou?
Also known as Bono, Yassine Bounou is a professional Moroccan footballer who plays as goalkeeper for Morocco national team, and also for Spanish club Sevilla. Born in Montreal, Quebec to Moroccan parents, Bounou moved back to his home country at age three, and began his love affair with football by playing with children in the street outside his home. At eight years old, he joined Wydad AC, and due to his height, was encouraged to hone his skills as a goalie. Over the years, Bounou has earned several accolades, and has represented Morocco at two FIFA World Cups and three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. Today, he resides in Spain with his wife Imane Khb and their son, Isaac.
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Three highlights that had everyone talking about Yassine Bounou during the 2022 FIFA World Cup
The penalty episode
What put Bounou on everyone’s radar this season was his impeccable skill. During the Morocco vs Spain match, the sportsman proved his chops by becoming the first Arab goalkeeper who was able to save two out of three penalty kicks in the World Cup during one match. The win made Morocco the fourth African country to ever reach the quarterfinals at the biggest soccer tournament in the world. “We felt the support of our fans, be it in Morocco or any other country in the world,” an elated Bounou shared at the time.
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The goal of doom
One of the most-talked about moments from the FIFA World Cup championship this time was when Bounou almost scored a goal himself—for the opposite team. The footballer was inches away from making an ‘own goal’ during the third-place playoff against Croatia. Despite the lucky miss, Croatia ended up winning the match thanks to Mislav Orsic’s winning goal.
The ice-cream craving
What is now being called one of the cutest moments from the FIFA World Cup championship was when Bounou’s son Isaac joined him in front of the cameras while the former did a quick interview. Post Morocco’s quarter-final win over Portugal, Bounou brought little Isaac over while he answered questions about the match, and it was at this moment that his son, mistaking the purple microphone for ice-cream, reached over for a taste. Watch below:
Yassine Bounou’s son thinking the 🎤 to be 🍦 is supremely adorable! ❤️ #FIFAWorldCup pic.twitter.com/YTorvQwDvM
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 14, 2022