Morocco's Yassine Bounou becomes first Arab to win Spanish football league's best goalkeeper award

Morocco's Yassine Bounou becomes first Arab to win Spanish football league's best goalkeeper award
Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, who plays for Sevilla FC, has become the first ever Arab goalkeeper to win the Spanish football league's best goalkeeper award, the Ricardo Zamora Trophy.
2 min read
24 May, 2022
Bounou celebrates with his Sevilla FC teammates following the team's final match win of the 2021-2022 season [Getty]

Morocco and Sevilla FC goalkeeper Yassine Bounou has made history as the first Arab goalkeeper to win the Ricardo Zamora Trophy, which is awarded to the Spanish football league’s best goalkeeper of the season.

The coveted trophy, which has been awarded since 1958, is handed to the La Liga keeper with the lowest goals-to-games ratio, having played a minimum of 60 minutes in at least 28 matches.

Bounou, who has played for Sevilla since 2019, conceded 24 goals in 31 matches during the 2021-2022 season, finishing ahead of Real Madrid and Belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois who conceded 29 goals, while 32 goals were scored against Real Sociedad’s Alex Remiro. Bounou also received 13 clean sheets, meaning that no goal was conceded in those matches.

The Morocco international first joined Sevilla on loan for a year, before signing a permanent four-year contract with the Andalusian giants in 2020.

The goalkeeper, who is nicknamed 'Bono' by football fans, is also the first ever Sevilla player to win the award.

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He also became the second African to win the prize after Cameroonian Jacques Songo’o, who played for Deportivo La Coruna and was awarded the trophy in 1997.

Bounou’s efforts also lead to Sevilla’s fourth-place finish in La Liga, enabling the team to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League, alongside Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.

Canada-born Bounou, who has earned 40 caps for the Moroccan national team, will be one of the Arab players to watch in this year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar, where the Atlas Lions will be making their sixth appearance.