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Yassine Bounou joins Saudi giants Al-Hilal for large transfer fee

With Africa’s best players highly involved in the wave of players brought into the Saudi Pro League there was another name added to the list early Friday. Morocco national team goalkeeper Yassine Bounou is confirmed to have joined Al-Hilal from Spanish La Liga side Sevilla and will now be able to count Kalidou Koulibaly, Rúben Neves as well as Brazilian superstar Neymar among his new teammates. The 32-year-old 2022 FIFA World Cup standout leaves Sevilla after Al-Hilal parted ways with €21 million.

Bounou’s transfer is confirmed less than two days after playing for Sevilla in the 2023 UEFA Super Cup where his team fell to a penalty kick shootout defeat to Manchester City following a 1-1 draw. It was Bounou’s second runner-up finish at the Super Cup but the Canada-born Moroccan leaves Sevilla with an excellent track record of two UEFA Europa League titles (2019-20 and 2022-23) as well as two inclusions in the Europa League Team of the Season.

The 2021-22 season was Bounou’s most successful season in terms of individual accolades, winning La Liga’s Zamora Trophy for having the best goals-to-games ratio. He was also named in the Spanish top tier’s Team of the Season and won the award for Best African Player. Bounou previously played for fellow Spanish teams Girona, Real Zaragoza and the reserve team of Atlético Madrid after leaving for Spain from top Moroccan club Wydad AC in June 2012.

Bounou is also a star for his national team, playing a key role for the Morocco team that advanced to the semifinals of the 2022 World Cup. He has 54 appearances for the Atlas Lions since making his debut in August 2013.


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