Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou ranked as the world’s 13th-best football player at the 2023 Ballon d’Or award ceremony.
With the ranking, Bounou overtook Algerian-French footballer Karim Benzema, who currently plays for Saudi club Al Ittihad.
The “Atlas Lion” is renowned for his pivotal role for Spanish club Sevilla in their recent Europa League triumph, before recently making a move to Saudi club Al-Hilal.
He was also vital in Morocco’s historic run to reach the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Bounou was nominated for the Ballon d’Or in September. The nomination shortlisted him alongside a number of world-class footballers including Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland, and Kylian Mbappe.
The Ballon d’Or is considered one of the world’s most prestigious individual awards in football.
Bounou, widely regarded as one of the greatest Moroccan footballers, earned several nicknames during his World Cup appearances, with “The Smiling Hero” being one of them.
Bounou’s exceptional skills have not gone unnoticed in the past. In September 2022, he clinched the Zamora Trophy for the 2021-2022 season, becoming the first Moroccan and Arab to claim the award.
The achievement also marked the first time a Sevilla goalkeeper has received this accolade in the history of La Liga.
Source: Morocco World News