Get to know Bono, the Moroccan hero, usually saves penalties, can also score goals

Ar Rayyan, Qatar, Morocco qualified for the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup after defeating Spain with a penalty shootout on 12/07. Morocco’s hero is goalkeeper Yassine Bounou-dit Bono-, 31 (born April 5, 1991). The Moroccan keeper plays as a goalkeeper for La Liga side Sevilla.

He has spent most of his career in Spain, making over 100 La Liga appearances for Girona and Sevilla, and 56 Segunda División appearances for Zaragoza and Girona. He won the UEFA Europa League with Sevilla in 2020.

A full international for Morocco since 2013, Bono has represented his country at two FIFA World Cups and three Africa Cups of Nations. He previously played for the U23 team at the 2012 Olympics.

Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada to Moroccan parents, Bono moved to Morocco at an early age and made his senior debut for Wydad Casablanca in 2011, having been promoted to the first team the previous year.

On 14 June 2012, Bono joined La Liga club Atlético Madrid, initially being placed in the Segunda División reserve team. He played regularly for the team on the bench as a third goalkeeper and signed a new four-year contract on May 31, 2013.

In the summer of 2014, after taking advantage of the departures of Thibaut Courtois and Daniel Aranzubia, he was definitively promoted to the main squad. He made his first-team debut on 24 July 2014, in a 1-0 pre-season friendly win over CD Numancia.

On September 1, 2014, Bono was loaned to Real Zaragoza Segunda División, on a one-season deal. He was eliminated by Óscar Whalley, following a 5–3 defeat at UD Las Palmas. In the play-offs, after Whalley’s performance led to a 0–3 home loss to Girona FC in the first leg, Bono replaced him at second to win 4–1 and advance on away goals. Zaragoza lost the final under the same rule against UD Las Palmas.

On July 12, 2016, Bono signed a two-year permanent contract with fellow countryman Girona. He played exactly half of the games in his first season – sharing the one with René Román – as they were promoted to second place. In January 2019, now first choice in a top-flight club, he extended his contract until June 2021.

On September 2, 2019, after suffering relegation with the Catalans, Bono joined top flight Sevilla FC, on a one-year loan. Tomáš Vaclík’s second choice in league seasons, he played regularly in the domestic cup and when the team won the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League.

He received praise for his performance against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the quarter-finals when he saved a Raúl Jiménez penalty to win 1–0, also in the 2–1 semi-final win over Manchester United. Also the eventual decisive save against Romelu Lukaku one-on-one, to win the final 3-2 against Inter Milan.

On September 4, 2020, Bono signed a permanent four-year contract with the Andalusian side. On 21 March the following year, in the last minute of the match against Real Valladolid, he scored his first goal as a professional goalkeeper to secure a 1–1 draw.

Bono was eligible to represent Canada or Morocco, but chose to represent the latter. Appeared with the Under-20 team at the 2012 Toulon Tournament, playing one game during the competition. He was also selected in the 18-man Under-23 squad for the 2012 Summer Olympics, but acted as a substitute for Mohamed Amsif during the tournament, where Morocco were eliminated in the knockout stages. groups.

In May 2018, Bono was named in Morocco’s 23-man squad for the World Cup in Russia. During the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, he was the first choice of Hervé Renard’s team, keeping clean sheets in 1-0 wins over Namibia and Ivory Coast to advance to the knockout stages.

Bono has also been called up for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon. At the tournament, he made headlines for his defense of the Arabic language and his refusal to speak to the press in another language.

On November 10, 2022, Bono was named in Morocco’s 26-man squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar. Bono made two saves in the last 16 penalty shootout against Spain, leading the Morocco to the quarter-finals for the first time in their history.


Hector Montgomery

"Prone to fits of apathy. Beer evangelist. Incurable coffeeaholic. Internet expert."

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