Football | Goalkeeper Bunu's road to fame is long and tortuous (Part 1)

2022-12-13 11:35

Football | Goalkeeper Bunu's road to fame is long and tortuous (Part 1)

Yassien Bounu has learned to be patient throughout his career, but the catchy nicknamed Moroccan goalkeeper is proving he is more than just a part of the big stages at this World Cup.

An absent player for the 2017 African Cup of Nations and the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Bounu - or " Bono " as he was called on his shirt - was instrumental in helping Morocco set a new benchmark for African football in Qatar.

With 14 foreign-born players in the squad, it is a case of unity in diversity for Morocco , and there is no better example than a defense that has conceded just one goal in five games.

clear up the mystery

Bunu shut out 2018 runners-up Croatia in the tournament opener . Just before kick-off in the 2-0 win over Belgium, he suddenly disappeared, queuing with the team for the national anthem.

Coach Walid Regraj , who was replaced by Munir El Kajuy, later cleared up the mystery by explaining that Bunu felt unwell after receiving a knock against Croatia .

Bunu, 31 , has made no mistakes since returning to his native Canada. A 2-1 win saw Morocco surprise Group F winners despite Nayef Agrd's own goal .

Remarkably, no opposition player has scored against Morocco at this World Cup - despite the fact that the North Africans needed penalties to beat Spain in the last 16 .