Sevilla’s Moroccan goalkeeper, Yassine Bounou, wins LaLiga Santander African MVP Award

Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bounou during the UEFA Europa League round of sixteen second leg match at the London Stadium

Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bounou during the UEFA Europa League round of sixteen second leg match at the London Stadium, on March 17. Picture: Nigel French

Published Jun 13, 2022


Johannesburg – Sevilla’s exceptional Moroccan goalkeeper Yassine Bounou has been voted by thousands of African football fans as the winner of the first LaLiga Santander African MVP Award.

This crowns a stunning season in which ‘Bono’ helped Sevilla to UEFA Champions League qualification and beat Thibaut Courtois, Andre Ter Stegen and Jan Oblak to the Zamora Trophy as LaLiga’s best goalkeeper.

Over 30 000 votes were received from across the African continent and from countries such as France, Spain and the United States for this unique fan-driven LaLiga Santander African MVP Award, in which fans were called on to vote for their standout African player of the season.

And Bounou was an overwhelmingly popular winner, garnering by far the most votes ahead of Barcelona’s Gabon international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Villareal’s duo of Nigerian winger Samuel Chukwueze and Senegal striker Boulaye Dia, as well as the Central African Republic’s Atletico Madrid midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia.

The 31-year-old Bounou conceded just 24 goals in 31 appearances in LaLiga Santander to give him a ratio of just 0.77 goals conceded per game in an outstanding and consistent season for Sevilla.

The Moroccan international follows in the tradition of fantastic African goalkeepers to have starred in LaLiga, such as legendary Cameroon trio Carlos Kameni, Thomas N’kono and Jacques Songo’o, who won the Zamora Trophy at the end of a brilliant 1996/1997 season for Deportivo La Coruna.

‘Bono’ won the LaLiga Mid-Season MVP Award when the competition was launched in January this year, and he was a landslide winner of the Full Season MVP Award in a campaign that reached billions across the African continent.

Bounou said: “I’m making this video to thank LaLiga for this award of best African player of the season 21/22. I am very happy, for me it is a great honour.

“I would like to thank all my teammates, the coaching staff and all the members of Sevilla FC who are by my side and who work every day and without them it would certainly not have been possible. So thank you very much and a big hug.”

Marcos Pelegrin, LaLiga Southern Africa managing director said: “LaLiga would like to warmly congratulate Yassine Bounou on becoming the first recipient of the LaLiga Santander African MVP Award. He is a worthy and popular recipient, having received the majority of votes from thousands of African football fans, who we would like to warmly thank for the way they’ve embraced and participated in this competition in huge numbers.

“This award honours LaLiga Santander’s outstanding African player of the season, but also acknowledges the huge contribution and continued growth of LaLiga on the African continent, both on and off the pitch. We hope to see this competition grow in strength and stature in years to come.”

Fans participating in the voting for the LaLiga Santander African MVP Award competition stood a chance to win a trip to Spain to watch a LaLiga Santander match live and the winner will be announced shortly.

IOL Sport