Bounou finally explains his “disappearance” against Belgium

More than five months after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the goalkeeper of the Moroccan team, Yassine Bounou (32 years old, 52 caps), returned to his comical replacement just after the Moroccan anthem, on the occasion of the second group match against Belgium (0-2) on 27 November.

The scene was talked about at the time. Present in the starting eleven of the Atlas Lions at the time of the anthem, “Bono” had furtively given way to Munir El Kajoui (Al-Wehda FC). After the match, coach Walid Regragui soberly explained that he “didn’t feel well”. Interviewed by the BBC World Service Sportthe doorman of Sevilla FC (34 appearances this season) has finally completely lifted the veil on the mystery.

Disabling pain

“During the first match against Croatia (0-0, November 23, 2022, editor’s note), I had a shock with one of their players”explained the former Wydad Casablanca in comments reported by BBC Sport Africa.
“To get to the game (against Belgium), we had to do an injection to relieve the pain”, he continued. But after the warm-up, the discomfort was too great: “I entered the tunnel with both teams. I felt very bad and I spoke with the captain, Romain Saiss, and told him that I did not feel well., explained Bono. The latter then went to consult the referee Cesar Ramos to check if he could be replaced immediately after the anthem: “He said ‘No problem’. You can sing the anthem and then you can go out”revealed the Montreal native.

“It was very difficult for me because everyone sees you and then you disappear”confided the person concerned. “I went to a clinic inside the stadiumhe continued. I felt better and saw the second half. It was a strange moment because I wanted to play the games. Maybe if you lose you won’t play in the World Cup again, but we won and after all it was good. »

Recovered after the meeting, Bono was able to hold his place in the cages against Canada (1-2) on 1er December. With Morocco, the left-hander rose to semi final of the 2022 World Cup against the France (2-0), Dec. 14. The Atlas Lions thus became the only African selection to reach the last four of the competition and Bounou shone with his performances against Spain and Portugal in particular.

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