Fifa names Morocco goalie Yassine Bounou among contenders for Best Goalkeeper of the Year Award

The awards will recognise achievements from August 8, 2021 to December 18, 2022

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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Published: Fri 23 Dec 2022, 7:26 PM

Last updated: Sat 24 Dec 2022, 7:27 AM

The recently-concluded Qatar 2022 edition of the World Cup featured some stellar plays that will help Fifa determine the most outstanding members of the sport at the upcoming 'Best Fifa Football Awards', set to take place on February 27 next year.

One of the categories seeks to recognise the best goalkeepers in the world of football — and it comes as no surprise that the world governing body named Morocco's goalie Yassine Bounou in a recent list of contenders for the top prize.

Underdogs Morocco turned heads as they rose out of the ground, charging through team after team until they lost to France in a power-packed semi-final match. In doing so, the Atlas Lions became the first Arab and African nation to make it to the semi-finals of the World Cup.

While their resolute players were one reason, Yassine Bounou's contributions could hardly be missed. The six-feet-tall wall consistently displayed a fiercely calm presence in most of his matches. Moroccan captain Romain Saiss — among many others — has gone on record to praise his "heroic" performances for his nation.

According to Fifa, Bounou was a key factor in Sevilla having the best defensive record in La Liga — in 2021-22 season — and his efforts were recognised when he received the award for the division’s Best Goalkeeper.

As a potential candidate for the The Best Men's Goalkeeper 2023 — which was won by Chelsea's Edouard Mendy last year — Bounou will face stiff competition at the Awards.

Argentina's Emiliano Martinez' exceptional performances till the very end of his nation's fairytale win at the 2022 World Cup — which won him a Golden Glove — posit him as another of the strongest contenders at the awards.

The event will recognise achievements from August 8, 2021 to December 18, 2022, according to Fifa.

Other contenders in the running are:

  • Croatia's Dominik Livaković, who delivered another of the finest performances at Qatar 2022, especially in Croatia's shocking quarter-final win over Brazil.
  • Belgium's Thibaut Courtois, who won the Golden Glove at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
  • Brazil's Alisson Becker, who brings a wealth of honours for Brazil — the least of which was his performance at Qatar 2022.
  • Germany's Manuel Neuer — one of the best goalkeepers of an outgoing generation and the winner of 2020's Best Goalkeeper of the Year Award.
  • France's Mike Maignan, an elite goalkeeper, with some fine performances for AC Milan, who unfortunately missed the 2022 World Cup due to a prior calf injury.


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