• Moroccans Abroad: Mehdi Carcela Named ‘Belgium’s Best Arab Footballer in 2015’

    Morocco World News

    Rabat- Moroccan international footballer Mehdi Carcela was named Belgium’s Best Arab Footballer of 2015, according to media reports.

    The Standard Liège midfielder was awarded the 2015 Belgian Lion Award for the best Arab player playing in the Belgian football league.

    The award was created by the Voltaire association with the aim of highlighting personalities of Arab origin who contribute to the development of Belgian football.

    “Mehdi deserves this award because last season he suffered a lot of injuries but for now, it appears that he is in full possession of his capabilities,” said Belgian-Moroccan Noureddine Jbari, who chaired the jury. “We know his technique, his way of dribbling, to provoke, to add speed to the play of Standard. No one can question the talent of Mehdi Carcela.”

    The 25-year-old made his professional debut for Standard Liege at the age of nineteen. In September 2011, he moved to Russia by joining Anzhi Makhachkala for 5.7 million Euros. He returned to old club Standard Liege on a three-year contract after spending two years in Russia.



  • Transfers: Manchester United poised to beat off Tottenham to signature of Belgian keeper Ilias Moutha Sebtaoui from Standard Liege

    Manchester United are signing another Belgian starlet after fast-tracking a move for Standard Liege goalkeeper Ilias Moutha Sebtaoui.

    Sebtaoui, who is also eligible to represent Morocco, is poised to join United on July 1 as they look to head off competition from European rivals.

    United scouts have been impressed by Sebtaoui in recent tournaments and watched him in France at the Montaigu Tournament.

    He turned 16 last month and has been followed by Roma, Tottenham, Anderlecht and Newcastle over the past few months.

    Sebtaoui has represented Belgium at U15 and U16 level and will follow compatriot Indy Boonen from Genk by joining United.

    United have given trials in recent months to Joao Virginia from Benfica and Tomasz Kucz of Polonia Warsaw as they look to bolster their goalkeeping options. They also remain in discussions with 18-year-old prospect Joel Pereira whose contract is running down.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3067128/Manchester-United-poised-beat-Tottenham-signature-starlet-Ilias-Sebtaoui-Standard-Liege.html#ixzz3ZCgSfU1M



  • Transfers: Malaga sign West Brom target Nordin Amrabat from Galatasaray

    After a day of intense negotiations Malaga have signed Nordin Amrabat from Galatasaray for the agreed €3.5 million fee.

    The La Liga club initially requested a one-month extension on the buy-out clause this morning but the request was turned down by Galatasaray.

    Today was Malaga’s last chance to sign Amrabat for the €3.5 million clause price and the La Liga side raised the funds in time to sign the 28-year-old.




  • Transfers: Sevilla deny Achraf Lazaar link

    Sevilla director of football Monchi has played down reports that the club are interested in signing Palermo defender Achraf Lazaar.

    The 23-year-old has been strongly linked with a move to Seville over the last couple of weeks, with the Europa League winners said to be preparing an official offer.

    However, Monchi has poured cold water on such suggestions.

    "No, we don't want Lazaar... the reports are false," Monchi told Todomercadoweb.es.

    Lazaar, who is a Moroccan international, joined Palermo from Serie B side Varese in January 2014.




  • Transfers: Malaga CEO reveals club cannot match €3.5m Galatasaray asking price for West Ham & West Brom target Amrabat

    Malaga CEO reveals club cannot match €3.5m Galatasaray asking price for West Ham & West Brom target Amrabat

    Malaga CEO Vicente Casado has revealed that the club cannot currently meet the €3.5 million asking price for Galatasaray forward Nordin Amrabat.

    “Galatasaray want €3.5 million but the club do not have that kind of money to spend on our budget,” Casado was quoted as saying by Mundo Deportivo.

    Casado did however, underlined that the transfer could still go ahead if a sponsor was willing to back the deal.

    “We will look for external funding,” he added.

    Galatasaray signed Amrabat from Kayserispor for €8 million in 2012 when he joined from Kayserispor and he still has two years left on his contract.

    Amrabat is currently on a one-season long loan at La Liga outfit Malaga.

    West Ham and West Brom are also reported to be interested in the 28-year-old winger according to Talk Sport.

    The Spanish side are currently seventh in La Liga on 46 points after 32 games but are 19 points off a top four Champions League finish.




  • Transfers: Amrabat unsure about future

    Galatasaray winger Nordin Amrabat has revealed that he is unsure about his future according to Milliyet.

    The Moroccan international is currently on loan at Malaga and the La Liga outfit are keen on making his stay permanent.

    “I am happy at Malaga, the fans are great but I think the same about Galatasaray, I do not wish to comment on my future, you never know what will happen,” Amrabat was quoted as saying.

    Malaga Sporting Director Mario Husillos has however, admitted that the €3.5 million asking price to make his loan stay permanent is too high.

    “His importance to the team is undoubted and the club want him to stay here, but 3.5 million is a lot of money for us,” Husillos was quoted as saying on Inside Spanish Football.

    Amrabat joined Galatasaray on an €8 million from Kayserispor in 2012 and he still has two years left on his contract with the Lions.

    West Ham and West Brom are also reported to be interested in the 28-year-old winger according to Talk Sport.

    Malaga are currently seventh in La Liga on 46 points after 32 games but are 19 points off a top four Champions League finish.




  • Moroccans Abroad: Obbadi stuns Viola with maiden Serie A strike

    Milan (AFP) - Moroccan Mounir Obbadi came off the bench to score his maiden Serie A goal in the final minute as Verona dented Fiorentina's hopes of securing a place in the Europa League next season with a 1-0 victory on Monday.

    Fiorentina hosted Verona in the final fixture of the weekend with the chance to replace misfiring Sampdoria in fifth place.

    But the hosts, who lost Khouma Babacar because of a knock he took to his knee only seven minutes after the Senegalese striker replaced Josip Ilicic, failed to capitalise on several clear chances and were made to pay towards the end of a dramatic second half.

    Fiorentina should have taken the lead in the 71st minute but Vincenzo Montella's men saw Verona 'keeper Rafael expertly parry Alessandro Diamanti's penalty after the 'keeper had rushed out of his goal and fouled Alberto Gilardino.

    Obbadi, on loan from French league side Monaco, replaced Panagiotis Tachtsidis only a few minutes later and delivered a first warning when he first-timed a cross from the right side of the area just beyond post and crossbar with Neto well beaten.

    The Moroccan midfielder was given a second chance to open his account in Italy's top flight and seized it with both hands, firing past Neto after the 'keeper spilled Lazaros Christodoulopoulos's drive from the edge of the area.

    It was only Verona's ninth win of the campaign and moved Andrea Mandorlini's men up to 14th place, 13 points clear of the drop zone.



  • Press review: Mouhcine Iajour making a case to be one of Africa's greatest footballers

    Mouhcine Iajour is making a name for himself in African club football, and those outside the continent are beginning to take notice.

    Ismael Kone was the name on everybody's lips after the first legs of the CAF Champions League second round. Kone's two goals in two minutes put Stade Malien back in the contest after they went 2-0 down to heavyweight Congolese side TP Mazembe, who remain favourites to advance to the group stage. TP Mazembe's two away goals and the home-ground advantage they enjoy in Lubumbashi should see them through, but Stade Malien will hang on to those two strikes -- they were special after all.

    More special will be the free kick that the tournament's top-scorer Mouhcine Iajour struck to earn Moroccan side Moghreb Tetouan a 1-0 win over the most successful club in the competition's history, Egypt's Al-Ahly. Although Egyptian media are confident Al-Ahly will be able to overturn the deficit at home, the Moroccan club have something to work with and their striker may have made the mark he needs to stake a more sustained claim for higher honours.

    Iajour came back into favour for the Moroccan national team in 2014, when he was picked for the African Nations Championship, the tournament for home-based players only. He was the only player to score in two different matches and Morocco's joint top scorer after finding the back of the net twice. That may not sound like much, but considering the tournament's Golden Boot winner was Bernard Parker, who managed just four goals, it's not too bad. Iajour's goals came in his side's 3-1 win over Uganda and their quarterfinal loss to Nigeria.

    Since then, Iajour has been in good goal-scoring form. He was responsible for Morocco's winner, from the penalty spot, against Zimbabwe at the end of last year and has almost single-handedly taken his club through the CAF Champions League thus far. He opened their goal-scoring in the 12th minute of the second leg of their preliminary round clash against Club Olympique de Bamako, which paved the way for their comeback. Moghreb Tetouan were defeated 2-0 in Bamako but won 3-0 at home to progress.

    As the competition became tougher, so did Iajour, and he thrilled with a hat trick against Nigeria's Kano Pillars in the first leg of the first round. All three of those goals came in open play, the first from a long pass that found Iajour on the edge of the area with only the goalkeeper to beat, the second from a crafty through-ball that beat six defenders and the third from close range off a pass that came from an acute angle. In all three, Iajour's speed and accuracy were on display.

    Against Al-Ahly, he also showed off his craft. His free kick came just as the match was breathing its last breath, and it evaded the wall to curl into the net and stun the Egyptians. It also sent a message to the national selectors in Morocco. In Iajour they have a striker who seems to have it all. He is confident in one-on-one situations, receives passes and turns them into goals and has ability from set pieces and his continued improvement suggests that he could turn into an international star.

    A decade ago, Iajour was the Golden Boot winner at the African Youth Championships. Two years ago, he was the first African footballer to be crowned top scorer at the Club World Cup. He was playing for Raja Casablanca then and scored twice in the tournament, which put him on par with Ronaldinho, among others. That's not bad company to be in, and soon Iajour may find himself in even better company, among the international elite.




  • Botola: Accident of Bus Carrying Moroccan Football Team Leaves 29 Injured

    Morocco World News

    Rabat – Chabab Atlas Khenifra team bus was involved in a head-on collision on their way to Khenifra on Monday morning, according to local authorities.

    The team’s bus collided with another vehicle around 4:30 A.M and forty-six kilometers to the city of Khenifra. 29 passengers on board the bus, including members of the Chabab Atlas Khenifra football club, were reportedly injured.

    The bus was transporting Chabab Atlas Khenifra players back home after a game in Al Hoceima against local team Chabab Rif Al Hoceima at the Mimoun El Arsi Stadium.

    According to authorities, the driver of the team’s bus lost control before colliding with another vehicle which was coming from the opposite direction.

    Twelve of those who were injured were transported to a Khenifra hospital. Seventeen others were taken to the hospital of M’rirt.



  • CAF Beach Soccer: Morocco beat Egypt 2-1 and finish 5th

    CAF Beach Soccer: Morocco vs Egypt - match for the 5th place -

    Morocco finished 5th in the CAF Beach Soccer championship as they beat Egypt 2-1 on Sunday.

    Morocco goals were both scored by Anas El Hadaoui.





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