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African All Stars

Sevilla’s Bounou beats En-Nesyri and Villarreal’s Chukwueze to La Liga prize

22:49 GMT+3 01/02/2022
Yassine Bounou of Morocco.
The 30-year-old has been rewarded for his impressive performances for the Los Nervionenses in the ongoing campaign

Sevilla goalkeeper Yassine Bounou has been voted by fans as the first winner of the newly introduced La Liga Santander Mid-Season African MVP Award.

Thanks to his impressive displays for Julen Lopetegui’s men – where he has featured in the 17 matches in the 2021-22 campaign – the Morocco international won the diadem ahead of Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze and compatriot Youssef En-Nesyri.

This new award by the Spanish top-flight organisers acknowledges the increasing importance and value of the contribution of African players to the growth of La Liga and fans made their choice via its social media platforms – picking him as the best African so far this season.

Aside from his heroics for Los Nervionenses, the goalkeeper has been one of the most influential players in La Liga this season, playing 20 games for Sevilla and conceding just 13 goals in over 1800 minutes of football to help propel Sevilla to the second spot in La Liga log.

“I want to thank you very much for this award. For me, it is a great pride to represent African football in the Spanish La Liga and hopefully, we can continue to succeed and open the door for other talents that in the future will surely succeed in La Liga,” said Bounou.

The African star joined the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan side in 2019 after four seasons as Girona. He played a crucial role in Sevilla’s Europa League triumph in the 2019–20 season.

Nigeria international Chukwueze finished as runner-up, while En-Nesyri ended in the third position.

“We are delighted with the phenomenal response from African football fans to the first La Liga Santander African Mid-Season MVP Award competition,” said Marcos Pelegrin, La Liga Southern Africa managing director.

“Bounou is a popular first winner of the award, with Moroccan fans, in particular, showing their huge appreciation for the fantastic season he has been having at Sevilla.

“We are very excited to see the growth of La Liga on the African continent and by the reaction to fans to this fan-driven award, as we continue to look to innovatively grow the La Liga brand on the African continent.”

Bounou was impressive in the Atlas Lions’ 2021 Africa Cup of Nations campaign, but the North Africans crashed out to eternal rivals Egypt in the quarter-final.