Muhammad VI Academy, a unique project funded by His Majesty

If Morocco managed to finish fourth at the 2022 World Cup, it would be a historic performance, thanks in part to the Mohamed VI Academy. A talent pool for national selection funded by His Majesty King Mohammed VI’s personal funds.

It’s an open secret: the Mohammed VI Football Academy (AMF) is one of the keys to the success of the Moroccan selection at the World Cup (Qatar-2022).

If the Atlas Lions achieved the historic feat of becoming the first African and Arab sides to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, it is partly due to the quality of training provided by the Academy, this high ground football. sovereign’s own funds. It also undertakes the annual operating budget of the Royal Academy.

Even the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) is amazed by the excellence of the AIF’s preparation.

With this very eloquent title, “Mohammed VI Academy, key to Morocco’s success”, world football’s governing body states that “HM King Mohammed VI has launched several development projects in various fields, including the Mohammed VI Football Academy. Discover talents in different regions of Morocco, develop and facilitate his transfer to European clubs.

The academy was opened in 2009 and a budget of 15 million dollars was allocated for its construction. The structure is built in Sale, on an area of ​​about 18 hectares, and includes several sports, health, educational and football facilities, the same source adds. The latter combines sports and education, following the model adopted by the Academy’s youth training schools in Europe.

Azzedine Ounahi, Nayef Aguerd, Youssef En-Nesyri, Ahmad Reda Tagnaouti… these four World Cup semi-finalists grew up in the fertile soil of the same place. These stars of the national team, who surprised the whole world with their talent, trained and revealed themselves in this corps.

Spain’s still demanding (and now former) coach Luis Enrique was impressed by the talent of one of his winners: Azzedine Ounahi. “Number 8 surprised me a lot. I don’t remember his name, I’m sorry. God, where is this guy from? He played very well,” said the former head of “La Roja”.

The Angers midfielder’s crazy technical gestures, surprising but always calculated risk-taking, incredible acceleration impressed not only Enrique, but also the public of the national team. Observers agree, predicting a bright future for him away from Ligue 1.

Another star of this World Cup is the Sevilla FC striker who made an impact in the 1/4 finals against Portugal. To deliver his historic qualification in Morocco, Youssef En-nesyri broke the World Cup record with a jump of 2m78, edging out Diogo Costa. Before that… Cristiano Ronaldo was only 2.56 m tall.

En-Nesyri, who arrived at the AIF at just 12 years old, succeeded where Roger Milla, El-hadji Diouf and Asamoah Gyan failed: sending Africa to the semi-finals of the World Cup. For doing this, En-Nesyri will forever be the first.

The national team could have hoped for better than fourth place had not been decimated by repeated injuries to several of its executives, including Nayef Aguerd. West Ham United’s central defender was forced to leave the rest of the competition due to an injury in the round of 16 against Spain.

AMF-trained Nayef Aguerd, who went through FUS (under a certain Walid Regragui) before flying to France (Dijon, then Rennes) to finally join England (West Ham), is also a symbol of the success of a pure national product.

Less prominent, but important in the dressing room as the third goalkeeper: Ahmed Reda Tagnaouti showed dedication and sacrifice, settling for a less flashy role. Tagnaouti, 26, the goalkeeper of reigning African champions Wydad Casablanca, can seriously claim Yassine Bounou’s succession in the national cages.

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