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Azzedine Ounahi: Mourinho Falls in Love With Unsung Morocco Hero
- Azzedine Ounahi's quiet yet effective midfield display has won the heart of Jose Mourinho
- Ounahi has been one of the standout players in Morocco's fairy tale run in the World Cup
- The 22-year-old's impressive displays have attracted interest from big European clubs
Jose Mourinho has heaped praise on Morocco midfielder Azzedine Ounahi, who has been a huge revelation for the Atlas Lions at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The celebrated Portuguese manager was left in awe of the midfielder's domineering performance in the middle of the park.
Ounahi, who has been the unsung hero in the North Africans' stunning World Cup campaign, wowed Spain boss Luis Enrique in the last 16 and continued in a similar fashion against Portugal.
His outstanding display in the quarter-final was spotted by Mourinho, who hailed the tenacity of the Angers midfielder.
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“They have individuals: [Yassine] Bounou was an individual during the competition and in this game was the same; [Sofyan] Amrabat, I know him from Italian football, very good player but their No.8, the young boy that plays in France in Angers, Ounahi was absolutely incredible. So they have players, a coach and an incredible spirit," Mourinho said via GOAL.
Ounahi has started all five matches played by the Atlas Lions so far, helping them make history by reaching the semi-finals.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Spanish league leaders FC Barcelona have since expressed interest in the 22-year-old midfielder.
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Yassine Bounou's penalty-saving heroics stole the headlines in the last 16, but it was Ounahi who caught the eye of Spain coach Luis Enrique, following his side's shootout loss to Morocco.
Ounahi is one of four players in the Atlas Lions squad who are a product of the Mohammed VI Academy in Sale, a state-of-the-art facility opened in 2009 to develop the country's young talent.
Mourinho named GOAT of coaches
Earlier, Sports Brief reported that modern football has gradually transitioned from the defend and counter-attack system of yore.
Football managers who still employ old ways of doing things are called outdated, but Carlo Ancelotti has defended the tactics as 'very current'.
The Real Madrid boss, widely regarded as one of the best football managers ever, has named Jose Mourinho 'the greatest' for redefining defensive strategies.