Yassine Bounou, the Moroccan goalkeeper for Sevilla, has opted to trade the European soccer scene for the lucrative opportunities in Saudi Arabia. Al-Hilal, the Saudi club, announced the acquisition of Bounou on Friday, adding him to their roster of top-tier players.
Bounou, who recently played in the UEFA Super Cup game against Manchester City, becomes the second significant signing for Al-Hilal this week, following the headline-grabbing transfer of Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.
“FC Sevilla and Al-Hilal have formalized an arrangement for the transfer of Yassine Bounou to the Asian club,” stated Sevilla in an official release. Al-Hilal, on the other hand, shared a video on X (formerly known as Twitter), in which Bounou communicated in Arabic, expressing his enthusiasm about the new phase of his career.
Though the exact financial terms of the deal remain undisclosed by both sides, Spanish media sources have estimated the transaction to be around 20 million euros ($21.7 million).
Yassine Bounou, commonly referred to as “Bono” on his jersey, initially joined Sevilla from Girona four years ago. His potential move to Real Madrid this season, to serve as backup for the injured Thibaut Courtois, was in the cards, but Real Madrid eventually decided to secure the services of Kepa Arrizabalaga instead.
Notably, the 32-year-old goalkeeper was an integral part of the Moroccan national team’s journey to the semifinals of the 2022 World Cup hosted in Qatar.
Bounou and Neymar are now part of a growing trend among players who are bidding farewell to European football and opting to ply their trade in Saudi Arabia. This group includes Sadio Mane, who joined Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr, Karim Benzema (Al-Ittihad), and Kalidou Koulibaly, who is set to become Bounou’s teammate at Al-Hilal.