He was transformed during this CAN 2021. The one who is most often compared to the Brazilian Neymar is “the savior of Morocco”. But not alone. With her winning goal against Ghana, and her overwhelming entry against the Panthers of Gabon, Sofiane Boufal says indeed that a Lion never dies.
He is short and thin. But his technique has turned and turned the world’s toughest defenses. His Maradones goal with Southampton against West Bromwich in the Premier League perfectly describes what he is capable of when he is in top form.
Coming into play only in the 81st minute, he had liberated St Mary’s stadium five minutes from the end. And how ! After recovering the ball in his own half, he launched into an exceptional rush dribbling everything in front of him, to finish with a shot full of composure. A jewel.
A native of Paris, Boufal has done almost all the rounds of the European championships. At 28, he has already amazed audiences in France, England and Spain with his works. Passed by Lille, Southampton and Celta Vigo, he has, each time, heard Waww! What a genius! Corn. It reminds a bit of a certain Hatim Benarfa.
However, the current member of Angers SCO has probably made this CAN the opportunity not to be missed to say loud and clear: I am here, I can make a difference when my selection needs me.
Indeed, the N°17 now walks in the footsteps of a Lion who has honored this number so much. Marouane Chamakh.
He has, finally, refined his game and his technique, putting them first and foremost for the benefit of the collective. Result: he scores goals to the delight of his Moroccan supporters.
For this playoff match against Malawi (round of 16), Boufal seems determined to continue on the same path. Getting off the national bus on his own as he had boarded it again, he looked focused and confidence emanated from him.
“I am working well to find my marks. I feel good “, he said in a statement to the press after the game against Gabon.
“My mission is to score or give assists”, he put forward, noting that he wants to score even more goals and that the selection go as far as possible.
But as all the credit goes to Sir Alex Ferguson for making the Portuguese machine Cristiano Ronaldo what he has become today, Vahid Halilhodzic had, somewhere, a “little something” to bring into the game “Moroccan Neymar”.
To do this, the Franco-Bosnian has used his way that everyone now knows. He shook him.
“You’re 28, you haven’t scored much in the national team”, he launched during the preparation of the CAN.
“What can we change? », adds the coach.
However, and as a strategist, the coach has adopted the technique ” hot and cold ». “I tried to make him responsible and I told him that it is you who will deliver us”. Absolutely, Mr. Vahid Halilhodzic. With the collective effort of his teammates, Boufal delivered Morocco well.