Rabat – Morocco’s investment in its human capital and infrastructure in the field of football is beginning to pay off. Among the investments aiming to reshape national football to make it competitive and sustainable is the Mohammed VI Football Academy in Sale, near Rabat.
In 12 years of existence, the Mohammed VI Football Academy has succeeded in preparing junior footballers that caught the attention of the biggest clubs in Europe and raised the Moroccan flag higher in international competitions.
In an article titled “Morocco: the Mohammed VI Academy is Causing Europe to panic!” Foot Mercato lauded the Moroccan academy’s impressive efforts in training graduates with a track record of performing at the most competitive level of elite football.
Graduates of the Moroccan academy now performing in Europe include Sevilla’s in-demand forward Youssef Ennesyri, Stade Rennais FC’s defender Nayef Aguerd, and Schalke 04’s Hamza Mendyl.
Foot Mercato mentioned that the academy has also secured a 3-year technical cooperation with French club Olympique Lyonnais to assist it in its endeavors to make its young graduates as eye-catching and world-class as possible.
Now attracting sustained interest from a number of European clubs is 19-year-old Tawfik Bentayeb. The young player impressed during the 2019 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations; he scored five goals during the competition and was elected man of the match on numerous occasions.
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The performances of Bentayeb have caught the attention of several French clubs, including Angers SCO, FC Lorient, and Sochaux. Also in the race to sign the young player is prominent Moroccan club Raja Casablanca (RCA).
During last year’s Mercato (football’s transfer market), France’s Olympique de Marseille recruited Moroccan young player Oussama Targhalline.
Another promising young Moroccan footballer on the radar of European clubs is Anas Nanah. The 18-year-old left-winger already passed his fitness test with Olympique de Marseille (OM) in 2020, but was not recruited due to his young age.
Nanah’s chances of joining the French club are still high, however. OM still considers singing the young Moroccan as a priority, according to Foot Mercato.
Topping the list of European giants’ increasing interest in the Mohammed VI Academcy’s graduates has been the recent news of FC Barcelona’s quest for the services of Mohammed Amine Essahel.
The 18-year old midfielder is considered to be the best player in the Moroccan football academy.
According to reports, FC Barcelona was genuinely interested in signing Essahel, but the Spanish football giant reportedly gave up on its quest because of the high price ($608,162) the Mohammed VI Academy asked for the young playmaker. Real Sociedad, another top-tier Spanish club, is also reported to be interested in signing Essahel.