Madrid, 13 Jan. The Moroccan national team players are in fashion. They appear on the shopping list of many clubs. All, without exception, cost more after the World Cup in Qatar. His historic fourth position, based on an impeccable collective game, has not left anyone behind. As a whole, they have increased in value by an average of 77.2 percent and names like Ounahi, Amrabat or Cheddira have risen more than media names like Mbappé, Julián Álvarez or Enzo Fernández.
Once the World Cup is over, the latest update of the market value of the specialized website Transfermarkt left some numbers that will applaud the teams that have one of the Moroccans who made history. In the middle of the winter market, they rub their hands before some future operations that will leave good benefits in their coffers.
ANGERS EXPECTS MILLIONS
One of the clubs that has the most to win is Angers, the current bottom team in France’s Ligue 1 and which could receive a good economic injection if it currently sells one of the players that has appreciated the most after the World Cup in Qatar. It is none other than Azzedine Ounahi, the famous “eight” that Luis Enrique highlighted after Spain’s elimination in the round of 16.
“I was pleasantly surprised by number 8, I don’t remember his name, I’m sorry, my goodness! Where did that boy come from? He plays very well,” the former Spanish coach said at a press conference.
Ounahi, the player Luis Enrique was referring to, was the man who covered the most kilometers in that game. In addition, he recovered nine balls, was the second to win the most duels (7) and generated and destroyed game in abundance in midfield.
His match against Spain was not a coincidence. The Angers midfielder put in similar performances throughout the tournament. And, for this reason, it went from having a market value of 3.50 million euros to 15. It increased in value by 328.5 percent, an astonishing figure considering that the revaluation of stars like Jude Bellingham rose by ten percent (it went from 100 to 110 million euros).
But Angers doesn’t just have Ounahi. In his squad the figure of Sofiane Boufal also shines, who was the protagonist in three of the matches that Morocco played in Qatar. He played 209 minutes and had time to raise his market value from 8 to 10 million euros, a revaluation of 25 percent. As will happen with Ounahi, his days are numbered at Angers, who will cash in with his two big names in the World Cup.
AMRABAT, GOOD PIECE FOR ATLÉTICO DE MADRID
Another of the Moroccan players who has benefited after the World Cup has been Sofyan Amrabat. The Fiorentina player has raised his price like foam. Specifically, 150 percent. From having a market value of 10 million euros before the ball began to roll in Qatar, it has come to cost 25.
His name sounds for clubs like Atlético de Madrid, which has just loaned Joao Félix to Chelsea and has a place for the Moroccan engine and revelation player of the tournament. The Moroccan midfielder amazed the football planet with his spectacular displays, he would fit into Simeone’s scheme to give solidity to the rojiblanco midfield.
IN-NESYRI AND THE WEST HAM
At Valladolid they dream of striker Walid Cheddira. His market value has risen 140 per cent, from €2.5m to €6m, but the 15 goals he’s scored for Bari in Italy’s Serie B this season seem worth much more. The 8 million that Rolando Nazario’s club has offered, it seems that they are not enough.
Sevilla is trying to retain another valued player: Youssef En-Nesyri, author of the goal that eliminated Portugal in the quarterfinals and the goal that sentenced Canada in the group stage. Before the World Cup, his value was 12 million euros. Now, he is 15 and, although as EFE learned, he insists on staying in Seville, West Ham has requested a loan with a mandatory purchase option at the end of the season for 25 million euros.
HAKIMI, ZIYECH AND MAZRAOUI, THE BRIGHTEST STARS
And the stars of Morocco? How has the World Cup suited Achraf Hakimi (PSG), Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea) and Noussair Mazraoui (Bayern)? As has happened with the rest of his teammates, his price has also gone up.
Hakimi, included in the FIFA eleven, has a value of 70 million euros for the 65 he was listed before the World Cup (an increase of 7.6 percent); Ziyech has gone from costing 17 million euros to 20 (his revaluation of him reaches 17.6 percent); and Mazraoui, from 25 to 28 to revalue 12 percent.
The case of the three is different from that of the rest of the Moroccan players. It is very difficult for them to leave their clubs, but in Italy they place Ziyech at Milan this winter market. It would be a good acquisition for the current Serie A champion, who would enjoy the quality of a very complete midfielder.
The rest of the Moroccan footballers are not far behind. Lesser-known names such as Yahia Attiyat (Wyad AC), Selim Amallah (Standard Liège) or Abdelhamid Sabiri (Sampdoria) have also raised their prices. The first, from 1.50 million euros to 2.50; the second, from 3.50 to 6.50; and the third, from 3 to 4).
Transfermarkt has not yet updated the value of the total number of players from Morocco, which will undoubtedly cost more money. The goalkeeper and hero during many phases of the World Cup, Yassine Bounou (Seville), the center-back Nayef Aguerd (West Ham), Achraf Dari (Stade Brestois) and Jawad El Yamiq (Valladolid) will rise in price.
Not all of them grabbed as many spotlights as Enzo Fernández, Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi, Emiliano Martínez, Jude Bellingham, Alexis Mac Allister, Josko Gvuardiol. Like the Moroccans, they were revalued after their performances in the World Cup.
But none of their teams put so many players in the showcase at the same time. Morocco forged a choral group of talents who, together, have managed to raise their cachet to be part of the market with all the spotlight they deserve. Now, the Lions of the Atlas will also roar in the offices.
Juan Jose Lahuerta