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Those who saw him playing say: without the war, Larbi Ben Barek would have been recognized as one of the greatest players in the history of football. He had all the talents and gifts: touch of the ball, vision play, heading, dribbling, stature, and style.
Poor and orphaned at an early age, Larbi was an attacker who had a dream that he would later transfer to the field with some of the most unbelievably agile goals and passes ever seen in the football world. His success with the US Moroccan team playing with players as great as Zatelli and Janin, Just Fontaine, Chicha and the Mahjoub brothers attracted the attention of the Olympic of Marseille which he joined in 1938.
Arrived unknown during summer 38, Kohut scored at the first minute a goal laid on by Ben Barek who scored 2 more by the time, the first game of the season against Racing of Paris, was over. And what a match it was (5-2,September 4). He overwhelmed Sindelar of Austria, Sarosi of Hungary and the French selection of Veinante, Nicolas, and Heisserer.
Three months later, on the 4th of December in Naples, Larbi the-exceptionally gifted played his first game for France against Italy who were double world champions (0-1). The team of France at the following game thrashed Poland (4-0, January 22.1939), he offered a goal on a plate to Zatelli with this comment: "Here for you, Mr Mario..."
Larbi was held in high esteem, and enjoyed tremendous respect that, when his club stade de France wanted to transfer him to Atletico of Madrid in 1948, a French journalist wrote “Sell the Arch of Triumph or the Eiffel Tower, but do not sell Ben Barek”. Larbi left France and played for the prestigious Atletico of Madrid.
There, he formed with Herrera the deadliest attacking force in Spanish football history and rediscovered the path to the net, scoring 9 goals during his second game against Racing Santander, 56 goals in 113 appearances before he sealed his spell at Spain with two Champion titles 1950/51.
At the ripe old age of 40, he played the 1954 French Cup final with the O.M. A few months later, (October 16,1954) France faced in Hanover Germany the new world champion, who they ripped apart, beating them 3-1 with Larbi who played for France for 15 interval years. Exceptional longevity due without any doubt to a very healthy way of life, where alcohol and the tobacco were shunned. At the time of his return to Marseilles (1954-56), he lived in Périer Boulevard and walked everyday to the Vélodrome stadium for his training sessions. He never refused a snap shot or a word of encouragement from his fans. In 1992 September 16th, the Black Pearl died in Casablanca.
Larbi Ben Barek carried the torch of legends during his time with Olympic of Marseilles, Atletico of Madrid and French national team. He carried it with grace, dignity and a great love for the game. In return the Moroccans and footballing World legends such as Pele, who offered him his famous number 10 shirt, had taken Larbi Ben Barek into their hearts forever. And it goes without saying that Ben Barek was without any shadow of doubt - the definitive footballing genius.
Abderrahmane Belmahjoub, enjoyed a long and fruitful career. He made his debut the Sporting Union of Casablanca, then he left to play the French championship with the prestigious team of Racing Club of Paris.
Better fortune accompanied his move to Nice, where he was part of a French Cup winning side in 1953 against Olympic Marseilles. Impressed with his prolific form, he got his first call-up to the national side of France and thus became the second Moroccan, after Ben Barek, to have played with the French selection.
With France, Belmahjoub showed his real class when France faced Spain. Abderrahmane was the author of the single goal. His greatest moment came in 1954 when he played in the World Cup final in Switzerland, where he shone brightly, making history as the first African and Arab to play a World Cup Final.
Belmahjoub went back to Morocco, and played some matches with the team of Wydad and the national selection Before ending his career.
Ahmed Farras was regarded, throughout his career, as one of Morocco’s most gifted footballers. Since his debut For Chabab of Mohammedia, he showed early signs of creativity, which made of him, very quickly, the most significant element in his club.
His inventive approach to the game helped Chabab become the major Moroccan club footballing force during the 70’s. With his left foot, he scored extraordinary goals and beat the best goalkeepers of the national Championship.
Ahmed Farras is regarded as the best centre forward that Moroccan football ever knew. He forged, for himself And his team, a great glory which made it worthy to carry, of 1971 to 1979, the armband of captain of the Moroccan national selection. But, he did not carry out his dream to play world cup of 1974, when he was at the peak of his career. He took part in the Olympic Games of Munich in 1972. In 1976 that he captained Morocco to the African Cup Final and lifted it.
This was the greatest achievement of Moroccan national team at the African level, which would later bring him widespread personal acclaim in Africa and Europe, and made him the best African player of the year. As you might expect, Farras was awarded the African Golden Ball which was the first.
Abdelmajid Dolmy, born in Casablanca, played most of his career for his hometown club Raja. He was only 17 when he was called up to the national team squad for the first time and stayed there for the next 18 years.With an eye for the perfect pass, Dolmy is probably the best midfielder in Moroccan soccer history.
Nicknamed "maalem''the maestro" he was a gentleman on and off the field and never got sent off or suspended in his long career,
much thanks to his ability to read the game. He was well-liked by everyone involved in soccer as he always was abiding the rules and appeared with class on the field.
With Raja of Casablanca, he was part of some of the best clubteams African football has ever seen. In 1986, he was instrumental as Morocco outplayed every team that stood in their way until the round 16 when West Germany won 1-0.He retired from the national team 2 years after the World Cup. Dolmy is laureate of the UNESCO fair play prize.
Aziz Bouderbala is probably the most talented dribbler ever to grace a Moroccan football pitch, with the ability to beat opponents with skill, footwork, and dazzling speed. He would cut through the tightest defences like a hot knife through butter, creating chances either for himself - or for his teammates. Bouderbala was supremely confident in his own ability, and he had the cheek to try absolutely anything, he knew he was brilliant. when he is on the pitch and he has the ball at his feet, he can only be described as imaginative, creative and a true ambassador for the game - football.
He could take the knocks and abuse from the harder, but less talented players who would deliberately try to put him out of the game with their blatant attempts to tackle him down. He was always eager to get the ball at his feet, and if he ever lost possession, he would work hard to win it back. He was born in 1960 in Casablanca, and joined Wydad in 1979, turned professional in 1984,and played for Cion club in Switzerlad,for Lyon and Matra Racing of Paris which 1990,he managed to take to the French Cup final and lost 2-1 against Monpelleier despite Ginola's goal. Bouderbala was included in Morocco's 1986 World Cup squad as a 26-year-old and impressed many with his dribbles, tireless running and commitment. Morocco reached the second phase before being knocked out by West-Germany
Morocco has produced good goalkeepers over the years. The best of them all was Badou Zaki. He was among the first goalkeepers to command the entire penalty area and did it with unmatched confidence and reliability. He was equally impressive on the goal line with stunning reflexes and plasticity, which made him nearly flawless. It was at Wydad club he started to show his class. In 1979,he became the goalkeeper of the Moroccan selection, which was in renewal phase.
He won several titles on the level of the national Championship and the Cup of the Throne. Zaki experienced his greatest weeks as a footballer when he conceded 2 goals in Mexico 86 .He pulled off what many considered one the finest saves in the history of world cup. Morocco played West Germany in round 16, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge kicked the ball down towards Zaki who managed to catch it with his outstreched hands. Despite this save, Morocco lost 1-0. The famous Luis Arconnada hailed Zaki as the best keeper in the world.
One of the proudest moments in his career was when he won the “African Player of the Year” award in 1986. He stayed on in Spain after the 1986 World Cup with Mallorca, where he added his name to an elite group of keepers who have taken on legendary status for their specialist shoot-outs saves skills.
The Spanish media lavished praise on goalkeeper Zaki after his heroics saving Sanchez and Koeman penalties. In 1991, he inspired Mallorca club to a first ever-Spanish Cup final, but unfortunately failed to win the title.
Zaki is certainly one of the most gifted goalkeepers ever to play the game, and although he played one world cup, he still ranks among the list of all-time greats such Lev Yahcine, Banks, Zoff and Mayer.
Possessing skills of a dreamlike quality, he mesmerized the Moroccans and Africans with his audacious and fearless dribbling which, together with sublime vision and quality finishing, made him nearly unplayable.
Mohammed Timoumi was almost totally left-footed, but without doubt compares favourably with other attacking greats of international football including Bagio, Hagi, and Valderrama. Timoumi, born in Rabat, he was spotted by les FAR whilst playing for Twarga united club. He made his league debut for les Far at the age of twenty and amazingly, within a year he gained full national recognition. On the international front, Timoumi's magnificent goals, all around brilliance, helped Morocco gain the 1983 Mediterranean Games golden medal against Turkey 3-0.
In 1985, he took les FAR team to their first ever African League Championship. In 1986 World Cup he rose to international prominence as an elegant and technically gifted footballer, laying on one of the goals in a 3-1 vic tory against Portugal which led him to win African Golden Ball later in the same year. He had a short spell with Spanish club Murcia, and another Belgian team without as much success as being an amateur player. He returned to Morocco in 1989. With the exception of Ahmed Farras, nobody shined brighter than Timoumi in carrying Morocco’s number 10 shirt.
It was not only his talent that makes him one of the greatest Moroccan players of all time; it was his attitude, and sportsmanship. He is the perfect role model for up and coming footballers.
The master of the sweeper's position, Noureddine Naybet achieved legendary status in the game operating as probably the best defender Africa has ever seen. Elegant and confident on the ball, tactically superb and a great leader, Naybet is a superstar in every sense of the word. He won more than a century of caps for Morocco and captained his country in 2 World Cups.He has always organized the Moroccan defense with a skill worthy of an international star of his caliber.
Started out with WAC Casablanca, where he won three domestic championships and the African Champions League in 1992. Subsequently spent a season in France with FC Nantes Atlantique, and then two years with Sporting Club de Portugal - winning the Portuguese Cup in 1994/95.
In 1996 he moved to La Coruña and became a stalwart of a Deportivo side chasing honours at home and in Europe. Helped the Galician club secure a first Spanish title in 1999/00, and was also part of the team that beat Real Madrid CF to lift the Spanish Cup two seasons late. His powerful long runs out of central defense had probably never seen before... Rarely, that we find a sweeper whose job is not only being in his, opponents' half of the field, but scoring as well. Noureddine Naybet is one of very few Moroccan players at top international level to have spent 6 years career at one club. At present, he is still playing for Deportivo La Coruna.
hele mooie verhalen van hele bekende spelers die ik een jaar geleden allemaal nog niet kende op bouderbala en zaki na en wedden dat over 15 jaar zairi in datzelfde rijtje staat
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