Rabat - Moroccan young football star Ayoub El Kaabi has shared his life goals with football fans, including his dream to play in a big European championship.
Rabat – Moroccan young football star Ayoub El Kaabi has shared his life goals with football fans, including his dream to play in a big European championship.
For now, though El Kaabi seems content in China, where he spoke in a recent interview with his new club, Hebei Fortune.
Fascinated by the Asian country, El Kaabi said that China is a “huge country, its people are welcoming and in the street you get the impression that everyone is busy, not like in Africa or even in Europe.”
He added that his wife also “feels good in China.”
China’s football is ‘very technical’
El Kaabi said that he still needs to adapt to the Chinese championship. “I certainly scored and made two assists, but the heat plays tricks on me. It is complicated sometimes.”
He also commented on his need to learn the Chinese playing style. “I cannot force them to play as I want. It is up to me to make the effort.”
El Kaabi said that Chinese play is “very technical.” Before moving, he did not think there were many differences between Chinese and African football. But, according to El Kaabi now, there is not much in common between the two continents.
“There, [in Morocco] we worked a little more physically.”
‘We missed a chance against Iran’
The footballer also said that he wants to face off with Brazillian footballer Paulinho as he is an “impressive player, and I really want to compete him. I wanted to face Brazil in the World Cup, but we were unlucky to see the second round.”
El Kaabi expressed disappointment and regret on the World Cup. The player said he could have done better. “We missed a chance against Iran.”
He added that he believes that Morocco’s football will give him a second chance in another World Cup.
“I am only 25, in 4 years I could bring my experience to the national team.”
Speaking about his long term goals, the football player said he wanted to “learn, to become better by evolving. Once I am ready, I hope to fulfill my dream of playing in a big European Championship.”
‘I had a difficult childhood’
When asked when he knew he would become a professional, the footballer said that he made his decision at the age of 16.
“It was difficult at first, I was doing odd jobs next door. I even sold salt, but a player coach Youness called me, and asked me to focus solely on football to achieve my goals.”
Joining the Atlas Lions was a proud moment for El Kaabi. “I was hoping to make a place for myself in Botola Pro [the Moroccan league] … everything went so fast, but it’s the result of serious and hard work.”
He said that his financial situation is “much better. My family lives well even if I am thousands of miles away I feel that I give a hand and it is perfect thanks to football, my whole family is optimistic for the future.”
Speaking of family, El Kaabi said he wanted two or three children. “I had a difficult childhood, but everything is better thanks to work.”
El Kaabi made his international debut for Morocco on January 13 during the 2018 (CHAN) match against Mauritania, scoring three goals. The footballer was named Man of The Match on January 31 after Morocco’s match against Libya during CHAN’s semi-final match. Morocco won the game 3-1.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) chose El Kaabi as the best player of the tournament due to the world-class performance and pure talent he displayed throughout the entire tournament scoring 9 goals in 5 matches, making him the top goal scorer in the entire history of the competition.