Youssef En-Nesyri is a 22-year-old international Moroccan footballer who plays as a striker for the Spanish club CD Leganes.
Rabat – Born in Fez, in June 1997, Youssef En-Nesyri grew up dreaming of becoming a footballer. He was first introduced to the sport in the football club Maghreb AS, before joining Mohammed VI Football Academy and officially beginning his youth career.
In 2015, at the age of only 18, En-Nesyri joined the Spanish football team Málaga CF for a $125,000 fee.
Nasser Larguet, head of the Mohammed VI Football Academy said at the time that, given En-Nesyri’s training and ability, the young footballer would be offered many opportunities like that in the future.
“Clubs must understand that at age 18, it’s time to give these kids a chance,” said Larguet. “Out of 18 players of the 97-98 generation who have followed the curriculum of the Mohamed VI academy, 17 have signed a pro contract. Among our greatest players, we have (…) En-Nesyri.”
Assigned to the reserve team, Atlético Malagueño, En-Nesryi scored a goal in his first match against Guadix CF in April 2016 and continued to impress by scoring in the team’s next three games against CD Huétor Tájar, le River Melilla, and FC Vilafranca.
These performances that rendered him a full member of Málaga CF after the team management’s quest on promoting him.
In July 2016, En-Nesyri was included by Juan de Ramos’, the team’s manager, in the pre-season squad, where he remarkably scored a double in a 4-0 friendly win against Algeciras CF.
In August of the same year, after having scored six goals during the pre-season, En-Nesyri agreed to a contract extension with the team until 2020.
En-Nesyri scored his first professional goal on 21 September 2016, netting the winner in a 2–1 home victory against SD Eibar after coming on as a substitute for Brazilian footballer Charles Dias de Oliveira.
After his descended to the second division with the club of Málaga CF, En-Nesyri attracted the interest of the Spanish club CD Leganes, which competes in La Liga.
In August 2018, En-Nesyri signed a five-year contract with CD Leganes in the main category, for $10 million, beating any previous record in the history of the Spanish team.
His move to CD Leganes rendered En-Nesyri the most expensive footballer ever trained in Morocco.
In November 2018, Mauricio Pellegrino, the coach of CD Leganes, praised En-Nesyri for his talent, noting that he belongs to the team’s future.
“We trust Youssef,” Pellegrino said. “He will be a striker for many years in La Liga. En-Nesyri offers different alternatives to Carrillo and Santos. He has talent and youth.”
In February 2019, En-Nesyri scored a hat-trick in a game against Real Betis, becoming the first Leganes player to do so in La Liga.
During the 2017-2018 La Liga season, En-Nesyri managed to contribute with four goals in 25 league appearances, although he suffered a serious injury.
After representing Morocco at the under-20 football team, El-Nesyri was invited to the full squad by the Moroccan national team’s manager, Hervé Renard, in August 2016 for friendlies against Albania and São Tomé and Príncipe.
He made his debut against Albania nine days later, starting in a 0–0 draw at the Loro Boriçi Stadium in Shkodër.
En-Nesyri was included in the squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and scored against Spain in the group stages, after coming on as a late substitute.
En-Nesyri is currently in Egypt with the Atlas Lions competing in the Africa Cup of Nations (CAN)2019. The team is now entering the knockout stage of the tournament with 9 points after having beaten Namibia, Ivory Coast, and South Africa.
En-Nesyri marked an outstanding performance in the match against Ivory Coast in Cairo, scoring Morocco’s opener and securing the Atlas Lions victory with a 1-0.
A picture of him kneeling down in prayer after scoring the team’s only goal in Cairo went viral on Friday, June 28, 2019.