Moroccan players monopolized the individual awards at the 2021 African Nations Championship (CHAN), receiving overwhelming commendations from both fans and commentators.
In parallel with their collective triumph, Moroccan players earned the three individual awards distributed at the end of the continental tournament: Man of the Competition, Top Scorer, and Best Goalkeeper.
Raja Casablanca winger Soufiane Rahimi won both the Man of the Competition and the Top Scorer awards. Having scored five goals in the tournament, the 24-year-old player has significantly contributed to Morocco’s triumph.
Many observers believe that the 2021 CHAN could be Rahimi’s ticket to Europe. Playing in a major European league is the ultimate goal for many local Moroccan players, but, over the years, only a few have been able to make the journey from the local Botola league to European clubs.
The Best Goalkeeper award also went to a Raja Casablanca player, Anas Zniti. Having played in continental competitions for over a decade, the 32-year-old goalkeeper expertly guided his defensive line throughout the tournament.
Zniti conceded only three goals in six games and he was able to maintain a clean sheet four times in the competition. In the final game against Mali, especially, Zniti made several saves allowing his teammates to remain confident. His performance yesterday earned him the Man of the Match award as well.
In addition to the individual awards, the tournament’s organizer, CAF, nominated five Moroccan players among the Best XI of the Tournament — the best player in each position.
The Moroccan players that appeared on the list were central defender Abdelmounaim Boutouil, left-back Hamza El Moussaoui, central midfielder Yahya Jabrane, left-winger Soufiane Rahimi, and striker Ayoub El Kaabi.