Paris – In a journey spanning almost fifteen years since its inception, the Mohammed VI Football Academy has elevated Morocco to new heights on the global football stage, according to a report by Ouest-France on Wednesday.
Established in 2009 and situated in Salé, near the capital Rabat, the academy has become a breeding ground for Moroccan talent, boasting state-of-the-art facilities that rival those of the world’s top football clubs, as highlighted by the French media.
The academy, with its modern and avant-garde approach, offers a diverse range of playing surfaces, including grass, synthetic, indoor, and even beach soccer fields within its expansive 18-hectare complex. Ouest-France notes that the academy’s facilities are on par with, if not superior to, those of European football powerhouses.
Beyond its focus on football development, the Mohammed VI Academy takes a comprehensive approach by providing education to its young talents. Two dormitories and ten classrooms supplement the football training, reflecting a commitment to nurturing well-rounded individuals.
Nasser Larguet, the inaugural director of the academy, emphasized the significance of families entrusting their children to an institution that, despite its nascent stages, displayed promising signs not only in football but also in overall personal development.
The fruits of the academy’s labor are now ripening, with one of the most significant achievements being Morocco’s presence in the semi-final of the 2022 World Cup. Ouest-France points out that among the 23 Moroccan heroes, four honed their skills at the Mohammed VI Academy, including three who secured starting positions—Azzedine Ounahi, Reda Tagnaouti, Youssef En-Nesyri, and Nayef Aguerd.
Not only has the academy contributed to the success of local players, but it has also played a pivotal role in attracting members of the Moroccan diaspora to represent their homeland. The likes of Achraf Hakimi, Hakim Ziyech, Sofyan Amrabat, Noussair Mazraoui, Sofiane Boufal, and Amine Harit have all chosen to play for the Lions of the Atlas, thanks to the academy’s influence, as reported by Nasser Larguet.
Larguet notes a significant turning point where the academy showcased the growing potential of Moroccan football. The allure of representing Morocco has led the best Moroccan players born in Europe to eagerly join the national teams, creating a domino effect of talent funneling back to the country.
In a recent trend, promising players of Moroccan origin have opted for their country of origin over their birthplaces. Examples include Oussama El Azzouzi, born in the Netherlands, and Ilias Akhomach, born in Spain.
While the spotlight is currently on Morocco’s impressive journey to the World Cup semi-final in Qatar, Ouest-France highlights that this accomplishment is just one among many recent successes for the country. The U17 team’s historic qualification for the World Cup and the U23 team’s already secured spot in the Olympic Games underscore Morocco’s rising prominence on the international stage.
Former Technical Director of the Royal Moroccan Football Federation emphasizes, “We have results on the world stage. It pushes players to choose Morocco. Today, Morocco presents a very beautiful showcase,” attributing this success to the foundation laid by the Mohammed VI Football Academy.