By BBC Sport
Egyptian side Zamalek have lured Morocco international striker Khalid Boutaïb from Turkish club Yeni Malatyaspor.
The 31-year-old joins on a three-and-a-half year deal for an undisclosed fee.
He leaves a club in third place in the Turkish league after scoring four goals in 16 appearances for them this season.
"I'm happy to join Zamalek and wear the white shirt and I will do my best to make the fans and board happy," Boutaib said as he was signed.
Boutaib's performances at the World Cup in Russia, where he played twice scored against Spain in a 2-2 draw, caught the eye of the Zamalek chairman Mansour Mortada.
"We watched Boutaïb with the Morocco national team and he impressed us so we decided to sign him," Mortada told Zamalek's official website.
Zamalek are currently top of the league in Egypt eight points ahead of second-placed Pyramids with 18 matches left to play in the season.
Morocco international Manuel Da Costa joined Saudi giants Ittihad Jeddad coming from Turkish league leaders Istanbul Basaksehir.
Da Costa is Al-Ittihad’s first signing in the January transfer window in an attempt to save their horrific season.
Coached by former West Ham manager Slevan Bilic Al-Ittihad are currently 15th on the Saudi League table with just six points.
The Moroccan defender played 15 games this season with Istanbul Basaksehir scoring three goals and assisting one.
The 32-year-old started his career with French side AS Nancy in 2006. He then moved to Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven where he stayed for two years and won two Eredivisies.
He then moved to several clubs around Europe including Fiorentina, Sampdoria, West Ham, Lokomotiv Moscow and Turkish side Sivasspor.
Da Costa also spent two years with Greek giants Olympiacos where he won two Greek leagues.
He played a total of 25 international games with the Morocco national team and scored one goal against Uzbekistan in a friendly. He also featured in all of their group stage games during the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
It is no surprise that footballer Hakim Ziyech and Taekwondo artist Fatima Zahra Abou Fares’ came out on top of SNRT journalists’ picks for top athletes this year.
By Morocco World News -
Rabat – Moroccan journalists have picked footballer Hakim Ziyech and Taekwondo artist Fatima Zahra Abou Fares as the best Moroccan male and female athletes of 2018.
Forty Moroccan journalists in the National Broadcasting and Television Company’s (SNRT) sports section voted for their favorite Moroccan athletes of 2018 and released the results on Sunday.
Ajax Amsterdam’s Ziyech collected 88 points, surpassing Borussia Dortmund’s Achraf Hakimi, who obtained 31 points.
Ziyech delivered an outstanding performance in 2018. He received many awards, including the “Dutch Footballer of the Year” and “Golden Lion of 2018.”
Hakimi was the first Moroccan to ever win the Champions League title. He delivered a solid performance in the World Cup with the Moroccan national football team.
Juventus’ Head Coach Massimiliano Allegri said that Morocco’s Atlas Lion Mehdi Benatia is a key player in the Italian giant.
By Morocco World News -
Rabat –The head coach of Italy’s Old Lady, Massimiliano Allegri, defended Moroccan footballer Mehdi Benatia after he was benched for several key games.
The coach told reporters at a press conference that Benatia is an important player and letting him go would be a “mistake.”
He also said that Benatia played six games with the football team. He added that the footballer was not always feeling well, but he remains a key player for Juventus.
Allegri also shut down rumors he was leaving Juventus, saying that he still has a year and a half left of his contract.
He also told reporters that he is happy with the Italian giant.
Earlier this week, Benatia reassured his fans that hard times will pass, saying that a “lion never dies, he sleeps.”
His message for his fans illustrates his determination to work hard to improve his skills and move his career forward.
Benatia thanked his fans for their support in this “difficult period.”
The footballer joined Juventus from Bayern Munich, initially on loan in 2016. He was later signed permanently by the club in the 2017-18 season.
Benatia is also the captain of the Moroccan national football team.
Achraf Hakimi has been something of a revelation for Borussia Dortmund fans. The young Moroccan fullback has provided the Germans with a newfound sense of energy and athleticism on the right AND the left, helping propel the Yellow and Black to the top of the Bundesliga table.
In an interview with BVB Matchday Magazine, Achraf talks about his adjustment to life in a new country and explains why he decided to move to Dortmund.
Highlights From The Interview
You came here half a year ago? What can you tell us about this time? (1:46)
Achraf: “I’m very happy to play for Dortmund. It was difficult for me to adjust because I came from another country and from another language, so I had to adjust and do all this stuff. The truth is that it was a difficult process, but now I’m very content and happy.
Why did you want to go to another country? (2:16)
Achraf: “I grew up in all the Real Madrid youth teams and the truth is that it has been a difficult process, and I needed a change in my personal and footballing life. I needed to grow as a footballer with a lot more minutes and to achieve big things in my career, and it was the right moment to do it. Currently everything is going great and I hope it continues for much longer.”
You became a football player at Real Madrid, where winning is part of the club’s self-conception. Did you bring that self-confidence with you to Dortmund? (7:47)
Achraf: “Yes, I am always a winner, I am always very competitive. I know that Madrid is a club that inculcates this into you. But, always in my life, even with my friends, when I play on the Playstation or whatever, I always hate to lose and I get really upset. So, also in my personal life, I like to be a winner and be competitive.”
What are the differences between La Liga and the Bundesliga? If there are any, what is the biggest one? (8:35)
Achraf: “In the Spanish league, you play a little more of a possession game. But here, I believe that some teams also try to have the ball. But I believe that the difference here is that they play more back and forth. In Spain, you play with a little bit more control of the ball.”
What’s typically Spanish and what’s typically Moroccan about you? (9:10)
Achraf: “What’s typically Moroccan about me, is my religion and all the food my mom always cooked when I was young. What’s typically Spanish about me... are my friends and that I grew up in Spain and that I know a little bit about the Spanish life.”