Bono: “In football there are moments when it seems that you are in jail” | Sports

Yassine Bonou, known as Bono (Montreal, Canada; 32 years old) is the goalkeeper for Sevilla, who receives Juventus in the second leg of the Europa League semifinals after the 1-1 first leg (Movistar LC, 9:00 p.m.) . The year of the Moroccan national team goalkeeper, World Cup semifinalist in Qatar, has been complicated, like that of his team.

Ask. Born in Canada to a family of emigrants, he returned to Morocco and developed his career in Spain. Where do you feel?

Answer. My place in the world is Casablanca. There are my family, my friends and the club that I love (the Wydad Casablanca). I feel Canadian too and I want to know more about that country. And with Spain, how can I say it, I feel something different. With Spain I have love and gratitude. I am like at home.

Q. Is it true that your father, a physics teacher, did not want you to be a footballer?

R. Yes, my father is a teacher and in Morocco it is very difficult to pursue a football career. But I wanted to be a professional because of the memories I had of footballers like Naybet (he played for Deportivo) or Zaki Badou (Mallorca goalkeeper). It was a challenge that I set myself.

Q. Why do you feel so much admiration for Argentina?

R. Because they are passionate about football and that passion stimulates me. Also because in Morocco there was a time when we consumed a lot of Argentine football. They gave it free on TV. The way we live soccer in Morocco is very similar to how they live it in Argentina.

Q. Champion of Seville with the Europa League and undisputed starter since 2020, José Luis Mendilibar arrived and put him as a substitute in the League. How is he doing?

R. I never felt like a starter or a substitute at Sevilla. I feel like a player who has to prepare to respond to the needs of the club. Even in my best moments here I said that the goal did not belong to Bono. Bono is a guy like everyone else, who came with the idea of ​​succeeding and worked for it.

Q. Is he a good partner?

R. I think so, because I am very transparent and I see things with a certain relativity, beyond what is thought in the world of football. I don’t go out to dinner or hang out with my teammates, but I have never disrespected any of them.

Q. What are you scared of?

R. To loneliness, to feel alone in life.

Q. Does a goalkeeper have to have the soul of a leader?

R. Depends. Maybe yes, but we must ask ourselves what does a leader mean? A leader can be a guy who is always talking and who broadcasts from nearby. A leader can also be an exemplary guy, who doesn’t talk much, who transmits from afar. In our team that leader is Fernando. He transmits a lot more to me than a player who doesn’t stop haranguing or talking. You have to set an example, be respectful with your colleagues and with yourself. That leadership of people like Fernando is the one that I share.

Q. Is it important in football to be a good person?

R. Many people will tell you that in the world of football it is very difficult to make friends. There are some red lines that must be respected and football is like when you have a business. People in the family who think differently from you, who are of another religion or have another mentality, can participate in it, but all that should be set aside because what matters is that the business works. Soccer is the same. What unites colleagues is achieving goals.

Bono poses in the Jesús Navas stadium, in the sports city of Seville.
Bono poses in the Jesús Navas stadium, in the sports city of Seville. Alejandro Ruesga

Q. Is it true that you were on the verge of depression at the World Cup in Qatar?

R. Yes, I had a very bad time. In this football thing there are moments that it seems that you are in a jail, as a slave to a lot of things. You finish training and everything is prohibited. You don’t have to do this, you don’t have to do that… Entering that world, if you’re not mentally prepared, is complicated. At the World Cup I got into a routine of always being in the room, doing the same thing every day, and I felt anxiety. And look, you play against Canada, the country where I was born. And there is that fear, those negative ideas that if a strange goal comes in there they will say that, of course, since it is Canadian… And more with the mentality of Morocco. People believe it. And then came Spain. And of course, people may think that it is the country that pays me and stuff. The World Cup was not easy. In addition, there was then so much success. I was not prepared for such success. And more when you return to Seville and you are in a situation to fight relegation. It was not easy for me.

Q. Did seeing a photo of your son dressed as a goalkeeper motivate you then?

R. Yes, it helped me a lot. It helped me relativize things and see them in a more positive way. Look, there are things in European culture that are wrong. People idealize everything. To be happy you have to have many things, hoard, be successful… And that doesn’t happen in a culture like Morocco or less developed countries.

Q. Is happiness for Sevilla the Europa League and eliminating Juventus?

R. This year we were doing very badly in the League, we had the Europa League, but we considered prioritizing the League. However, now we can get into a final. The change came with En-Nesyri’s goal in Manchester. There is a before and after that goal. Everything that this club has with this competition was generated and an energy emerged that we did not have. We are on time and we have the right to dream. We play against Juventus, a very big team, but we can get through.

Q. What has Mendilibar given to Sevilla?

R. There is a before and after with Mendi. She came along and made things easy for us. The boys felt freer and happier day by day. Soccer belongs to the soccer players. You don’t have to look any further. A coach arrives and everything starts to work and you don’t quite know why. I said it the first day. about Mendi At Sevilla I was going to depend on the footballers because their proposal, which is good, depended on us.

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