Badou Zaki: the Legendary Goalkeeper

Badou Zaki is highly appreciated by Moroccans who still remember his achievements with the Moroccan team in many international matches, including the World Cup in Mexico City in 1986, when the Lions managed to qualify for the second round after defeating the Portuguese national team, making Morocco the first Arab-African football team to reach this stage. During this World Cup, Zaki played four international matches and conceded only two goals.

Zaki was born in 1959 in Sidi Kacem, before his family moved to Salé, where he began his career with the junior club of that city before joining Wydad de Casablanca, whose managers quickly realized his undeniable talent.

He started playing for the national team in 1979. The same year, he played his first international match between Morocco and Algeria. He left in 1992, after 13 years of unwavering commitment to the national jersey. It is this experience that has made him one of the symbols of sport in Morocco, alongside other names such as Said Aouita, Ahmed Faras, Mohammed Timoumi or Abdelmajid Dolmi.

Zaki was one of the first African players to start a professional career after joining the Spanish club of Mallorca, which was qualified with him in 1990 for the Spanish Cup final for the first time in its history. He has shone with the same club at several important sporting events such as La Liga. For this reason, the officials appointed him captain of the team, just as they erected a statue on the island of Mallorca in recognition of his achievements.

After his retirement, Zaki decided to pursue a coaching career after studying coaching in Great Britain. He coached the Moroccan team from 2004 to 2005, when he led it to the finals and almost made the Moroccans happy at the African Cup. In 2014, he was reappointed a coach of the national team by the Moroccan Football Federation under pressure from the public, who particularly appreciated him.

Zaki has also coached a number of famous clubs such as Wydad, Olympic Safi, Fateh, Chabab Mohammedia, Sporting Sale, Kawkab de Marrakech and Maghreb Fassi, as well as the Algerian club Belouzdad.

Zaki has received several awards and honors, including the African Player of the Year 1986, the Best Foreign Player in the Spanish League that same year, as well as the Best Liga Goalkeeper title from 1986 to 1990. He has also been named one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

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