Sevilla’s Moroccan goalkeeper, Yassine Bounou, has become the most recent prominent figure to leave European football for the lucrative opportunities in Saudi Arabia. The signing with Al-Hilal was announced by both clubs on Friday.
Bounou, who played in the recent UEFA Super Cup match against Manchester City, is the second major acquisition for Al-Hilal this week, coming after Neymar’s transfer from Paris Saint-Germain.
Sevilla stated, “FC Sevilla and Al-Hilal have come to an agreement for the transfer of goalkeeper Bounou to the Asian team.” Meanwhile, Al-Hilal shared a video on X (formerly Twitter) in which the player spoke in Arabic.
Although the specific financial details were not disclosed by either team, Spanish media estimated the deal’s value at 20 million euros ($21.7 million).
Known as “Bono” on his jersey, Bounou moved to Sevilla from Girona four years ago and had been linked with a potential move to Real Madrid this season as a backup for the injured Thibaut Courtois, before Real Madrid decided to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga instead.
The 32-year-old goalkeeper was also a significant contributor to the Moroccan team’s journey to the semi-finals of the 2022 World Cup held in Qatar.
Bounou and Neymar are part of a growing trend of players leaving European football for opportunities in Saudi Arabia. This includes Sadio Mane, who joined Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr, as well as Karim Benzema (Al-Ittihad) and Kalidou Koulibaly, who will be Bounou’s teammate at Al-Hilal.