Munich – FC Bayern had tried and caught Noussair Mazraoui for several months. On Wednesday afternoon, the Moroccan was practically a Munich player.
“There are still a few things to do. But he is a player who will help us and strengthen our team,” said Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic with satisfaction on “tz” and “Münchner Merkur”.
Once these details are clarified, the 24-year-old Moroccan will officially join the record champions, thus closing a gap in the squad along with Benjamin Pavard. He is the right back that Bayern have been looking for for a long time and have now found. According to Salihamidzic, Mazraoui is “the type of player that the whole of Europe was looking for. We are very happy that he has decided to join us for the next few years.”
Mazraoui: Right up until the Champions League semi-finals
The Munich team even gets this obviously highly coveted player for free, as Mazraoui’s contract with his former club Ajax Amsterdam expires on June 30, 2022. A trade, and that for a position where those responsible for Bayern identified a need for action for too long since.
After more than four years with Ajax professionals, the twelve-time national player for “Löwen vom Atlas” comes to Säbener Straße as a fairly established player, where according to media reports he will have to sign a four-year contract until 2026. Mazraoui’s time at Ajax has been eventful, including three league titles and two cup victories with the best-known Dutch club, but also a series of setbacks.
Eye injury puts Mazraoui out of action for several weeks
Mazraoui was right in the middle of Ajax’s biggest international success in recent years. As Amsterdam advanced to the semi-finals of the Champions League with young stars such as Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Donny van de Beek in the 2018/19 season and had to suffer a last-minute defeat against Tottenham, the upcoming Munich player. also stood up the place. It was the season where Mazraoui got his breakthrough under coach Erik ten Hag. Ten Hag also stuck with Mazraoui as the latter missed 15 competitive matches in the 2020/21 season due to an eye injury.
“It was harder than my previous injuries,” Mazraoui said on “Ajax TV” about this time – he had been hit hard by a ball in the face: “I could not do anything at all. I was only allowed to rest and not do some intense thing “. Otherwise he would have risked losing his sight. Not even sessions in the gym were possible. “It was too dangerous,” he said, “and there were too many risks involved. You only have two eyes and you will use them all your life.” Doctors only lifted the sports ban after six weeks.
Before Death: Star Advisor Mino Raiola signs Mazraoui deal
After Mazraoui finally established itself with Ajax professionals, the North African born in Leiderdorp (a city of 30,000 inhabitants between The Hague and Amsterdam) continued to make a name for itself. At the time, among others, star consultant Mino Raiola became aware of the talent’s rapid development and finally took him under his wings.
Raiola, who recently died of a serious illness at just 54 years old, is said to have helped develop the Mazraoui deal in the weeks and months leading up to his death. According to media reports, Munich had initially contacted him about another Ajax talent: Ryan Gravenberch – also advised by the Italian agency. The 19-year-old may also end up on Säbener Straße this summer. As part of the talk about Gravenberch, the name Mazraoui came up, which various top clubs apparently were already interested in at the time.
Probably because of Nagelsmann’s call: U-turn of Mazraoui
Due to the consistently good performance and the expiring contract, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan and FC Barcelona, among others, are said to have handled a commitment. But the contract was awarded to Bayern – and probably not entirely by chance. According to Italian transfer market expert Fabrizio Romano, Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann personally took care of this person.
In March, Nagelsmann contacted the desired player from Amsterdam by telephone and of course convinced him in these conversations. The direct contact between the right-back and the coach is said to have led to a change of heart in Mazraoui, who already at that time wanted to sign Barca. In addition, Erik ten Hag, who once coached the Bayern amateurs on Säbener Straße, would apparently have loved to take his current Ajax protégé to his new employer Manchester United.
Bayern’s presumed plan: Mazraoui to the right, Pavard to the center
While Mazraoui should now close Bayern’s construction site at right-back position in the longer term, there are probably other plans for the future with Benjamin Pavard. The 26-year-old Frenchman is probably primarily planned as a central defender in the new season. Niklas Süle’s departure to Dortmund almost automatically opens a new perspective for the world champion.
Before Mazraoui becomes the second Moroccan in Bayern’s history after Medhi Benatia from July 2022, he said goodbye to the third championship title set by Ajax on Wednesday night. Mazraoui is only the third player to switch directly from the Netherlands to Bayern. His predecessors: Sören Lerby and Jan Wouters.
By Christopher Gailer
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