Ex-Monaco star hails Morocco’s football transformation

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Former Monaco striker Alain Traore says he is enjoying life in Berkane, northeastern Morocco, and claims the North African country’s Botola Pro League has ‘the best football in Africa’.

The Burkina Faso forward spent 11 years in France where he turned out for AJ Auxerre, Lorient, Stade Brest and briefly AS Monaco before joining Morocco’s RSB Berkane in 2018.

He believes the progress of four Moroccan teams into the semifinals of African club competition is no stroke of luck, but a result of a well-coordinated plan to turn the game highly professional.

Earlier this month, Raja Casablanca eliminated DRC giants TP Mazembe to book a semifinal berth in the CAF Champions League while Wydad Athletic Club edged Tunisia’s Etoile Sahel to progress in the prestigious tournament.

In the Confederations Cup, Traore’s RSB Berkane and Hassania overcame Egyptian side Al-Masry and Al-Nasr of Libya respectively to set up an all-Morocco semifinal.
“In recent years there has been a willingness to change things, to professionalise.

I’ve been playing in Morocco for just over a year and a half now and I think its league is one of the best in Africa,” said the 31-year-old.

He added that the League was attracting top foreign players and coaches who are helping to lift the standard.

“Financially, the clubs are doing better. In most of them, salaries are paid on time, training conditions are improving.

“The general level is improving as well, Moroccan football is even more attractive, and this attracts foreign players and coaches who help to improve it,” he added.

By Mthokozisi Dube

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