Noussair Mazraoui has swapped boyhood club Ajax for record champions Bayern Munich. - © Imago
Noussair Mazraoui has swapped boyhood club Ajax for record champions Bayern Munich. - © Imago

Noussair Mazraoui: Who is Bayern Munich's new full-back?


Bayern Munich have added Netherlands-born Morocco international defender Noussair Mazraoui to their ranks, the highly versatile 24-year-old arriving at the Allianz Arena on a four-year contract. But just who is the record champions' exciting new recruit? finds out...

Noussair Mazraoui

Age: 24
Club: Bayern Munich
Position: Full-back
Country: Morocco (12 caps/ two goals)

Key stats

Born in the town of Leiderdorp in the Netherlands, Mazraoui joined the Ajax youth setup at the age of seven. Playing mostly as a midfielder as he rose through the ranks at the four-time European champions, Mazraoui initially failed to make a lasting impact. That was until coach Eric Ten Hag decided to gamble on the six footer, who made his senior debut under the new Manchester United tactician on 4 February 2018, coming on as a substitute in a 3-1 win against NAC Breda.

Mazraoui (l.) made his Ajax debut 11 years after joining the club. - Imago

Mazraoui would finish the 2017/18 campaign with eight Dutch top-flight appearances, featuring mostly as a central midfielder. However, it was in April of that season that things were to change in spectacular fashion for the Morocco international. Coming in to provide cover at right-back, the then 20-year-old took off, making the position his own ahead of what would emerge as an unforgettable campaign.

In a season that would end with him named by Ajax as their Talent of the Year, Mazraoui won a league and cup double, scoring four goals and providing four assists in an incredible 48 appearances in all competitions. Indeed, it was in 2018/19 that the flying full back came up against his new team, Bayern, during Ajax's dizzying run to the tournament's semi-finals. Mazraoui even scored the equalising goal in the teams' first group stage meeting, cancelling out a Mats Hummels opener as Ajax earned a 1-1 draw. The Alphen aan den Rijn native also scored against Benfica that season as the Dutch giants lit up the tournament.

Mazraoui had current Barcelona full-back Sergino Dest and injuries to contend with the following campaign, but the 12-time Morocco international roared back. He won another double in 2020/21, before helping Ajax get out of their 2021/22 UEFA Champions League group with a 100 percent record. The Moroccan signed off with five goals and four assists in 34 competitive games in 2021/22, as well as a third Eredivisie winner's medal.

Plays a bit like: Trent Alexander-Arnold

Much like the current Liverpool right-sided full-back, Mazraoui loves to play in the opposition half, where he revels in one on ones and linking up with attacking teammates. He is a stern reader of the game whose tackling can range from the subtle to the visually impressive sliding clearance. What marks Mazraoui out from the rest, however, is his versatility. During his highly successful 2018/29 campaign, for example, he played on both sides of defence and in defensive and central midfield.

Mazraoui (c.) and new Bayern teammate Robert Lewandowski (r.) battle for possession in 2018. - CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images

Did you know?

Mazraoui had four trials at Ajax, before earning a place in the club's academy. "The first time they told me I was too lightweight," he recalled. "It hurt. I was a little boy, and cried. After my fouth try-out, I got an acceptance letter."

What they’re saying

"Noussair is a player who presses forward a lot down the right side. We also really like his mentality - he's fired up for this challenge at FC Bayern." - Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic

“Noussair Mazraoui is the next building block to further strengthen our team in a targeted manner. We've set ourselves big goals again for the new season and players like Noussair Mazraoui expand our options. We're also looking forward to taking on the Champions League again with him and we want to celebrate a lot of successes together in the coming years." - Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn

"I believe Mazraoui is better than Sergino Dest." - Ten Hag