TP Mazembe will be wary of one man when they take on Raja Casablanca in a CAF Champions League quarterfinal match on Friday in Morocco.
Taming the talented Mouhsine Moutaouali will be the biggest task for Mazembe's midfielders and defenders as well.
Despite being in the sunset years of his career, the 33-year-old midfielder continues to impress with his skills, movement and his passing abilities. His preternatural calmness enables pulling strings in the middle of the park launching dangerous attacks for his team.
"He is a worthy example to all young players. At the beginning of his career, he struggled to break into the Raja first team. He was loaned to the second division club Ittihad Touarga in 2006-2007. There he believed in himself and worked hard to convince Raja that he is an incredible talent," former Raja player Soufiane Alloudi told CAFonline.com.
He joined the Green Eagles at the age of 15 and worked his way through the ranks slowly but steadily.
Ever since, Moutaouali has confirmed his remarkable talent, hard work and commitment.
He is a fans favourite at Raja.
The fans have compared him to the legendary Argentinian forward Diego Maradona. They even have a chant for him. "Bombonero Bombonera, Mouhsine Moutaouali Maradona!" is commonly sung in the stands whenever he's on the park.
Moutaouali was a key player in Raja squad that reached the final of the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup on home soil. In 2011, he moved to Emirates Club in the United Arab Emirates before returning to Raja to help the Casablanca giants win the 2012-2013 domestic title (Botola).
After the 2014 African Nations Championship in South Africa, he moved back to the Gulf where he played for the Al-Wakrah, Al-Rayyan, and Al-Ahli in a span of five years before returning to Morocco for his third stint with Raja in 2019.