Achraf Hakimi wants to take Morocco to the World Cup final | sports | dw

Achraf Hakimi wants to take Morocco to the World Cup final |  sports |  dw

Will Achraf Hakimi do it again after Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final against France (starts 20:00CET) Will Morocco become the first African nation to reach a World Cup final? It was one of the special moments of this World Cup in Qatar: when Morocco’s surprise victory on penalties against Spain was certain in the round of 16, Hakimi stormed the stands, hugged and kissed his mother Saida. Television cameras around the world captured the poignant scene.

But the star of the Moroccan team did not do this for the media. Hakimi is just a family man. And he knows that his success story this World Cup would not have been possible without his parents. “My mother was a cleaner and my father was a street vendor,” Hakimi told the Spanish TV show El Chiringuito. “He gave his life for me. He has my brothers and sisters [der Schwester Ouidad und dem Bruder Nabil – Anm. d. Red.] Many things were withheld from me so that I could be successful. I’m playing for them today.”

Madrid to Dortmund and Milan to Paris

In their early 20s, Hassan Hakimi and Saida Moueh left Casablanca for Spain in 1989 in search of better living conditions than in Morocco. In November 1998, his son Achraf saw the light of day. His passion for football awoke early. “Ara”, as he was then called, came to Real Madrid at the age of seven and went through all the youth teams. At the age of 17 he made his debut with Real Madrid Castilla, Real’s second team, and a year later Zinedine Zidane, the successful coach at the time, brought him into the first team.

In 2018, Real Hakimi went on loan to Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund for two years. There, the lightning-fast full-back matured into a top player – at one point he set a Bundesliga speed record of 36.49 kilometers per hour. In 2018 and 2019, Hakimi was named Africa’s Young Player of the Year. BVB would have preferred to keep him, but Inter Milan are in the race for the Moroccan’s top talents in 2020. A year later he moved to the star ensemble of Paris Saint-Germain for a fee of around 60 million euros.

very good friends

There his best friend is superstar Kylian Mbappé, who is almost the same age – France’s world champion will turn 24 on 20 December. “Here in Doha I’m playing against Morocco and once against my friend,” said Mbappe when asked about the upcoming World Cup at the PSG training camp in Doha last January – as he played in the world The surprising encounter was expected in the cup semi-finals.

PSG players Achraf Hakimi and Kylian Mbappe are laughing on the lawn.

At PSG and in private, Hakimi (left) and Mbappe are friends, but not in the World Cup semi-finals

Mbappé joked at the time, “I’ll have to destroy my friend. It’s going to break my heart a little bit, but that’s football.” And Hakimi laughed and replied: “I will break him.”

Morocco’s 60th international match

Hakimi could also play for the Spanish national team due to his birthplace of Madrid, but he chose Morocco in 2015, his parents’ country of origin. He made his debut for the senior national team in October 2016 in a friendly against Canada (4–0) in Marrakesh, in which the then 17-year-old came on in the 23rd minute.

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The World Cup semi-final against France will be Hakimi’s 60th international match and his ninth in the World Cup. At the finals in Russia four years earlier, they played all three preliminary round games, as Morocco were knocked out as group bottom. Hardly anyone would have thought about the victory of Hakimi & Co. at the World Cup in Qatar.

“Moroccan Beckham”

Whatever the outcome of Wednesday’s game at Al Bayt Stadium in the coastal city of Al-Khour, Hakimi is set to emerge as the winner of this World Cup. Things are going well for the right-back, not just on the field but personally as well. Hakimi has two sons with his wife, Spanish actress Hiba Abouc: Amin was born in February 2020, Naeem was born last February.

Hiba Abouk (right) and Achraf Hakimi on the red carpet at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.

Hiba Abouk (right) and Achraf Hakimi on the red carpet at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival

The glamor couple Hakimi has already been dubbed the ‘Beckhams of Moroccan football’ in the tabloid media. After their sensational entry in the semi-finals, a video of these two did not go viral on social media without any reason. It shows Hiba complaining to Ashraf after he completed a victory lap in the stadium before coming over to hug her. May the wife and mother sit next to each other to hug Ashraf Hakimi on Wednesdays.

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