The player, the man, the boy: welcome Hakimi!



Team

Sep 9th 2020

4 MIN READING

Discovering our new Moroccan full-back


MILAN - On 2 July, Achraf Hakimi became an Inter player. This afternoon, the Moroccan full-back will officially be presented as an Inter player in a live chat on our socials. As we wait, let’s get to know Achraf a little better: his life, his story, his path, right up to his arrival at Inter.

ORIGINS The first ball that Achraf remembers kicking was hard and heavy, but impervious to the ground and asphalt of the streets of Getafe, on the outskirts of Madrid, were he was born on 4 November 1998. There’s a strong bond for “Arra” and his family with the city of the club we faced in the Europa league in August. So much so, in fact, that his mother and father have never left the small and humble apartment, in which Achraf and his two brothers grew up. His childhood was not one of riches: his parents had arrived from Morocco at little over 20 years of age, ready to build a new life. Him, a street worker; her, a domestic helper. As Achraf himself stated, it wasn’t uncommon that his parents gave something up, almost everything, to ensure the three children were content. Because he, from a very young age, had always dreamt of becoming a footballer. In spite of his mum's concerns and recommendations: "If you don't study, you're not going to training". Achraf spent many days helping his father on the streets of Getafe, but those days always ended in the park with the ball at his feet.

HIS BEGINNINGS AT REAL MADRID Hakimi starting playing football at Club Deportivo Colonia Ofigevi, in the neighbourhood of El Bercial in Getafe. He was an attacker and a quick one too. Real Madrid’s scouts noticed him immediately, who went up to his parents and said: “we’re taking him to the tournament in Palencia.” Achraf played and was snapped up, straight away. From that moment, Hakimi’s journey in Real Madrid’s academy began. He was a centre-forward until he turned 14, and he had an eye for goal that he still possesses today, despite his change of role. His progression took him from “Benjamin B” right up to Real Madrid Castilla. The turning point came one day in 2017, when the phone rang as Achraf was sitting down for dinner with friends. It was Zinedine Zidane, who told him Carvajal had picked up an injury: “you’re in, you’re starting.” It was his turn to take the field with Los Blancos. It was a feeling that Hakimi has not forgotten. 17 appearances, two goals and a trophy cabinet that had already started to grow, because in fact he was part of the squad that won the Champions League, World Club Cup, European Supercup and Spanish Supercup.

DORTMUND, ONE ASSIST AFTER ANOTHER He developed under the tutelage of Marcelo and Hakimi turned out to be a full-back with incredible pace, great consistency and an ability to influence the offensive phase of the team’s play. On the right, but also on the left. In the back line, but also going forward. The wing is his kingdom and he has a natural instinct to give his teammates options - something that we interisti have already experienced, away to Dortmund in the Champions League.

Germany: his two-year loan from Real Madrid to BVB made Hakimi a more complete player, thanks in part to constant game-time. He made 28 appearances in his first season, scoring twice and providing six assists. His second season with Dortmund was nothing short of outstanding: 45 appearances, nine goals (two against Inter and ten assists.

MOROCCO, HIS STAR

Born in Spain but to Moroccan parents, Hakimi never relinquished his strong bond to his country of origin. A strong identity, sometimes paid for with the mistrust of others for that "Arabic name and that unmistakable face that often, even today, makes people look at you". But Achraf always had Morocco in his blood: there was no doubt as to who he’d represent on the international stage. He made his debut before he even turned 17, his first goal came a year later. In 2018, not even yet 20 years of age, Hakimi was a regular starter at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, playing every minute of Morocco’s campaign.

INTER, ONLY KHARJA BEFORE HIM Achraf Hakimi is just the second ever Moroccan to wear an Inter shirt. Before him, only Houssine Kharja, born in France but a naturalised Moroccan, had worn both an Inter and Morocco shirt. He also became Inter’s 31st African player in the Club’s history: on more brother of the world, who joins his name to the name of our club.

Welcome Achraf, Forza Inter!


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