Moroccan Star Hakimi Vows To Give All For New Club

Moroccan international fullback Achraf Hakimi has promised to dedicate his talents and give his all for his new club Internazionale Milan.

Regarded as one of the finest players from Africa and one of the best fullbacks in the world, Inter reportedly paid Real Madrid €40 million (£36m/$45m) to secure the services of the youngster until 2025. It is believed that Madrid have included a buy-back clause in the wing-back’s five-year deal.

The 21 year old arrived from Borussia Dortmund where he was on loan for two years playing 73 times and scoring 12 goals.

Born in Spain to Moroccan parents, 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. He has played 28 times for the Atlas Lions and scored two goals.

Hakimi is just the second ever Moroccan to wear an Inter shirt. He was preceded by Houssine Kharja who was born in France but a naturalised Moroccan. He is also the 31st African player in the club’s history.

In a Q & A session held on Wednesday, the new Nerazzuri recruit discussed many topics, from the emotions at starting a new adventure in Milan to his childhood heroes. The chat, hosted live on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Inter TV, saw Nerazzurri fans act as the interviewers, submitting their own questions to be posed to the player.

Why did you choose Inter and what do you expect?

“I chose Inter because I think the coach’s style is similar to my way of playing and that could be very helpful to the team. We’ll try to get some big results and of course we’ll try to win the Scudetto.”

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What do you think of Antonio Conte?

“He’s a great coach, with a really competitive mindset. He’s got a really great passion for football and he gives that to the players, fans and everyone at the Club. His motivation allows the team to by alive and lively in every game.”

Are you the heir to Maicon?

“Maicon was an incredible full-back, with a lot of physicality. Obviously I’d like to follow in his footsteps, but I hope to go my own way and be remembered like he is in the fans’ hearts.”

You’re coming off the back of a great season in the Bundesliga; how important was it as an experience and what differences do you expect from Serie A?

“Playing in Germany allowed me to grow. I gained more trust, experience and maturity. It was a great experience, now I expect to play in a more tactical league.”

Have you already been able to discover Milan?

“I haven’t been able to explore the city too much yet. I’ve tried a few great restaurants; I’ll have time to get to know it bet. I’m sure I’ll like it.”

What’s been the best moment of your career?

“Definitely when I won the Champions League with Real Madrid. It was something I’d dreamed of ever since I was a kid. And the other one was being able to play at a World Cup with Morocco.”

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Who was your childhood hero?

“Definitely Marcelo, I say it time and time again. I’ve always loved the way he plays, then I met him and could appreciate his personality even more – his happiness on and off the pitch.”

In which position do you feel most comfortable?

“Definitely on the wing, I feel best when playing out wide. I’ll always give 100%, not matter where I’m playing.”

Do you like any sports other than football?

“I play padel with my friends every now and then, I like basketball too.”

You faced Inter at San Siro with Borussia Dortmund: what feelings did that give you?

“It was a great experience; I could feel the fantastic atmosphere the fans created. Now I’ll be able to enjoy it on the home team.”

Which past Inter player did you admire?

“Samuel Eto’o, even though I don’t play in the same position as him, he was a source of inspiration. He made history. I always liked how he lived for football and that he’s a symbol of Africa too, my home.”

How will you suit Conte’s 3-5-2 formation?

“I’ll adapt well because we playing in the same system at Dortmund in the last year. With the quality we have in this team, it’ll be even easier.”

Which Inter players do you know?

“Mostly the ones who won the treble; there were a lot of great champions in that side. But so many great players have worn this jersey.”

What did you think when you got the offer from Inter?

“I thought it could be a great chance to grow. The fans here live for football in a special way. I’m at a great Club.”

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What team did you support as a child?

“I’ve always been a Real Madrid fan. I developed there, from the time I was 7 years old, then I even played for them.”

What are your objectives for the season?

“The objective is the team’s: win the Scudetto is the main one, in order to bring happiness to the fans. Then, make progress in the Champions League and do better than we did last season.”

Who is faster, you or Alphonso Davies?

“A good challenge! He’s really quick. I don’t know who’d win between me and him. Certainly, watching him play is amazing.”

The Derby against AC Milan is coming up soon, what do you think about that?

“I just hope to win it, so that the fans can enjoy it. We want Milan to be Black and Blue.”

What is your message for the Inter fans?

“I’m here to give my all. We’re doing great things together and we’ll try to win a title or two!”


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