Borussia Dortmund still has one of the best right backs in the world. Lukasz Piszczek is serving the German club since 2010. Not only did the Polish international master the defense, but he also influenced the way the team attacks. Moreover, he is one of the most positive and disciplined players on the pitch. However, the veteran fullback is in his mid-thirties. Luckily, Borussia Dortmund seem to have found a good replacement. A great one as a matter of a fact. His Name is Achraf Hakimi, the flying Moroccan who outruns both defense and attack. He grow up escalating Real Madrid youth ranks, played for the first team. His is a UEFA Champions league winner at age 19. He also participated with the Moroccan team in the FIFA World Cup 2018. So, Who is Achraf Hakimi?
Achraf Hakimi, The Beginnings
Born to parents of Moroccan descent in Madrid, Spain in 1998, Achraf Hakimi showed an interest in football at an early age. Therefore, he joined Real Madrid youth academy aged 8 years old from CD Colonia.
Achraf Hakimi’s talent made him progress through La Fábrica (Real Madrid Youth Academy). Thus, he achieved a promotion to the reserves in 2016. He then traveled with the first team to the united states for the preseason camp. After a short experience with Los Blancos, Hakimi returned to the B team and appeared in 28 fixtures.
In August 19th 2017, Achraf was promoted to the senior Real Madrid team as a backup for Dani Carvajal. His first senior team appearance came on October 1st of the same year. Afterwards, he scored his first La Liga goal on December the 9th 2017 against Sevilla. He also made two appearances in the UEFA Champions League that he won on May 2018.
Achraf Hakimi in FIFA World Cup 2018
They say that success comes more often than not as a compound effect. That’s exactly how the 19 years old fullback lived 2018. After his successful first season with Real Madrid and his great performance with the Moroccan national team, he was called for the Moroccan squad for the World Cup 2018 that took place in Russia.
Although his national team didn’t go through the group stage, they played world class games against teams like Spain and Portugal. Achraf Hakimi started each game and was one of the best players on the pitch.
The new experience, Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund is a team known for it’s accurate transfer choices. This time isn’t an exception. The German giants signed Achraf Hakimi from Real Madrid on a two-year loan deal. “I received many offers, but I chose Borussia Dortmund because it felt like the right choice to make”. Said Hakimi. “I also look up to Dany Carvajal, and I go to him for advice. And this time he advised me to join this team. He said it’s the same path he took. And I want to become like him”.
His teammates described him as a happy spirit and a hard worker. Lucien Favre praised the young player’s patience.
Then came the time to rest Lukasz Piszczek. Therefore, the Swiss coach put Hakimi’s name in the starting eleven for Matchday 5 game against FC Nuremberg. The fullback’s patience paid off. He scored his debut goal to make it 3-0 in a game that finished with a huge 7-0 win. Teammates and staff praised him for his performance. On Matchday 6, he showed a consistent level setting up the 3rd goal from a very accurate cross toward Paco Alcacer the goalscorer.
Achraf Hakimi’s play style
So what makes Hakimi so consistent? The flying Moroccan has a great pace, going up and down the right flank all game long. He is also usable in the left side of the pitch. Achraf has an excellent dribbling ability. He was used as a central defender for his good tackle timing.
He also likes to play very accurate crosses into the penalty area that proved his efficiency as a modern fullback. Finally, he is a very athletic player with a great physical performance. But above all, he is still 19 years old and is on the path to becoming one of the greatest players of his generation. So we wish him good luck!