Real Madrid: Achraf Hakimi player profile

The Real Madrid youngster made his debut for the club in the 2-0 win against Espanyol at the weekend, but who is he?


Position: Right back

Age: 18

Nationality: Morocco

Background

Born in Madrid on the 4th November 1998 to Moroccan parents, Hakimi is a 5’10 right back who can also play as a centre half. He has been at the Spanish giants since 2006. However, Hakimi has only been playing professional football for little over a year, making his debut for the Real Madrid B side on the 20th August last year in a 3-2 home win against Real Sociedad B.

He scored his first senior goal on the 25th September that year, netting the equaliser in a 1-1 draw against CF Fuenlabrada. Hakimi went on to play 28 times for Castilla before being promoted to the first team squad this summer.

Despite only making his debut for the Madrid first team on Sunday, Hakimi has already played three times for the Morocco national team. He made his debut for his country on the 11th October 2016, in a 4-0 win against Canada.

He has also already scored his first goal for Morocco, netting the fourth in a 6-0 home win against Mali on the 1st September 2017.

Why you need to get to know him

Hakimi is the latest academy product to be inducted into the Real Madrid first team. The Galacticos are starting to turn to their academy system far more frequently and have a wonderful blend of young talent and global superstars. Hakimi is a name not familiar with many outside of La Liga, however that is likely to change soon. Achraf is your modern day full back.

The Morocco international loves to get forward and support the attack, and despite playing at the back, was often amongst the top scorers in the youth age groups. This could be down to previously being deployed as a winger, giving him the ball carrying abilities of someone who plays in such a position. Achraf has good technique but is also a solid and reliable defender, akin to team mate Dani Carvajal who has proven himself to be exceptional at both ends of the pitch.

Hakimi is the first Arab to ever play for Real Madrid, and his personality and class has seen him do it whilst still only being 18 years old. Against Espanyol on Sunday, Hakimi sought to get forward on the overlap at every opportunity and showed no signs of fear despite playing in a packed out Bernabeu. His pace and energy were fully on show, and his desire to get back in defence as quickly as possible when a Madrid attack broke down would have impressed his manager, Zinedine Zidane.

He constantly backed himself to get the better of his opponent in one-on-one situations rather than take the safe and easy option.

Hakimi is unlikely to feature too often for Madrid in the near future. Carvajal is arguably the best right back in world football, and Hakimi only got his chance due to an illness the Spanish international picked up.

However, the ability and confidence of Hakimi will certainly keep Carvajal on his toes, and there is every chance Hakimi will go on to become a star for the Madrid first team in the future.

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Harry Brooks

27

Harry graduated from UAL in Elephant and Castle with a 2:1 BA Hons degree in sports journalism.

He has an NCTJ diploma and also coaches football and teaches PE in schools.

Harry loves to talk football tactics!

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