Achraf Hakimi (Madrid, 1998) has won the second league title in his short professional career. The Madrid-born player of Moroccan descent was named the Bundesliga's best rookie player in 2018 and four years later he has added the Ligue 1 title to his trophy cabinet in a difficult season for the Parisian side.
Achraf has carved out a niche for himself in the PSG constellation. The right-back has been his own man in 28 of his club's 34 league appearances. He has scored three goals and has seen one red card. He has also played one game in the Copa, all eight in the Champions League until his club were knocked out by Real Madrid and 12 more for Morocco between the Africa Cup of Nations and qualifying for the World Cup in Qatar.
One of Achraf's strengths is his lack of injuries. A life insurance for any footballer. From 2018 to 2022, he accumulated four absences, the last one, which kept him out for a fortnight with a thigh injury.
When Achraf Hakimi left Getafe's Colonia Ofigevi team, few thought of such a meteoric career for a youngster of 1.80m who had a great run down the right flank. Real Madrid brought him into the dynamic of their youth system to finish moulding him into a great player. He played for C and A where he made 72 appearances and scored 13 goals between 2014 and 2016.
At Castilla he spent just one season in 2ª B where he made 28 appearances, scored one goal, but was unleashed as a great assisting player by going up the flank with eight lethal passes. At that point Real Madrid gave him the opportunity to turn professional. He played the 2017-2018 season with the first team. In total, 17 games, two goals and one assist. His trophy cabinet was full of titles with a European Super Cup, a Spanish Super Cup, the Club World Cup and a Champions League.
The Moroccan diamond headed for Dortmund to make 73 appearances in two seasons. In addition, 12 goals and 17 assists, although he was only able to lift the Super Cup due to Bayern's usual dominance.
When the loan ended, Inter Milan paid Real Madrid 43 million euros for a player who could have been worth almost 60 million. The pandemic and reduced profits forced Real Madrid to keep their numbers balanced by selling a top youth player.
At Inter he made 45 appearances with seven goals and nine assists. The Moroccan's value rose again and the Italian club sold his rights to PSG for 66 million euros.
Achraf chose to play for Morocco because of his North African ancestry. This fact caused Real Madrid problems with FIFA when, in 2016, it decided to sanction clubs that had minors coming from other countries for the sole purpose of playing in their youth academy and not as a result of their parents' work.
Achraf's father lashed out at FIFA and commented that "I have been in Spain since 1989, I can show you documents. The boy was born here, not in Morocco. His brother was born in 97 and he was born in 98, both in the Gregorio Marañón hospital". However, nothing could be done and the player could not play in white again until he turned 18, two months later.
His journey with the desert eagles began in the youth ranks with 10 appearances and in 2019 he moved to the senior team under Hervé Renard, aged 20 years and 10 months. He has 48 appearances and eight goals to his name.
Achraf Hakimi played in the 2018 World Cup in Russia and has secured a place at the World Cup in Qatar at the end of 2022. His main objective is to get out of the group stage where he will face Belgium, Canada and Croatia.
The Moroccan's contract at PSG will run until 2026. It remains to be seen what the Parisian team plans to do with all the stars who have not performed at the expected level and who were responsible for the debacle at the Bernabeu when they were eliminated from their ultimate aspiration this season: winning the Champions League.