The highly-skilled defender, who is a product of Real Madrid’s academy system, spoke about his career up till now and looked ahead to the future
Achraf Hakimi admits he was astonished when being offered the chance to link up with Real Madrid, with a man who conquered the Champions League – Cristiano Ronaldo. Now, he’s starring alongside the likes of Erling Haaland during a loan spell at Borussia Dortmund.
At just 21 years of age, the Moroccan international is still a hot prospect. His performances in the present are, however, earning him plenty of praise, with a solid grounding within the famed La Fábrica serving him well.
Madrid native Hakimi was recognized by Real in 2006 and spent 10 years working his way through the youth ranks before breaking into the Galacticos’ reserve and first-team ranks.
On his early experiences, the promising full-back told Goal and DAZN: “One day my father picked me up from school and gave me a letter. I was invited to a trial session. At first I couldn’t believe it and asked him if the letter was real. After he confirmed that, I just thought: Oh sh*t, how cool is that?! I will never forget this day, the day it all started for me.”
About his first training session with the senior squad, Hakim said: “That day my dream came true. My coach came to me and said that I would train the first team today. I still remember the way from our locker room to the locker room of the professionals. I was extremely nervous and didn’t know what to think about. At the same time, I really wanted to train with the best players in the world. I will never forget that. To be honest, I was a little overwhelmed at first. I paid attention to the smallest detail so as to not miss anything and soak up everything to learn and improve.”
Hakimi got to play alongside five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo while making 17 competitive appearances, describing the Portuguese as the perfect role model for any young football player.
“He is an incredibly good player. Playing with one of the best players in the world is an incredible experience. I really enjoyed it and always tried to assist goals for him. He talked a lot to me and gave me good tips. I loved listening to him and trying to learn as much from him as possible and to learn certain things.”
In 2018, Los Blancos sent Hakimi on a a two-year loan move to Borussia Dortmund. His game has been taken to another level in Germany, and it suggested that Madrid will, most likely, welcome him back into their ranks this summer.
For now, though, Hakimi is working to make the most of a 2019-20 campaign which could yet deliver a title for BVB. About his future, he said: “I honestly don’t know (at which club I’ll play next season). I currently see myself clearly at Borussia Dortmund. I am very happy here and I still have a four or five-month contract.”