FT 2017/18 African Transcendent XI: RB-Achraf Hakimi [Real Madrid]
Many African players have light up the European leagues ever since the days of George Weah. These include Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, Yaya Toure, Okocha, etc. who have performed at an extraordinary level in the past decades. Mo Salah of Liverpool and Egypt has been the fan favorite this year for his record-breaking goals and guiding his club to the UEFA Champions League final. But this is not all the continent has to offer. There are other young players who are showing early promises of reaching these levels or even better them. Therefore, FirstTouch reflects on the next transcendent U23 players in each position.
RB – Achraf Hakimi
The Spanish-born right back plays for Real Madrid, the biggest club in the history of football. Popularly known as just ‘Achraf’, the player decided to represent the Moroccan national team because of his heritage. the 19-year old is the current second option in the right-back position in Zinedine Zidane’s team. His development as a player pushed Danilo, a £26m signing out of the club. Real Madrid has had some greats in that position before including current club captain Sergio Ramos before he moved into the center-back position. Hakimi is versatile himself and can play in midfield. It is safe to say that the player is in the right place to show if he is capable of competing at the highest level. With a couple of appearances under his belt and under the mentorship of a coach who pays attention to the youth as Zidane, we are guaranteed to be seeing the best of the player in the years to come. For now, we look forward to seeing the player at the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 in Moroccan colors.