Achraf: “My departure from Real Madrid had nothing to do with Zidane”

Achraf hakimi It is one of the great sensations of European football. His arrival at PSG this summer, in exchange for 60 million euros, has not only been the most expensive signing of the Parisian team this season, but also an important leap in quality for a team that has incorporated footballers such as Leo Messi, Sergio Ramos or Donnarumma. In seven games he has already scored three goals and two assists in Ligue 1 and has given an extensive interview to L’Équipe in which he talks about his childhood in Madrid, his talk with Zidane before leaving for Inter and his future in France.

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His talk with Zidane when he left Madrid: “(His first call) I was with some friends, sitting on a bench in front of the house chatting and there the phone rings and it’s … Zidane! He tells me I’m going to play and I wasn’t expecting it. (His departure from Madrid ) I learned a lot from him. What happened in 2020 has nothing to do with him. These are other aspects linked in particular to Covid and Real Madrid that made me leave. At that time I had a conversation with him that will remain with us. He thought differently. “

PSG and its relationship with Mbappé: “We are young, we have many things in common, we enjoy the same things. This friendship makes us better and helps us to be complementary on the pitch. I received offers from PSG and Chelsea and I had the intuition that I had to come to Paris I was going to be happy here. A few years ago Pochettino already wanted me at Tottenham. “

Play with Messi: “For Messi to leave Barça, like everyone else, I did not expect it. I have played with many great players, but Messi was missing. A dream for me. I was surprised by his way of behaving, he is simple, quiet.”

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The decision to play for Morocco: “My culture is Moroccan: at home we speak Arabic, we ate Moroccan food, I am a practicing Muslim. I watched the matches in Morocco with my father, who told me a lot about the great players in the country. The first call for Morocco came when I was 14 years old. , I didn’t have much to think about. Later there were contacts with Spain but I always liked playing with the Moroccan team. I am very well received there, I feel good there. One of the reasons why I came to Paris is the Arab Muslim community that there is here. I knew culturally that I was going to feel at home. “

His childhood and a photo with Abdel Barrada: “I had a happy childhood, I never lacked affection but there were difficult moments. My parents fought to give the best to us, my brother, my sister and I. They left Morocco to live in Spain, they had to learn a new language. I spent my life playing underneath from my home in Getafe and we always had a ball at our feet. I was crazy about football, the players, I still am. I went to the Getafe training ground to ask the players for photos or their shoes. year, there was a Moroccan named Abdel Barrada. I have a photo with him, he is in his car and I am next door, a boy, delighted. This photo marked me because I adored him, he played in the national team, he was spectacular”.

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The teachings of Madrid: “Real Madrid is the club of my childhood, it is thanks to the one that I am here today. I was there for more than twelve years, I am very grateful to this club. At the moment, I have not had the opportunity to succeed there, you never know How will the future be”.