His legendary goal in the Round of 16 of the 33rd edition of the TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021 will certainly be remembered by Moroccans and football lovers.
At the 70th minute, and while his team is held to 1-1 draw by Malawi, Morocco and Paris Saint Germain Achraf Hakimi with a piece of magic gave the Atlas Lions the lead, to secure their ticket for the quarterfinals of African football showpiece.
“He is a key player. He can change the course of the game at any time,” his coach Vahid Halilhodzic told Cafonline.com. “For me, he is one of the great talents and best players in the world in his position.”
Barely 23 years old, the former Real Madrid player is taking part in a superb journey from Morocco to this TotalEnergies AFCON in Cameroon, with his attacking commitment, defensive determination and sense of goal from set pieces.
“I don’t shoot a lot of free kicks at PSG because we have better shooters, but I do my best and the main thing for me is to participate in the joy of Moroccans” says the right back who was congratulated by his club teammate, world champion Kylian Mbappé just after the Atlas Lions win. “He is the best right-back in the world”, tweeted Mbappé on Tuesday evening.
With his 45 caps, Hakimi is undoubtedly one of the stars of the Moroccan team that will face the Pharaohs of Egypt this Sunday at Ahmadou Ahidjou stadium, as both sides seek a place in the semifinals.
His teammates evoke an extraordinary talent in the field. “We know his qualities and we know he can make a difference in a match, and that’s what he showed us during the tournament,” said defender Samy Mmaee. Sofian Chakla affirms that Hakimi is an international star “who demonstrates each time that he is a great player. I wish him to continue on his momentum.”
Hakimi remains a formidable weapon in coach Vahid’s chessboard for the rest of this TotalEnergies AFCON, with one target ahead: Go as far as possible.