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Why Achraf Hakimi rejected Spain for Morocco

Paris Saint -German fullback Achraf Hakimi is enjoying some good press after his Panenka penalty sealed quarter – final qualification for the Atlas Lions.

With goalkeeper Yassine Bono producing magic to three penalty kicks from the La Roja of Spain, Hakimi was presented an opportunity to make history with Morocco and he did it in style.

His kick made Morocco the fourth African Country and the first North African country to reach the last eight of the World Cup.

But Hakimi could have played for Spain instead of Morocco . Achraf Hakimi was born in Madrid to Moroccan parents who were immigrants.

Hakimi rose through the ranks at Real Madrid before securing a big loan move to Broussia Dortmund where he gained attention for his defensive and attacking prowess as a right – back.

His impressive performance at Dortmund was not enough to get him a Real Madrid career as he was shipped out to French giants PSG.

Hakimi who spent some time with the Spain’s youth teams says he picked Morocco because he could not feel the connection with the Spanish national team.

” There was nothing specific, it’s just not what I felt . Because it wasn’t how I was raised and what I’d experienced at home, which was Arab culture, being Moroccan. That’s who I wanted to be here with”, he stated.

Hakimi played for the Atlas Lions Under 20s and Under 21s before his senior bow, making 57 appearances and scoring eight goals in the first team.

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