Morocco now has its third Real Madrid player in the country’s history, after teenage starlet Achraf Hakim made his first appearance for Los Blancos in their first pre-season friendly in America against PSG.
The 17-year-old came into the fray at the start of the second half, in a match that Real Madrid trailed in from the outset, due to a second-minute strike.
It only goes to show that Los Blancos’ youth set-up is continuing to bear fruit, with Zinedine Zidane also proving that he is prepared to put faith in young stars when they have the talent.
Marco Asensio has previously had a chance, with Martin Odegaard and Diego Llorente getting opportunities to impress in the first-team too.
Hakimi was selected for Morocco’s upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers last March, where he became the first player to play for both Real Madrid and his native country at the same time.
On Wednesday, he took photos with a section of Moroccan supporters at the Ohio Stadium, as he joined a select few who have turned out for Real Madrid with Moroccan heritage.
Heliodoro Castano Pedrosa featured for Los Blancos in 1955/56, with Jose Luis Lopez Peinado turning out for the club in 1967. Both men chose to take dual nationality and never featured for the Moroccan national team.
Hakami has shown that he is a very direct player. He is astute and quick, two qualities that make him a goalscorer. He knows how to get away from his marker and with his good shooting ability he is a constant danger for rival defenders. He can cause damage getting in behind markers and he shoots well from dead ball situations. The player was involved in the FIFA underage player investigation, which led to the club’s transfer ban, despite spending his entire life in his Getafe (Madrid) neighbourhood and playing for his local club, Colonia Ofigevi, from the age of six. From there he joined Real Madrid’s youth set-up, where he has now spent the last ten seasons.