Achraf Hakimi discusses why he left Real Madrid

Achraf Hakimi has admitted that Real Madrid did not fully trust him in the run-up to his 2020 transfer to Inter.

Hakimi, a product of Real Madrid’s academy, flourished on loan at Borussia Dortmund from 2018 to 2020 and was anticipated to make his Real debut upon his return. However, he finally joined Inter in a €40 million deal.

Hakimi was back on the move 12 months later, and a €71 million transfer to PSG was planned, but only if Real declined to exercise their buy-back option on the right-back.

On all this, the Morocco international said:

“Obviously, when you join Madrid for the first time and you come from playing for the Castilla (academy), it is normal that the club doesn’t bet on you so much because you’re a young player,” he said.

“But then when I left for Dortmund and had two great seasons, I had to come back and decide.

“At that point, it felt like Madrid was still not betting on me, but I knew I could continue playing at a high level. When I left for Inter, as part of the deal there was also a purchase option from Madrid and they didn’t execute it, so I think they weren’t betting on me as much as other clubs.

“I thought they were wrong.”

I am all grown now…

“I’m older now, I’m more mature,” he added.

“I have more experience. In Madrid, coming from Castilla, I didn’t have experience at a high level, a professional level. Now, after having played with several big teams, they have given me experience, maturity, and responsibility.

“Before I joined PSG, [Pochettino] was already in contact with me and he told me what he wanted from me and what I was going to do in the team. It gave me peace of mind, but above all, freedom to feel important and play freely, which is what makes us reach this level.

“That’s what I like about the coach. He is very close to his players and gives you the responsibility.”

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