The Moroccan Achraf Hakimi, one of the most expensive full-backs in the world (60 million euros), regretted the loss against France -last Wednesday- in two statements sent almost simultaneously. He wrote “the dream is over” in English and, a few seconds later, in Arabic. One of the emblems of the emotional African team understands, even in his expressions on social networks, that he cannot be indifferent to the multiculturalism of this combative African team, which has just sealed its fourth place in Qatar 2022. In English to globalize the lament and in Arabic to not lose sight of the sense of belonging. He only lacked a third message in the language he learned from a very young age. Born in Madrid, Achraf speaks perfect Spanish.
”I quickly felt that it was not my place in the world”, he answers hakimi to the Madrid newspaper “AS”, when recalling his time with the Spanish youth teams. Like him, dozens of cracks scattered in soccer power countries such as France and the Netherlands preferred to listen to the call of his blood ties and defend the flag of the five-pointed green star.
The gladiator Amrabat is French, the skillful Mazraoui is Dutch and Bono, born in Montreal, could have been the goalkeeper that Canada lacked so much in this World Cup. Some of these figures, like the exquisite Ziyech (also from the Netherlands), have apologized at conferences for not understanding Arabic one hundred percent.
This morning, Morocco shed sweat and tears, at the Khalifa International stadium, against Croatia in the dispute for third place in Qatar 2022 (2-1 in favor of the Balkan team). The first African team to qualify for a World Cup semifinal only has 30 percent of soccer players born in Moroccan territory. The rest were captured after a surgical search that began fifteen years ago, in the midst of an ambitious plan proposed by the millionaire Moroccan king, Mohamed VI.
That project contemplated two work fronts: building an academy to reinforce talent and educate children with a future in soccer and, in addition, scouting work, especially in nations of the Old Continent. But not all of them came with foreign passports to the calls, the Moroccan by birth, Youssef En-Nesyri, it is the work and grace of the academy of Mohamed VI. He barely reached the age of majority, he was recruited by Málaga and today he is an indisputable figure for Sevilla. Millions are still talking about how En-Nesyri rose to beat Portugal’s goal. What few knew is that the real big leap, for Youssef and his entire team, had already been planned for a long time.
I have worked in the news industry for over 10 years. I have a keen interest in sports and have written for many different publications. I am currently working as an author at 24 News Recorder. I cover mostly sports news but also write about other topics such as current affairs and politics. I have a strong interest in social media and how it can be used to engage with audiences.