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The Atlas Lions

Les Lions de l'Atlas

Latest News of The Atlas Lions

By The Atlas Lions, Dec 11 2018 01:27PM

(BBC Sports) Morocco's defender Achraf Hakimi, who is on loan from Real Madrid at German club Borussia Dortmund, has won a second Bundesliga's Rookie of the Month award.


The 20-year-old beat strikers Jean-Philippe Mateta of Mainz and Fortuna Düsseldorf's Dodi Lukebakio to November's prize, after winning it in September.


His brace of awards mean he earns a nomination for the award as the Bundesliga Rookie of the season.


If he wins the end-of-season title he will succeed compatriot Amine Harit, who was the Bundesliga's Rookie for the 2017/18 season.


An ever-present in the squad, the Moroccan has made a strong impact as Dortmund remain unbeaten in the league and currently sit top of the Bundesliga table.


The Real Madrid academy graduate made nine league appearances for the Spanish club under Zinedine Zidane last season.


As well as his league appearances Hakimi also played five times in the Copa del Rey and twice in the Champions League before sealing a two-year loan switch to Germany in July.


"We will try to do what we did with Paco [Alcacer, who was signed on permanent deal from Barcelona recently]," said Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.


German legend Lothar Matthaus is the face of the award and chooses his top three players every month, after data is used to say who is performing the best in the league.


Hakimi, an attacking full-back, started all three of Morocco's games at the World Cup in Russia before they were eliminated in the group stage.


He has played all the Group B matches so far as the Atlas Lions sealed a return to next year's Africa Cup of Nations.

By The Atlas Lions, Dec 5 2018 01:37PM

By Morocco World News


It has been a good season for Moroccan rising star Achraf Hakimi. Hakimi topped CIES’ list as the best fullback in the European leagues this season.


Rabat – The International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) has ranked Borussia Dortmund’s star Achraf Hakimi as the top fullback in the European leagues in the last three months.


With a score of 85.3, Hakimi outperformed several internationally renowned fullbacks, including Brazilian Juventus star Alex Sandro, who was ranked second with a score of 84.5.


Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich came third with a score of 83.9, while Joao Cancelo of Juventus was fourth with a score of 82.9.


Dortmund signed a 2-year loan for the Atlas Lion with Real Madrid in July.


The 20-year-old football player made his official debut at the Santiago Bernabeu in October 2017. He has since become one of Morocco’s key players and proved his worth alongside the Atlas Lions during the 2018 World Cup in Russia.


Dortmund is highly satisfied with Hakimi’s performance this season in the Bundesliga.


The managing director of the German football club, Hans-Joachim Watzke, announced Dortmund’s intention to convert Hakim’s loan contract to a permanent agreement after convincing Real Madrid.


After securing a deal with Paco Alcacer, who had been playing for Dortmund on loan from Barcelona, Watke said as Sport reported, “Dear Paco Alcacer, welcome to Borussia Dortmund … We hope to do the same thing with Achraf Hakimi, but it will not be easy.”


In February, CIES Football Observatory ranked the international footballer among Europe’s “50 most promising under-20 footballers.”

By The Atlas Lions, Nov 12 2018 09:48AM

Achraf Hakimi vs Bayern Munich:

All eyes were glued on “Der Klassiker” as the blockbuster match up in the Bundesliga. Borussia Dortmund have started the season on fire, and going into the match led Bayern Munich by four points at the top of the table. Lucien Farve has done a nice job rotating the full backs and found himself with a selection headache heading into the match. Four quality options for two spots: Achraf, Schmelzer, Guerro, and Piszczek. Of those four, Achraf seems to be the undisputed starter and his versatility has only aided his ability to gobble up minutes, easily interchanging between left and right back. Against Bayern, Achraf was deployed as a left back— the same position that saw him produce a hat trick of assists against Atletico Madrid.


The first half, Borussia Dortmund were underwhelming with Lucien Farve making the strange decision to start Mario Gotze as a false nine and give Julien Weigl the nod over Delaney, who has started the season spectacularly. Bayern dominated possession in the opening half, but Dortmund found their way through Kovac’s men via the counter on a number of occasions. Defensively, Bayern Munich were a shambles all night long. Though, with Bayern’s strong possession game, Achraf had to be tuned in defensively. Franck Ribery was having a field day playing against Piszczek, which meant Achraf had to be prepared to defend from the weak side. This season, that has been one of Achraf’s best attributes; time and time again Achraf was well positioned on the weak side to intercept a cross or track an incisive run. Given their early dominance, Bayern did find a way to goal. Robert Lewandowski scored a free diving header after Serge Gnarby was given too much time and space by Achraf to curl in a cross, while young center back, Dan Axel-Zagadou, was caught ball watching, rather than tracking Lewandowski who had peeled off him to create separation and nod the ball home.


It must have been some team talk at half-time from Lucien Farve, as Dortmund shed their reserved style and attacked Bayern from all fronts. Achraf, who was quiet on the offensive end in the first half, exploded into life in the second half. He constantly bombed down the flank to provide an attacking option for his teammates and help fuel a counter attack with his blazing speed. Unlike Marcelo, Achraf has the speed and the engine to get back and cover the space he leaves behind making him less of a liability defensively, while still being able to maintain the same attacking mindset. Ultimately, Dortmund roared back in the second half, scoring three goal and winning what was a thoroughly entertaining match by a 3-2 score line.


Stats via WhoScored:


Key Passes: 2


Passes: 42 with 71.4% completion rate


Shots: 1


Tackles: 4 (joint top on team)


Clearances: 4


Aerial Duels Won: 2


Touches: 75 (3rd most on team)







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