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Achraf: “My departure from Madrid in 2020 had nothing to do with Zidane, it was linked to the pandemic”

The Real Madrid academy graduate feels indebted to the club and has not ruled out their paths crossing again in the future.

La Liga 2017-18 - Real Madrid vs Sevilla FC Photo by Power Sport Images/Getty Images

Out of all the big names that have signed for PSG this summer, Achraf Hakimi has been the stand out performer. In the weekend’s match against Metz, Achraf spared the blushes of his club by scoring two goals, including a 95th minute winner in the second half. The right back has slotted in seamlessly and has grown exponentially as a talent thanks to his time at Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, and Inter Milan. In an interview with MARCA, Achraf provided clarity around some of the rumors circulating regarding his official departure from Real Madrid in the summer of 2020:

“I learned a lot from Zidane,” the Moroccan disclosed. “What happened in 2020 has nothing to do with him. There are other aspects, particularly linked to the pandemic and Real Madrid, that made me leave. I had a conversation with him [Zidane] and that will stay between us. He thought differently.”

The club had to react quick to the realities of the Coronavirus pandemic and the big money departures of Reguilon and Achraf were stabilizers in a difficult time. Club and fans do not like to lose out on their best young talent, but the pandemic has brought about exceptions for every rule. Achraf holds no grudges, and instead, has hinted at a potential return to Madrid in the future.

“Real Madrid is the club of my childhood and thanks to that club I am where I am today, “ Achraf explained. “I am very grateful. I have not had the chance to succeed there yet, but you never know what could happen in the future.”