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Latest News of The Atlas Lions

By The Atlas Lions, May 17 2019 10:11PM

Arsenal and Manchester United have both been linked with the Moroccan star - but so too have Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund


Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars has confirmed that Hakim Ziyech will leave the club this summer - it's just a matter of where.


Ziyech, the left-footed Moroccan international, played a starring role in the Dutch club's run to the Champions League semi-finals.


The 26-year-old has enjoyed a remarkable campaign in Amsterdam, scoring 21 goals and registering 24 assists for Erik ten Hag's side as they completed a domestic double.


Scouts have flocked to the Johan Cruyff Arena to keep tabs on the club's star names, and Ziyech has impressed.


Manchester United , Arsenal and Liverpool have all been watching him - as have Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, with the pair eyeing him as replacement for Arjen Robben and Christian Pulisic respectively.


Bayern have already made contact with the player's representatives.


Ziyech has been non-committal on his future thus far, saying after the club sealed the Dutch title this week "That [a move] will come by itself. When that happens, everyone will automatically hear it."


Ajax are resigned to losing the ex-Twente star for a relatively meagre £25million, due to a release clause in his contract.


But Overmars admits he will go with their blessing.


"He leaves when a top club comes," said the Ajax boss. "He is in focus because of his achievements in the Champions League.


"Many big clubs are buzzing around him. We promised Hakim [that we would] agree to a good transfer."


Ziyech was named the club's player of the year after his displays.


He is expected to be part of the Morocco squad at this summer's Africa Cup of Nations also, with the Atlas Lions having been drawn in Group D, alongside Namibia, South Africa and Ivory Coast.


https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/ajax-confirm-hakim-ziyech-leave-16162139

By The Atlas Lions, Apr 1 2019 11:18AM

(Bundesliga.com) Borussia Dortmund full-back Achraf Hakimi has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2018/19 season with a broken metatarsal.


The Morocco international was a second-half substitute in BVB’s dramatic late win over Wolfsburg on Matchday 27 as they retook top spot in the Bundesliga table ahead of Bayern Munich.


Hakimi, however, lasted just 25 minutes before he himself had to be replaced after damaging his right foot.


The 20-year-old, who has made 21 Bundesliga appearances for Dortmund in the first season of his two-year loan from Real Madrid, has since undergone surgery on his damaged foot back in the Spanish capita. He will miss Borussia’s remaining seven league matches, including Saturday’s potential title-decider at Bayern.


As well as contributing two goals and four assists, Hakimi has proven a good-luck charm this season for his new club. Showing versatility to play at both right and left-back, he remained unbeaten in his first 17 Bundesliga appearances and has in fact lost just one of his 21 games in the German top flight.


It’s a blow to Lucien Favre’s side ahead of Der Klassiker after Hakimi himself came on for injured left-back Abdou Diallo. The Swiss coach already had issues in defence with right-back Lukasz Piszczek absent for several weeks with a heel injury. Former first-choice left-back Marcel Schmelzer has featured just 11 times this season, and may be needed at the Allianz Arena for his first league appearance since January.

By The Atlas Lions, Feb 12 2019 12:47PM

Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi market value has tripled since he joined Borussia Dortmund on a loan from Real Madrid.


By Morocco World News -


Rabat – Football website Transfermarkt has reported that Achraf Hakimi’s market value has jumped three times after a successful half-season with Borussia Dortmund.


Transfermarkt, specialized in defining the market value of players, has valued Achraf Hakimi’s at €25 million, after being esteemed at €7.5 million with Real Madrid when he left in July 2018.


When Hakimi played with Real Madrid, he rarely featured in matches. He was deemed surplus to requirement, pushing Real Madrid to loan him to Borussia Dortmund for two years.


According to many football reports, Hakimi does not want to return to Real Madrid to be a substitute again, especially after improving his footballistic skills and guaranteeing a permanent spot as an undoubted starter at his current German club.


With 49 points and 20 matches played, Borussia Dortmund is ranked first in Bundesliga, the top German football league.

By The Atlas Lions, Jan 26 2019 07:56PM

(Ahram online) Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund scored three times in seven minutes to demolish lowly Hanover 96 5-1 on Saturday and move nine points clear at the top of the table.


Dortmund captain Marco Reus hit the post and Raphael Guerreiro also went close in the first half before Achraf Hakimi thundered in to give the hosts the lead in the 24th minute.


The Morocco international set up Reus for his 12th league goal of the season in the 60th minute before Dortmund turned on the afterburners, scoring twice more through Goetze two minutes later and Guerreiro in the 67th to leave the Hanover defence in tatters.


Marvin Bakalorz snatched a consolation goal for the visitors in the 86th minute after a superb solo run and a deflected effort before Axel Witsel completed Dortmund's win in the 90th.


The Ruhr valley club, who take on Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League next month, are now on 48 points, nine ahead of second-placed Bayern Munich, who host VfB Stuttgart on Sunday.


Borussia Moenchengladbach joined them on 39 points after their 2-0 win over Augsburg.

By The Atlas Lions, Jan 10 2019 12:52PM

Juventus won’t allow Medhi Benatia to leave the club in the January transfer window, despite interest from Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund.


The Moroccan defender has spent much of the season on the bench, despite playing well last season following Leonardo Bonucci defecton to AC Milan the summer before.


As such, Corriere Dello Sport and others report that Benatia has grown frustrated at a lack of playing time and is considering a move away.


The reports go on to suggest that Benatia’s agent Houssine Kharja met with Juve sporting director Fabio Paratici on Tuesday but was told that the Bianconeri have ‘have no intention’ of letting him go in January..


Benatia is more likely to be sold in the summer as he has one year left on his Juve contract and is being followed by the likes of Olympique Marseille, Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and Schalke.


https://www.juvefc.com/juventus-block-benatia-exit/

By The Atlas Lions, Dec 20 2018 07:53PM


Achraf Hakimi has been something of a revelation for Borussia Dortmund fans. The young Moroccan fullback has provided the Germans with a newfound sense of energy and athleticism on the right AND the left, helping propel the Yellow and Black to the top of the Bundesliga table.


In an interview with BVB Matchday Magazine, Achraf talks about his adjustment to life in a new country and explains why he decided to move to Dortmund.


Highlights From The Interview

You came here half a year ago? What can you tell us about this time? (1:46)


Achraf: “I’m very happy to play for Dortmund. It was difficult for me to adjust because I came from another country and from another language, so I had to adjust and do all this stuff. The truth is that it was a difficult process, but now I’m very content and happy.


Why did you want to go to another country? (2:16)


Achraf: “I grew up in all the Real Madrid youth teams and the truth is that it has been a difficult process, and I needed a change in my personal and footballing life. I needed to grow as a footballer with a lot more minutes and to achieve big things in my career, and it was the right moment to do it. Currently everything is going great and I hope it continues for much longer.”


You became a football player at Real Madrid, where winning is part of the club’s self-conception. Did you bring that self-confidence with you to Dortmund? (7:47)


Achraf: “Yes, I am always a winner, I am always very competitive. I know that Madrid is a club that inculcates this into you. But, always in my life, even with my friends, when I play on the Playstation or whatever, I always hate to lose and I get really upset. So, also in my personal life, I like to be a winner and be competitive.”


What are the differences between La Liga and the Bundesliga? If there are any, what is the biggest one? (8:35)


Achraf: “In the Spanish league, you play a little more of a possession game. But here, I believe that some teams also try to have the ball. But I believe that the difference here is that they play more back and forth. In Spain, you play with a little bit more control of the ball.”


What’s typically Spanish and what’s typically Moroccan about you? (9:10)


Achraf: “What’s typically Moroccan about me, is my religion and all the food my mom always cooked when I was young. What’s typically Spanish about me... are my friends and that I grew up in Spain and that I know a little bit about the Spanish life.”



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.”

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