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Achraf Hakimi reveals reason behind his Real Madrid exit

Achraf Hakimi - PSG
Source: Official PSG Twitter

The PSG star has opened up on his decision to end his career at Santiago Bernabeu.

Following his development in Real Madrid‘s academy ranks, Real Madrid sent Achraf Hakimi on loan to Borussia Dortmund in 2018. The Morocco star developed himself into a top-class right-back at the Bundesliga side, attracting interest from several elite clubs. 

The Blancos returned Hakimi to Santiago Bernabeu in June 2020, with most observers suggesting the Blancos were planning to make him a regular starter. However, Madrid bosses accepted a late €40m bid from Inter after the pre-season.

Having spent a Scudetto-winning spell at Inter, Hakimi moved to Paris Saint-Germain in July 2021. He has become an integral part of Mauricio Pochettino’s squad as he seems to be at the peak of his career.

In a new interview, the Moroccan star has spoken about his career path and his surprise move away from Madrid.

He told Marca (via 90min): “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.

“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.”

He added: “I’m older now, I’m more mature.

“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.”

Hakimi will face his former side in the last-16 round of the Champions League on Tuesday. The Parisians will then continue their Ligue1 campaign with a match against Nantes four days later.