Antonio Conte has claimed that former Real Madrid defender Achraf Hakimi dreams of returning to the Santiago Bernabeu one day.
In a segment on Sky Sport Italia, as quoted by Spanish publication AS, Antonio Conte has claimed while appearing as a pundit in the studio show presentation for the UEFA Champions League that Achraf Hakimi harbours the dream of returning to Real Madrid one day.
Achraf Hakimi has created quite a career for himself since departing Real Madrid. The Moroccan defender made his breakthrough in club football at the Spanish club, making his firs-team debut in 2017. However, with Dani Carvajal firmly the first-choice right-back, Real Madrid chose to loan Hakimi out to Borussia Dortmund after signing Alvaro Odriozola.
The two-year loan spell at Dortmund worked wonders for Hakimi, who established himself as one of the most promising young defenders in the game before stepping his game up a notch or two after leaving Real Madrid permanently last year to join Inter Milan.
Hakimi lasted only one season at Inter Milan, although he played a key role in delivering the elusive Serie A title last season before making his way to Paris Saint-Germain this past summer. And now, his former Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte has made an interesting claim about Hakimi and his desire to return to Real Madrid.
Speaking to Sky Sport Italia (h/t AS), Conte said, “Psychologically, Hakimi suffered a little bit from last year’s games against Real Madrid. His dream is to play for Real Madrid again as a key player. He suffered in those two games.”
“I remember the mistake he made in Valdebebas, but from there he worked hard and I saw a young player who wanted to learn how to [improve]. He understood that what he was doing attacking-wise was not enough; now he is among the best in the world. If he keeps working on his final ball, he can be world class.”
Hakimi has fared decently since joining PSG, and even made his UEFA Champions League debut for the French giants this week against Club Brugge. As for a possible return to Real Madrid, it will potentially depend on how long Dani Carvajal lasts before declining.
For now, it has become clear that Hakimi is eager to return to Real Madrid one day and it remains to be seen if such a transfer ever sees the light of the day. Till then, the 22-year-old will hope to go from strength to strength at PSG, where he is playing with some of the best players in the world.