Conte was biggest factor in choosing Inter, says Hakimi

By Sports Desk September 09, 2020

Achraf Hakimi says Antonio Conte’s "extraordinary passion" was one of the motivating factors behind his decision to join Inter. 

The 21-year-old joined the Serie A side in July for a reported €40million from Spanish champions Real Madrid, signing a five-year contract. 

The Spain-born Morocco international spent the past two seasons on loan at Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, particularly impressing last term when deployed as a right-sided wing-back ahead of a three-man defence.

On top of an impressive haul of five goals, Hakimi also had 10 assists in the Bundesliga last season – the best of any defender.

Conte guided Inter to a second-place finish in his maiden campaign and Hakimi is licking his lips at the prospect at playing under the 51-year-old. 

"I chose Inter because I think the coach's style is particularly suited to my way of playing and I can be of real help to this team," he said in a Q&A hosted on Inter's social media channels. "We'll try to achieve great results and certainly aim to win the Scudetto.

"Conte is a great coach, with a very competitive spirit. He has this extraordinary passion for football and transmits that to his players, fans, and everyone around the club. His motivation allows the side to be fired up for every game.

"I already played 3-5-2 at Borussia Dortmund. When the offer came, I thought this was a great opportunity for me to grow, as the fans here experience football in such a special way. I have joined a great club."

Hakimi had been at Madrid since 2006 and broke into the first-team squad in 2017-18, playing back-up to Dani Carvajal. 

He believes his two-year spell in the Bundesliga improved him as a player and hopes the experience will help him navigate a more "tactical league".

"Playing in Germany allowed me to mature as a player, gain experience and confidence," he added. "It was a wonderful experience; now I will go into a more tactical league like Serie A.

"Our objective is to win the Scudetto, make the fans happy, then go forward in the Champions League and do even better than last season.

"I am here to give my best, so we'll do great things together and try to win some trophies!"

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