Speaking in an interview with MARCA, former Real Madrid defender and Moroccan international Achraf Hakimi has revealed that he is looking forward to facing Marco Asensio at the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022.
Hakimi came through the ranks at Real Madrid and shared the dressing room with Asensio at the first-team level. However, after a couple of seasons away on loan at Borussia Dortmund, he left for Inter Milan in 2020, before signing for PSG last year.
Representing Morocco at the international level, the right-back is a key part of the African outfit and will be in the lineup when they face Spain in the Round of 16 stage in the competition tomorrow.
And Hakimi has claimed that it will be nice to battle with Asensio, given that both of them know each other’s games well.
“He knows what kind of player I am, I know what he’s like…. It will be a nice duel,” Hakimi said.
Talking about Asensio’s form in general and his plight at Real Madrid, where he is fighting to earn a contract, the right-back said that the Spaniard enjoys the confidence of the coach at the national team, which could be the reason for his better performances in La Roja colours.
“It is the confidence that a coach gives him. At Real Madrid he has had very good moments and now there are players better than him,” Hakimi said.
“But in the national team he has shown that he is at a spectacular level, that you have to be very careful with him and that, when he is given the confidence and support of the coach, he responds.”
Asensio has been used in a central role by manager Luis Enrique with the Spanish national team at the World Cup. While he had a great game against Costa Rica, he was fairly quiet in the contest against Germany, although his movement and link-up play looked sharp and on-point.
Brahim, Tchouameni start in a 4-3-1-2: How Real Madrid could lineup against Sevilla
Real Madrid are set to play hosts to Sevilla this evening, in what could prove to be a critical match in the context of the title race.
Although Los Blancos hold a formidable lead at the top of the table, the club are coming on the back of a disappointing result against Rayo Vallecano.
Dropping more points against Sevilla tonight could prove to be costly, especially with Barcelona and Girona breathing down their necks.
Potential Real Madrid lineup vs Sevilla
As Real Madrid approach this crucial game, coach Carlo Ancelotti has to make several arrangements, especially with so many players ruled out either due to injury or suspension.
Starting from the goalkeeper position, Thibaut Courtois remains out, which means Andriy Lunin should continue in between the sticks, ahead of the unhappy Kepa Arrizabalaga.
In the right-back position, Ancelotti is likely to opt for Lucas Vazquez, as Dani Carvajal is suspended after picking up two yellow cards in the last game.
On a bright note, though, Antonio Rudiger is back and should return to central defence. He will be accompanied by Nacho Fernandez at the heart of Real Madrid’s four-man backline.
Elsewhere in defence, Ferland Mendy should continue to start ahead of Fran Garcia in the left-back position.
Moving into midfield, Eduardo Camavinga has been ruled out due to suspension. However, Ancelotti does have a myriad of options in the middle of the park.
Aurelien Tchouameni should continue to operate in the number six position, just behind the two interior midfielders Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde.
Luka Modric is an option on the bench, should Ancelotti require more experience in the middle.
As for the attack, the Real Madrid frontline should be led by Brahim Diaz once again, even though he faces fierce competition from Joselu.
Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo, on the other hand, are guaranteed choices in the wide attacking spaces, though Ancelotti does have Arda Guler and Alvaro Rodriguez as potential alternatives.