Achraf Hakimi, who has earned a place in Zinedine Zidane’s first team squad at Real Madrid for the 2017-18 season as back up to Dani Carvajal, has been recalled to the Morocco national team for a World Cup qualifying double-header against Mali.
Hakimi, 18, made his debut for the Atlas Lions last season in a friendly against Canada and his rapid rise through the ranks at the Bernabéu has persuaded Morocco boss Hervé Renard that he is ready to finally make a competitive debut in two must win games for the country’s hopes of reaching the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Morocco, Ivory Coast and Gabon vying for single place at WC 2018
Morocco drew 0-0 with Ivory Coast and Gabon in their opening two matches in the final round of CAF qualifying and sit in second place behind The Elephants. Mali are the weakest team in the group and Morocco will aim to gain maximum points from both encounters to place themselves in contention for the single qualifying spot available to the four sides in Group C.