Paris Saint-Germain right-back Achraf Hakimi will be leaned upon by the Morocco national team heading into the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The Atlas Lions hope to have a better showing in 2022 than in 2018.
Morocco was in Group B with Iran, Portugal, and Spain, where they finished last with one point and failed to one a match against their three opponents. In 2021, they reached the African Cup of Nations quarterfinals, so they’ll look to follow that international showing later this year.
Here’s everything you need to know about Morocco’s Hakimi, who could solidify his status as one of the better right-backs in the world with a good showing in Qatar:
Achraf Hakimi Bio
- Height: 5′9″
- Weight: 150 lbs
- Birthdate: November 4, 1998
- Club: Paris Saint-Germain
- National Team: Morrocco
- Position: Right-Back
- Jersey Number: 2
Achraf Hakimi Stats
- 51 apparances for Morrocco
- eight goals for Morrocco
- seven assists for Morrocco
- 41 appearances for PSG
- four goals for PSG
- six assists for PSG
Achraf Hakimi Contract Details
Hakimi finished his first season with PSG after coming over from Inter Milan. The 23-year-old signed a five-year deal when he arrived in 2021, where he’s under contract until 2026 after the French giants paid up to €70 million, bonuses included.
According to Capology, Hakimi earns €280 thousand weekly and €14.6 million annually, and overall, the defender’s deal sees him make €58.2 million.
What to Expect from Achraf Hakimi at the World Cup
Morocco will hope to have Hakimi, who could provide them with offense from the backend, and they’ll be needing goals, considering they might have an outside chance of advancing to the knockout stages. Current odds and the 2022 World Cup bettering offers by the major bookmakers support that.
Belgium highlights Morocco’s Group F, which will also include Canada, making the first appearance in the tournament since 1986. Croatia is also in the group, coming off a second-place finish in 2018, but some older players are on the squad.
For Hakimi and Morocco, it’s clear that they’ll need favorable results against Canada and Croatia. The PSG right-back could see himself in a full-back duel with Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies since both players aren’t afraid to jump into the attack from their position.
Morocco will kick off the competition against Croatia on Wednesday, November 23, at the Al Bayt Stadium. So for Hakimi, the defender has to play a role in providing offense to help his side get off on the right foot, considering their next opponent will be Belgium.
The FIFA World Cup in Qatar will provide Neymar Jr. with an opportunity to help Seleção end its 20-year drought. For a country like Brazil, going for decades without winning football’s biggest prize is a big deal.
Since Neymar became a key figure on the national team, Brazil has reached the tournament’s semifinals in 2014, losing in the infamous 7-1 game to Germany at home without the star forward, and in Russia 2018, crashing out in the quarterfinals to Belgium 2-1.
Barring any health concerns, the Paris Saint-Germain will be leaned on heavily by manager Tite. The 30-year-old looked good for Brazil during the qualifying matches in CONMEBOL.
Here’s everything you need to know about Neymar heading into the World Cup in Qatar:
- Height: 5′8″
- Weight: 150 lbs
- Birthdate: February 5, 1992
- Club: Paris Saint-Germain
- National Team: Brazil
- Position: Forward
- Jersey Number: 10
These are Neymar’s stats for both club and country as of July 9, 2022.
- 118 appearances for Brazi
- 74 goals for Brazil
- 51 assists for Brazil
- 114 appearances for PSG
- 100 goals for PSG
- 60 assists for PSG
Neymar Contract Details
The Brazil international arrived in 2017 in the French capital from FC Barcelona. After signing a contract extension last year, he will likely remain with Paris Saint-Germain for the remaining years of his prime.
Neymar is under contract until 2025, but some reports would suggest his new deal will keep him until 2027. Regarding his salary, Neymar reportedly makes €30 million annually, €2.5 million per month, and €625,000 a week.
What to Expect from Neymar at the World Cup
Neymar has a lot of pressure on his shoulders heading into Qatar. The 30-year-old hasn’t played past the quarterfinals in his World Cup career, with an injury keeping him out of the semifinals in 2014.
Also, Brazil has the boulder on its back over the two-decade drought of not winning the World Cup. Of the players facing pressure at the competition this year, Neymar has to be at the top as he looks to show he’s still one of the better players in the world and not let his country hit 24 years without a World Cup.
Furthermore, there are talks that this could be his last tournament as he will be 34 in 2026, there is still a possibility he can play, but it will be up to him to take care of his body and play at a high level four years from now.
In Qatar, Neymar will have some help as Alisson is one of the better goalkeepers in the Premier League. Meanwhile, in defense, his teammate Marquinhos will likely anchor the backline and in the midfield, Casemiro is going to command the group. As for the forwards, Neymar could count on Antony, Vini Jr., Raphinha, and Rodrygo. Others like Gabriel Jesus and Richarlison could help the PSG forward too.
Regardless, that’s in 2026. So back to 2022, Brazil is in a competitive group that includes Serbia, Switzerland, and Cameroon to form Group G. The Seleção’s first game of the tournament will be against Serbia on November 24 at the Lusail Iconic Stadium.