Achraf Hakimi: ‘Whistles in Israel? That’s not a problem’

Heckled by the public in Tel Aviv after taking a stand for Palestine, the Moroccan claims to be calm before the trip to Haifa.

How do you feel in this new game system where you can more exploit your offensive qualities? What is your relationship with Messi who does not serve you all the time when you go up?

I feel good in this system and as everyone knows, I like to play with five but it is also possible to play with four defenders. But I feel good and the coach has tried a lot of things in training with me and Leo (Messi) or with Sergio (Ramos) and Viti (Vitinha) who is on my side. It’s not a problem when I make the call and Leo doesn’t give it, it’s because he has seen that there is another player to whom he can pass. And that’s how today he made the pass to Neymar and we took the three points.

You have to go to Israel on Wednesday, the reception of the public was complicated with a lot of whistling the first two times you were there, is this something that works for you?

No not at all, I’m going to travel with the team it’s not a problem for me, I’m going to play and go home (laughter).

Why was it so hard tonight against this Brest team?

I think there is a bit of fatigue after the Champions League match but if you look at it, we had a good game, we took the three points. We have to continue like this and think about the next game.

We expected more changes of players and especially in front. Can we do without Messi, Neymar and Mbappé?

It’s the coach who decides, he makes the team, we respect his decision and we listen to everything he says. And if he thinks the attack is good, why not play it if it will help us.

Kylian Mbappé explained that you came back with a different state of mind. What has changed this season?

I know the players more today, I know the mentality better here in France and that of the whole team, the way of working. This year, I know everyone and I know what is expected of me and the other players.

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