From Swapping Shirts To Chilling In Tunnel: How Kylian Mbappe And Achraf Hakimi Bonded After Full Time

After a legendary run that made Morocco the first African nation to ever come as far as the penultimate stage of the FIFA World Cup, Achraf Hakimi lay down on the grass, defeated.

His PSG teammate, best friend, and rival for the night, Kylian Mbappe walked over to him as the rest of his team celebrated on the pitch, yanked Hakimi up to his feet and put his arms around the Moroccan in a brotherly bid to console him.

The fact is that this World Cup has shown the polarity in the way teams and fans deal with wins and losses with Argentina becoming the face of disrespectful behaviour following their quarterfinal win against the Netherlands.

However, there have been heartwarming instances that show the mutual respect that should flow among the pro-football community and Mbappe and Hakimi are probably the best example of respect, love, and friendship in contemporary football.

The French 23-year-old and the Moroccan 24-year-old are known to be inseparable as Paris Saint-Germain squad mates and, in fact, some of the most hilarious celebrations that have been executed to perfection on the pitch are by these two players who can’t help but make fans fall in love with their bromance.

Even Hakimi’s celebration mimicking a penguin, after scoring the winning penalty that put Morocco in the final Round of 16, at Spain’s expense, is reportedly an inside joke between Ligue 1 teammates Mbappe, Ramos and Hakimi.

That said, all of the publicly displayed bromances had to be set aside for 90 minutes as Hakimi tasked himself with being the chosen one to stop the 23-year-old leading goal scorer in this edition of the World Cup.

While Morocco had an absolute dream run in the World Cup, their effort fell short before a French team on a rampage.

It’s worth mentioning Mbappe’s video from January that went viral just before the semi-final wherein the Frenchman said he would have to destroy his mate Hakimi if France ever came up against Morocco.

While Mbappe didn’t exactly manage to “destroy” the Moroccan who took it upon himself to defend against his PSG mate, he did manage to get one clinical assist from inside the penalty spot, which led to the final goal of the match and the sure-shot loss of Hakimi’s side.

Now, this doesn’t seem to be a friendship weak enough to be destroyed by on-pitch rivalry because as the match ended, the two mates swapped their match jerseys with each other and walked out of the pitch together with each other’s name proudly worn on their chests.

In fact, a video clip even showed the Frenchman and the Moroccan simply enjoying a conversation on the floor of the tunnel after the celebrations had died down a bit, just before French President Emmanuel Macron found himself greeting the young stars.

Mbappe left no stone unturned to make sure that Hakimi doesn’t feel the ugly brunt of failure.

The Frenchman even took to Twitter to remind his mate that he had created history and that this was simply not the time to be sad. Of course, in reaction to this, fans couldn’t help but exalt the purity of the two football players’ friendship.

There’s simply no doubt as to which team Achraf Hakimi will be supporting in the World Cup finals as defending champions France go up against an Argentinian squad, heralded by Lionel Messi, who couldn’t be hungrier for the perfect end to a stellar international career.

That said, both teams are bound to be in for an epic battle given that the race for the golden boot is primarily between a 35-year-old GOAT, Lionel Messi, and a 23-year-old Kylian Mbappe who has already found a place in history as one of the youngest players to win a FIFA World Cup.

And before you know it, Mbappe will be back at Le Parc des Princes, jostling around with Achraf Hakimi and cooking up new celebrations for the duo to perform at the corner flag.