Before the competition, few fancied their chances of making it out of a group containing the 2018 finalists Croatia as well as European heavyweights Belgium.
Not only did they make it out of that group, but they did so in style. Morocco defeated Belgium and Canada to win their group, turning a lot of attention towards them. Unfortunately, things did not get any easier after that.
The African side were forced to face Luis Enrique’s Spain side, that were considered one of the most technically sound teams at the World Cup.
But they even managed to frustrate La Roja and win the game in the penalty shoot-out thanks to the heroics of goalkeeper Youssou Bounou.
Morocco would go on to face an in-form Portugal side, that had some extra stakes riding on the competition due to it being the final World Cup for Cristiano Ronaldo.
Even though the 37-year-old was benched for the game, Portugal still posed an extremely challenging task for The Atlas Lions.
However, with thousands of fellow countrymen making the lengthy trip to support them in the stadium and millions watching at home, Morocco gained some kind of special energy to power their way to a 1-0 win.
In doing so, they became the first-ever African side to have reached the World Cup semi-finals – setting a statement hat African football is on the rise. One of the major components over Morocco’s World Cup heroics was their incredible defensive record.
En route to the semi-finals, they had only conceded one goal from five games – getting clean sheets against Portugal, Spain and Belgium.
One of the major reasons behind their heroics was Hakimi, who proved himself as one of the best right-backs in world football with some amazing performances.
He managed to keep the likes of Joao Felix, Dani Olmo and Eden Hazard neutralized in the games and played a huge role in maintaining a stringent defensive line.
The 24-year-old proved that he did not need world-class players around him to succeed and poured his heart into every single game for his side.
Not only did he earn fans with his on-field performances, but some of Hakimi’s off-the-field antics also won over the majority of the footballing community.
While some footballers take time to get some cameras to catch them celebrating with their partners after big victories, Hakimi did so with his mother after the World Cup heroics.
The 24-year-old shares a very close bond with his mother and ensured she was in attendance for every one of his World Cup games.
After the win over Spain, a fan video showed him celebrating the achievement with his mother and sharing a heartwarming embrace with her.
Even after getting knocked out of the competition, Hakimi found a lot of support from his mother – who displayed how proud she was of her son’s achievement.
In fact, the picture of him receiving a kiss from his parent won over so many hearts that it was etched in a mural in Morocco soon after.
At the post-World Cup party in Morocco, Hakimi shared a brilliant dance with his cooperative mother that also won over a lot of fans.
Going by the 24-year-old’s recent appearance with his parent, it’s clear that he has decided to bring her along for every major event he attends.
Hakimi was awarded for his heroics in 2022 at the Joy Awards Ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia recently. He won the award for the ‘Best Arab Sportsman of the Year’ and decided to accept it alongside his mother.
The PSG star came to the podium with his parent alongside him and accepted the award with her.
After the win, he credited his mother for her amazing support fuelling his heroics last year and said: “I’m really happy to be here with my mum for supporting me. I also want to say thank you to my team, Paris Saint-German, and my country of Morocco.”
Hakimi experienced a difficult upbringing and was not really accustomed to any kind of major privilege in his childhood. In a past interview, he has spoken about why he is so close to his mother and shares all his joys with her.
The 24-year-old said: “My mother cleaned the houses and my father was a street vendor. We come from a modest family that struggled to earn a living. Today I fight every day for them. They sacrificed themselves for me.”
Despite having the reputation for being one of the best defenders in world football, Hakimi has managed to keep himself extremely grounded and humble. One definitely has to credit his mother for ensuring he did fall into bad ways after finding money and fame.
Hakimi might play for a club that is all about showing off to the world and boasting their financial strengths, but he has kept his focus on succeeding in his career so that he can provide even more joy to his parents.
The PSG right-back’s sweet public appearance with his mother has won over many fans on Twitter, earning him praise for their wholesome actions.
Hakimi might have enjoyed a really good 2022, but he realizes that there is still a lot left for him to achieve in his career.
At 24, he is still very young and can easily play for over another decade if able to keep himself on the right path.
As is the case with any competitive player, Hakimi will aspire to win the Champions League with PSG and possibly play in more competitive leagues later in his career.
He’d also want to win more trophies with Morocco and ensure that they continue featuring strongly in the next few World Cup editions to come.
Fortunately for Hakimi, he has an extremely supportive and loving mother by his side to always push him to do better and celebrate his success as her own.