Morocco, for the first time in their history, elevated to the quarter-finals after beating Spain 3-0 times in penalties after extra time. They became the first African nation since Ghana in 2010 to reach that stage and also the first Arab team to qualify for the quarters. Hakim Ziyech has been in prolific form for his country in Qatar, recording one goal and one assist as Morocco surprised everyone to top their group ahead of Croatia, Belgium, and Canada.
The attacking midfielder once again took the charge on Tuesday as Morocco produced the latest World Cup upset by beating Spain on penalties, with Ziyech slotting in his spot-kick.
Who is Hakim Ziyech?
Hakim Ziyech is a professional football player who currently plays as an attacking midfielder for the Premier League club Chelsea and the Morocco national team.
He was born on March 19, 1993, in Dronten, Netherlands. He began his professional career at Dutch club Heerenveen in 2012 and signed for fellow Dutch club Twente in 2014. Two years later, he signed for Ajax on a five-year deal, with a transfer fee of Euro 11 million. The 2018-19 season was the most crucial in Ziyech’s career, as he scored 16 goals and provided 13 assists in the Eredivisie. He joined the Premier League club, Chelsea, in the 2020-21 season.
Ziyech represented Morocco at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, and 2022 FIFA World Cup. He is known for his dribbling, finishing, long passes, technique, and ability from free kicks. In 2019, he was selected as one of the top 20 players in the CEFA Champions League for the 2018-19 season. The same year, he was ranked 29th in The Guardian’s list of “The 100 best footballers in the world”.
Also Read | Who is Walid Regragui, head coach of Morocco?
He was born in the Netherlands to a Moroccan family and was eligible to play for either Morocco or Netherlands national team at the international level. In 2015, he was called up to the senior squad in May 2015 for friendly matches against the United States and Latvia. He was part of the 23-man squad which traveled to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.