Brazilian football icon Ronaldo has described the transfer of Achraf Hakimi from Real Madrid to Inter Milan as a mistake on the part of the Spanish club, describing the player as an “extraordinary player”.
Real Madrid showed that Achraf Hakimi was surplus to requirement at the club when the Spanish giants decided to send him on loan to Borussia Dortmund a season after he gained promotion to Real Madrid senior team on July 1, 2017.
While at Borussia Dortmund, the 22-year-old right midfielder scored 12 goals and provided 17 assists in 73 games between 2018 and 2020. His impressive form attracted the attention of Inter Milan that sought after his signature during the 2020 summer transfer window.
To the dismay of many football fans that were following the progress of the Moroccan footballer, Real Madrid agreed to sell the fast-rising football star to Inter Milan on September 1, 2020, for a transfer fee worth €40 million.
Since he joined Inter Milan, Achraf Hakimi has scored 6 goals and provided 5 assists in 23 games in all competitions. His effort has helped Inter Milan to remain second on the league table with 37 points in 17 games after recording 11 victories, 4 draws, and 2 defeats. Inter Milan are just three points behind first-placed Ac Milan.
While predicting that Inter Milan might win the Italian Serie A title, Brazilian Ronaldo acknowledged the input of the Moroccan midfielder, noting that the club has a great team and coach to challenge for the league title.
“They have a great coach and a team with a precise identity. In addition to that, they don’t play European competitions. That’s never a good thing, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Inter earn more points than their opponents in March when European competitions will resume”, Ronaldo told La Gazzetta Dello Sport.
“They signed an extraordinary player in [Achraf] Hakimi. It was a mistake for Real Madrid to let him go, sometimes I think: ‘Ronnie, imagine you and him. We would go at a decent speed…”
On how the manager of Inter Milan, Antonio Conte, make substitutions, the former Real Madrid and Inter Milan striker admitted that some people seemed not to like how the coach makes his substitutions and urged them to stop judging from the outside.
Ronaldo compared the criticism Conte has been getting at Inter Milan to that which the coach of Juventus, Andrea Pirlo, has been getting since he started managing Juventus in 2020.
“I’ve never criticized him, but someone else does it, judging by some messages I receive from time to time. I know people don’t always like his substitutions, but sometimes there are needs that people don’t see from outside. It is the destiny of coaches, the same is happening with [Andrea] Pirlo, people said he didn’t have the experience,” Ronaldo said.
“I watched him closely, on the pitch. Pirlo has superior intelligence, he will never play simple football and the team must follow him. He will need time, but if Juventus gave him the job, they will wait for him, things don’t change from one day to another.”