Achraf Hakimi has expressed his willingness to continue his stay with Serie A side Inter Milan for a very ‘long time’.
The wing-back teamed up with the Black and Blues last summer from Real Madrid after ending his loan stay at Borussia Dortmund, where he made a key impact.
The defender has since made 37 appearances for Inter, scoring six goals and providing seven assists to help the club move closer to realizing their dream of winning the Serie A title for the first time since 2010.
Hakimi explained he had many offers from other European outfits before joining the Black and Blues, revealing why he chose the club.
“The team that attracted me the most was Inter and I saw it as a growth project. I am honoured to be one of the testimonials for the new club logo,” Hakimi told La Repubblica newspaper, as per Football Italia.
“I like it, as it looks to the future, a future we can build together. I hope to stay at this club for a long time, I’m very happy,”
Inter Milan are 11 points clear at the top of the Serie A table, having been unbeaten in their last 14 league games.
The Morocco international revealed his side’s impressive performances in the Italian top-flight were a result of hard work and focus.
“It was a gradual growth process, as many of us were new here, myself included, so we took a while to get to know each other,” he continued.
“Some things also happened that gave us that extra push. The Champions League elimination allowed us to focus entirely on Serie A and we learned from every defeat what we really wanted to do.
“We talk about the Scudetto with respect, knowing it’s not won yet. That’s the objective, I won’t lie, but there’s a while to go.”
Hakimi also praised Inter manager Antonio Conte for his tactical know-how and his relationship with the players.
“That was a lovely gesture of affection. The coach is with us no matter what happens. He’s like a big brother, for age and experience,” he added.
“He lets us be free and enjoy our football, which you can tell. He’s not just a coach, he’s part of this group that he created.
“I grew up at Real Madrid with a four-man defence, but I do have more freedom to push forward in a 3-5-2. The focus on tactics and defending are central to Conte’s idea of football and making me a more complete player. Our strength is that we want the same things and are all on the same page, off and on the field.
“It’s a football match, not a film. In football what counts is scoring goals and not conceding them, winning games and finishing first in tournaments.”
The defender also reacted to the hypothetical scenario of playing with Brazil’s Ronaldo.
“I wonder what we could’ve done together! You can do anything with Ronaldo, it would’ve been wonderful to run down the flank and provide him with an assist,” he concluded.