Silently … Achraf Hakimi


In the annoying silence of reflection that the draw against Sassuolo has left, a bitter result aggravated by the disqualifications of Milan Skriniar is Antonio Conte, to shake the minds and upset the balance of a nineteenth-century painting imbued with anxiety Beppe Marotta or who for him. On a quiet June afternoon Sky Sport bursts: “There is Hakimi’s yes”. A statement so disruptive and sudden that it even tastes like a joke. Hakimi? That Hakimi there? Yes, that one. That Hakimi who sent forty-five minutes of tactical and mental certainties of Inter Champions League format to Dortmund and sent back the Nerazzurri team and management to review Antonio Conte’s doctrine. The team that had not yet absorbed what good Antonio meant with the concept of ‘winning mentality’ and the company that will certainly remember the first real big outburst of Conte, who in the belly of Signal Iduna Park complained of a short rose and not up to certain challenges. Of that night in Dortmund there are three things that the Inter players remember: Conte’s outburst is certainly one of those, but in the hierarchy scale the performance of the number 5 in the yellow and black jersey comes even before.

A victory as a birthday present, he said on the eve; and in order not to miss anything, the Hispanic-Moroccan won thanks to not one but two goals, scored behind Handanovic and who put Inter against the wall, or even pillory. First and last marking, the prelude and the sentence that Hakimi wrote and read Europa League. A pouring rain that suddenly flooded Conte’s clayey team, which collapsed under the blows of Favre’s men and which left uncovered a construction site still too much under construction. A rain that at first left the bitterness of destruction, but which in the long run has taken on a decidedly different connotation.

Suddenly, on Friday, that name considered so annoying up to that moment began to sound friendly, almost familiar, but only after the initial disbelief. That Hakimi there? Yes. That Hakimi there. Observed, treated and practically closed in a silence so close to surprise more than the blow itself. A new modus operandi from the parts of Viale della Liberazione, announced at times but too atypical not to arouse amazement. Inevitable thinking: “Fnalmente no leak of news”, with the equally inevitable applause to that Beppe Marotta conductor of an orchestra that begins to play in unison. A sound that not only does not screech but even seems to go on growing up to a high pitch that will not stop with the ’98 class which, on the contrary, is only the symphony that raises the curtain. Forty million plus bonuses (to be defined) net of a market that has yet to begin and which looks promising and resounding.

And in the midst of a bad mood called Sassuolo, to bring back the smile is that number 5 that in Dortmund had left little of pleasant. At least to the fans, or rather, only to the fans. With those two goals that have crushed Conte and the Champions ambitions, the newly 21-year-old Hispanic-Moroccan has routed a route made known only on the home straight and pleasant enough to touch the romance. The seduced and abandoned Hakimi, strongly wanted in the first team by Zidane but then sent to Germany with the promise to return home as a protagonist, is mistreated by the Frenchman himself, reluctant to undermine Dani Carvajal from his role, even after the German expedition expedition that he consecrated him among the best Under 21 players on the European scene.

Hence the foreseeable feeling of revenge, reconciled with the ambitions of Viale della Liberazione, with the specific intent of taking up what was left in Dortmund and replicating those two goals with different results and different music. Because if at dawn Parma-Inter Conte stumbles in an attempt to get closer to the top of a classification that seems too far away, Zhang’s head is to Europe, that of the great ones, in which next season Inter have the duty rather than the right to compete.

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