From being a leader of a club in a crisis in their twenties to shining on Europe’s biggest arena, Hakim Ziyech has experienced enough on a journey from a boy playing football. Street to one of Chelsea ‘s most expensive football legends’ transfer.
This summer, the Moroccan midfielder born in the Netherlands will land in London after Chelsea agree with Ajax for a fee that can amount to more than 36 million pounds.
But in the English Premier League everyone can see one thing, the higher the transfer fee, the greater the expectation, however, if you learn about Hakim, we will see this 26-year-old boy is too familiar with the pressure or the difficulties in life.
The youngest of eight siblings, Ziyech’s father died early when he was ten, the burden of the family was on his mother’s shoulders with little income.
Football is an attractive sport for Ziyech family members. His two brothers also have the desire to become a soccer player. However, that dream quickly faded, only the youngest brother Ziyech still nurtured that passion until it became a reality.
He honed his skills across the streets of the town of Dronten, the Netherlands, and finally he graduated from the Reaal and ASV academies. His chance came when he joined Heerenveen at the age of 14 – 2007.
He soon made an impression at Abe Lenstra Football Field – when he was selected to the first team at the age of 19 – And Heerenveen himself was a springboard for Ziyech to succeed.
However, when joining FC Twente in 2014, the financial situation of the club in a crisis has brought challenges for the young man. In 2016, Ziyech was transferred to the Dutch giant – Ajax, the club that for five years without a title.
Marcel van der Kraan, a Dutch football writer, said, “in my eyes he is incredible. He went through a lot of difficulties in life and had his first challenging time in Ajax when the fans were suspicious and didn’t support him. “
” At Heereveen – Marco van Basten, Ziyech’s former coach didn’t see his future. Twente was on the verge of bankruptcy, but when wearing the captaincy at a very young age, he had to appear often. During press conferences every week, I have to answer questions that are not for you but for the Board of Directors. He let himself overcome all obstacles and I think it is the difficulties That made Ziyech today.
The poor relationship between Ziyech and Ajax fans culminated in a 0-3 defeat to hosts PSV Einhdhoven in April 2018. The midfielder was said to have criticism towards a set. Ajax fans who reacted to the team on the bus to take the team back to Amsterdam Arena.
But then, he himself had transformed that relationship to become unexpectedly better. He shined last season, scored 21 goals and had 24 assists to help Ajax double the domestic title, moreover, they were very close to the cup final when losing to Tottenham after the late goal of Luca Moura.
Ziyech also contributed 3 goals in Ajax’s 4-4 draw with Chelsea in the Champions League last season. “His performance in the Champions League in Ajax was incredible,” Van der Krann continued. “The crowd using to boo has moved to sing his name, now they have regretted a lot when he’s about to leave, just because they think he should be worth £100 million.”
So what exactly will Chelsea get when they have to spend such a large amount of money?
Hakim’s statistics at Eredivise show that he will complement the creativity of Lampard’s squad. The attacking midfielder has created 421 goals for his teammates at Ajax since joining in 2016 – 134 more than any player playing in the top Dutch league.
Since 2018, he has more assists than Lionel Messi in the Champions League, only Kylian Mbappe, Riyad Mahrez is better than him in this statistic.
The strong left foot and the ability to defeat opponents in 1-on-1 situations are Hakim’s outstanding qualities.
“In the Netherlands, there are small rectangular cages known as pleintjes and Ziyech is this kind of Pleintjes player” Van der Kraan continued.
“He is a type of participant who can idiot himself in any situation, and when the distance around him is best 10 inches, he can still manipulate and defeat the opponent.
“Hakim’s performance towards the pinnacle teams, especially against Chelsea after encounters, impressed the Stamford Bridge team. They realized his and Lampard’s abilities began to study with how to look at him more closely.
An outgoing, humble guy with a great heart
Although in the U19, U20 and U21 nets, Ziyech played for the Netherlands, in 2015 he decided to play for the Morocco national team and help them advance to the World Cup finals in Russia in 2018.
However, the fans in Morocco can not put him on par with football legends names of home football.
A sports journalist in Morocco said, “He has yet to be seen as the last star.”
“Fans are searching forward to the day he is going to take the team to the title. Everyone here is now only a fan of the squad that won the 1976 African Championship and names like Mustapha Hadji or Noureddine Naybet only.
“He is an extrovert and humble guy. When the national team trains, you will always see him laughing and making jokes with his teammates. or Egypt and the players who play in Europe, He always has valuable advice for young players and always helps them. “
Ziyech’s kind heart was also shown when this guy offered financial support for Leon de Kogel in 2019 after the Dutchman’s career ended in a car accident.
“Ziyech is not only the best player in Eredivisie, but also a warm-hearted person, I will carry his image throughout my life.” – De Kogel shared.
With what has shown time too, surely the Blues fans have the confidence to hope for this contract of the club. And how good it is, let Hakim Ziyech himself prove it in the future, starting from the 2020/21 season.