Yassine Bounou and Achraf Hakimi cover the latest issue of the prestigious GQ Middle East magazine. After posing elegantly for a photo shoot, the two Atlas Lions look back on their unforgettable feat and share some confidences.
A first for the Sevilla goalkeeper and a habit for the PSG defender. The famous GQ Middle East magazine highlights the two Moroccan internationals, Yassine Bounou and Achraf Hakimi, in the last edition of February titled “Dima Maghrib! “.
The players were treated to a glowing portrait. For Bounou, GQ referenced the Amazigh myth of the Atlas, describing it as the giant with outstretched arms, covering rocks, deserts and mountains from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea, while emphasizing the modesty it made evidence.
” I can’t say I’m in the global spotlight. My beloved country and our Moroccan flag are in the global spotlight, which is a great honor. I’m really happy with our accomplishments as a team, and we’re so humbled and motivated to achieve even more.“said the 31-year-old goalkeeper.
Asked about the national team and the staff, Bounou noted that ” It is a family, a close-knit family“. ” We support each other, we care for each other, we celebrate each other. And what brought us together was love for our country and a common purpose that has only grown in our minds and souls.“, he continues, specifying that it was necessary “ showing up as the best version of ourselves on the pitch and in training“.
The keeper says that ” the love and support that the team and I received from fans in Morocco, the African continent, the Arab world and around the world was truly incredible. We were playing football, but we contributed to something so much bigger!“.
With great pride, Bounou confided: “ I am Moroccan, I grew up in Morocco and I have strong ties to my Moroccan identity with great pride and gratitude“. He explains that his parents, family and close friends live there. “So whenever I have the chance to visit, I do. It’s such an honor and a huge responsibility to represent my country on a big stage like this.“, he says.
As for Achraf Hakimi, the magazine did not fail to recall the unforgettable memory capturing the final penalty shot by the defender eliminating Spain with an elegant and effective gesture. GQ notably spoke of the touching moment when the player “ ran and kissed his mother’s forehead after eliminating Belgium“.
” It was spontaneous“, said Hakimi, adding, “ My mom and I didn’t even think about it, but when these photos of us were taken and shared around the world, it sparked a moment that will forever go down in history.“.
Speaking about his participation, the defender claimed that ” it gives me incredible pride to wear the Morocco jersey and represent millions of Moroccans“.
” I’m so happy to have played as well as us and to have hoisted the Moroccan flag as high as possible. As a team we are so united and we were so clear about what we wanted to achieve. It was one of the strongest aspects of our selection. We were very close and we had so many amazing times together. Even though it had only been a month, it felt like we had been together a lot longer.“, he says.
To conclude, the PSG defender sends a message to the future generation: “The best advice I can give to the next generation is to enjoy their lives, work hard and allow themselves to dream of whatever they might want to achieve in the future.“.
” And nobody can tell them that they can’t achieve it because all dreams can come true – I am an example. I always dreamed of being a footballer and today I have the chance to be. With hard work and determination, anything can be achieved“, ensures the best right side in the world.