The close friendship between Frances’s Kylian Mbappe and Morocco’s Achraf Hakimi will be set aside Wednesday evening as both friends are set to clash in the second semi-finals between France and Morocco.
Mbappe and Hakimi have enjoyed a close friendship since Hakimi arrived at Paris Saint-Germain FC in 2021, with Mbappe introducing Hakimi to the Parisian culture and his circle of friends and family, according to a report by Daily Mail.
Mbappe stars on the French team while Hakimi is making remarkable impacts on the Moroccan team which may see him as one of the best the team has ever had.
Both teammates at the PSG and friends will have to put their friendship on hold Wednesday for the fight for a place in the Qatar 2022 World Cup final against already qualified Argentina.
Hakimi has been positioned to mark his dear friend, Mbappe, on the left flank, bringing both friends directly against each other in the contest.
So far, Mbappe and Hakimi have enjoyed each other’s support. After Hakimi’s decisive penalty in the shoot-out against Spain, Mbappe took to Twitter to congratulate his teammate.
“ACHRAF HAKIMI,” Mbappe wrote in support of his close friend, before later posting their photograph together in Qatar.
In January, Mbappe had tweeted, “ACHRAF HAKIMI, THE BEST RB IN THE WORLD,” claiming that his friend was the best right-back in the world.
Speaking about the duo’s friendship’s origin, “Kylian was one of the first who went to talk to Achraf when he arrived,” a Parc de Princes insider told L’Equipe, a French newspaper.
“He immediately tried to help him. Kylian spoke Spanish and I think he wanted to continue practising that language.
“Then they are (more or less) the same age. They’ve spent time in each other’s rooms. You don’t have to look further — they found each other.”
During the early stages of the World Cup, Mbappe visited the Moroccan training camp during a day off to see Hakimi and send his best wishes, Daily Mail reported.
Mbappe had hinted that the pair would face off at the World Cup back in May.
“Here, we (France) will play against my friend, I will have to destroy him. It’s going to break my heart. I’m going to smash it,” Mbappe light-heartedly told the PSG TV on a training camp in Doha last summer.