Kylian Mbappe sends message to Achraf Hakimi after Morocco's World Cup exit

Achraf Hakimi & Kylian Mbappe usually play together for PSG
Achraf Hakimi & Kylian Mbappe usually play together for PSG / Lionel Hahn/GettyImages

France forward Kylian Mbappe urged Paris Saint-Germain clubmate Achraf Hakimi not to be ‘sad’ following Morocco’s defeat in their World Cup semi-final on Wednesday night.

The Atlas Lions, previously the first African nation to both get a World Cup point (1970) and reach the knockout stages (1986), were the first from the continent to reach the last four.

But their dream of making even more history for Africa ended with a 2-0 defeat to France, despite piling pressure on the reigning champions for large periods of the game.

Hakimi had been one of the standout performers throughout the tournament, but he and his teammates didn’t have enough to get one over on a clinical and disciplined France in the same way they had already stunned Belgium, Spain and Portugal.

“Don’t be sad bro, everybody is proud of what you did, you made history,” Mbappe posted on Twitter after the game, tagging Hakimi and sharing a picture of the two of them.

Mbappe had a hand in both French goals on the night, with his deflected shots turned in by Theo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani in either half. But the 23-year-old was generally well marshalled by Hakimi and not at his absolute electric best as a result.

Prior to the game, Morocco coach Walid Regragui had said that he would leave the decision on how to handle Mbappe down to Hakimi because of his far superior knowledge of the player.

“He knows Mbappe better than me, he trains with him every day,” Regragui said. “I’m sure he’s better placed than me to know Kylian. I’m not going to set up any tactical plan to counter Mbappe.”

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