Hakim Ziyech Profile
|Born||Mar 19, 1993|
From the Eredivisie to the Premier League, the Dutch-born midfielder has taken the soccer world by storm. Here is his story.
Hakim Ziyech is a professional soccer player who currently plays as an attacking midfielder for Premier League outfit Chelsea and the Morocco national team.
After four impressive years with Dutch clubs Heerenveen and FC Twente, Ziyech caught the attention of Ajax, who purchased the player for a reported transfer fee of €11milliomn. The move saw him make 112 appearances as Ajax won the Eredivisie title and the KNVB Cup, as well as reaching a Europa League final and a Champions League semi-final during his time there.
His consistent high-quality performances quickly made him one of the hottest properties in European soccer and this soon led to another transfer. On this occasion, it was to Chelsea, who acquired his services for a reported transfer fee of around $50million.
The player has built a reputation for his finishing, his technique and the occasional dribble. He is also a well-skilled executor of free kicks. At the culmination of the 2018/19 season, The Guardian newspaper ranked him 29th on their list of the world's best 100 soccer players.
Hakim Ziyech and his early days in the Eredivisie
Ziyech was born in Dronten, Netherlands, and began his career with local outfits Reaal Dronten and ASV Dronten.
In 2007, the midfielder was picked up by Heerenveen, who were a top-tier club in the middle of a UEFA Cup campaign at the time. Ziyech was 14 years old and joined the club's academy.
In 2012, the player made his debut in a Europa League qualifying game against Rapid Bucuresti. Just a few days later, he made his league debut in a 2-0 defeat to NEC. Exactly one year later, Ziyech scored his first goal in a 2-0 win over NAC Breda.
In August 2014, FC Twente, who had just finished third in the Eredivisie, bought the player for a reported fee of around €3.5million. Ziyech enjoyed a stellar first season with the club, scoring 11 goals and creating 15 assists in the Dutch top flight alone.
His impressive performances saw him receive the captain's armband ahead of the 2015/16 campaign. However, in January of that season, Ziyech was stripped of the captaincy after making negative comments about the club and declaring he had requested a transfer. Despite the controversy, he enjoyed another strong season on the field, scoring 17 goals and creating 10 assists in the Eredivisie.
A big break at Ajax
Ziyech's transfer request was granted ahead of the 2016/17 campaign as he switched from FC Twente to Ajax for around €11million.
In his first season with the Amsterdam outfit, Ziyech helped guide them to the Europa League final. However, a 2-0 loss to Manchester United ended his hopes of a first European winners medal. Despite the disappointing result, the midfielder finished the Europa League campaign that year joint-fourth on the top assist charts, while his first season with Ajax also saw him bag the first of four spots in the Eredivisie Team of the Year.
His second season at Ajax was far less eventful, with the club failing to land a single piece of silverware and also enduring a below-par European campaign.
Things changed, however, in Ziyech's third season in Amsterdam. The club went on a historic Champions League run which saw them eliminate Dynamo Kiev, Real Madrid and Juventus on their way to the semi-finals. Tottenham Hotspur stood between Ziyech and a Champions League final appearance, but despite his assist in the first leg and a goal in the second, it was the English outfit that prevailed. This disappointment was partially alleviated by Ajax managing to win a domestic league/cup double that season.
Despite signing a new three-year contract with the club, Zieych would then only spend one more year in Amsterdam before moving to London.
Hakim Ziyech and Chelsea
Chelsea announced they had come to an agreement with Ajax over the transfer of Ziyech back in February 2020. The reported fee was in the region of €40million as Frank Lampard continued to build his Blues squad for the 2020/21 campaign.
The player agreed a five-year contract with the club and made his debut on October 17, 2020, when he came off the bench in a 3-3 draw with Southampton. A few days later, Ziyech bagged his first goal for the Blues as they thrashed Krasnodar 4-0 in a Champions League group-stage fixture.
Just three days later, Ziyech was back on the scoresheet, having helped his side to a 3-0 win away at Burnley in the Premier League. This goal made him the first Chelsea player since Diego Costa to score on his first two starts in all competitions.
In the following game, Ziyech received his first Premier League man-of-the-match award as his two assists helped Chelsea to a 4-1 win over Sheffield United.
Ziyech's international career with Morocco
Ziyech was born in the Netherlands and began his international career playing at youth level for the Dutch national team. He made appearances for the U-19s, U-20s and U-21s before switching allegiance to the country of his mother, Morocco.
On October 9, 2015, Ziyech made his debut for the African nation in a 1-0 defeat to Ivory Coast. Eight months later, Ziyech scored his first two goals for Morocco as he helped them to a 2-0 win over Congo.
Ziyech was part of the 23-man Morocco squad which travelled to the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Facing a tough group which featured both Spain and Portugal, Morocco put up a strong showing, but ultimately finished bottom.
Ziyech was born on March 19, 1993, in Dronten. He is the youngest of nine children born to a Moroccan mother and Dutch father. When Ziyech was just 10 years old, his father passed away due to a serious illness.
As the youngster began his career, former Moroccan international Aziz Doufikar became his mentor. The former PEC Zwolle player is said to have helped Ziyech get back on track after the youngster began to miss training and reportedly show a bad attitude.
Reported net worth
Ziyech earns a reported £5.2million a year with Chelsea. This is reportedly twice the wage that the player was receiving at Ajax.
The Moroccan international is a car fanatic and has a Lamborghini Urus, a red Lamborghini Aventador, a Mercedes Benz SUV and a Volkswagen Golf GTi among his collection.