HAKIM ZIYECH will not stop speaking his mind.
And this is from a man who had the guts to take on Dutch legend Marco van Basten.
Hakim Ziyech is not afraid to speak his mindCredit: PA:Press Association
He once took on Dutch legend Marco Van Basten after the icon called him an ‘idiot’Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Chelsea’s £36.7million winger is not a man to be crossed as he showed after turning his back on playing for Holland to represent Morocco.
When Van Basten labelled him an idiot for rejecting Holland having already been called up, Ziyech, 27, was not going to take it lightly.
At the time, he said: “Van Basten is a good name but not a top-level coach.
“If you know people or have a big name, you will always get back to work. Quality counts with me.”
Ziyech ultimately had the last laugh when he helped Morocco reach the 2018 World Cup while Holland failed to qualify.
Yesterday the Blues star added: “I said what I said at that time.
“That was just the way I was looking at it and I am not afraid to have my opinion and I always speak from my heart.
“I don’t really care what people think about me. They can take it how they want to take it.
“In the end, I always trust in myself and always believe in my own strengths so it didn’t really bother me what other clubs and people think.
“If you perform on the pitch, that’s why most of the clubs are buying you or not.”
If there is something he is not happy with while he is at Stamford Bridge, then Ziyech will not be backwards in coming forwards.
That inner steel comes from a childhood growing up in the small town of Dronten where he was kicked around by bigger kids when he embarrassed them in games of street football.
Ahead of tomorrow teatime’s visit to Manchester United, Ziyech said: “Things that happened when I was younger, all the stuff when you’re playing on the streets, it makes you hard as a person.
“Especially when you get older you can play that hard as well.
“I always played against older guys and they didn’t back down.
“Even when you are too good for them they were just kicking me — and those type of things make you hard as a person.
“It helps you to grow, even on the pitch, and from that mentality it only helps you.”
Ziyech hit the big time when he dazzled in the Champions League two years ago, helping Ajax reach the semi-finals with their brilliant young side.
A place in the final against Liverpool was within their grasp, only for Tottenham to snatch it away when Lucas Moura scored in stoppage time.
But there are no thoughts of revenge even though Spurs are big rivals of Chelsea.
He added: “For a child’s dream they just stole it down to the ground. It was hard, it was painful. It was crazy what happened.
“Personally, I think we deserved to go to the final but in the end you don’t always get what you deserve. So yes, you have to take that as a lesson and I did.
“It helped me improve, to never give up, and of course people, even in Holland, they say ‘now you can take revenge on Tottenham’.”
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.