Mehdi Benatia fans received the news of his retirement from football as a cold shower, as they saw it as a great loss for the national team, which will be deprived of its captain and one of its best defenders.
Benatia has suffered a lot from the rumors and criticism that have accompanied his career since he wore the Moroccan national jersey instead of that of the Algerian team that invited him to play in its ranks, given his mother’s origins. He said himself, in an interview with the Qatari channel “Bein Sport”, through which he announced his retirement: “The decision was not easy for me, I feel like a target because of the false information conveyed by the media about me. They say that I am involved in the composition of the team and that I myself choose the games in which I want to participate in. »
For 12 years, Benatia has led several crucial matches for his country. And if a large number of Moroccans accuse him of not getting seriously involved in his games with the Atlas lions for fear of injury by presenting as proof the fact that the team has lost many decisive matches under his leadership, many praise, on the contrary, his fighting spirit, his patriotism and his active role within the team. Perhaps it is because of media criticism that recently reported on his strained relationship with his father and his refusal to help him financially, that Benatia decided to retire permanently this time. He has earlier decided to stop playing football, but he has withdrawn at the request of many coaches, perhaps the most important of whom is Ronar, to whom he is bound by exceptional friendship and great respect.
Benatia’s journey was not easy at first. Indeed, this native of the French suburbs suffered greatly from the mistrust of coaches towards him before proving himself a few years later with several French clubs with whom he signed.
Ben Attia later managed to become one of the most important players in the European leagues, the most famous of which are Roma, Juventus and Bayern Munich, before joining Al Duhail in Qatar. He justified this choice by the fact that he wanted his children to be able to live in an Islamic world. But observers say that it was the importance of Qatar’s financial offer that was a major factor in his decision.
Born in France in 1987 to a Moroccan father and an Algerian mother, Benatia has received several awards during his professional career, including the title of Arab Player of the Year 2015, the same year he was voted second best player in Africa and then best Juventus player in 2017. He is also the winner of the award for “best player of the year in the Maghreb”.