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Medhi Benatia

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Medhi Benatia
Medhi Benatia.jpg
Benatia with Morocco at the 2018 World Cup
Personal information
Full name Medhi Amine El Mouttaqi Benatia[1]
Date of birth (1987-04-17) 17 April 1987 (age 31)
Place of birth Courcouronnes, France
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[2]
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Juventus
Number 4
Youth career
2000–2002 Clairefontaine
2002–2003 Guingamp
2003–2005 Marseille
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005–2008 Marseille 0 (0)
2006–2007Tours (loan) 29 (0)
2007–2008Lorient (loan) 0 (0)
2008–2010 Clermont 56 (2)
2010–2013 Udinese 80 (6)
2013–2014 Roma 33 (5)
2014–2017 Bayern Munich 29 (2)
2016–2017Juventus (loan) 12 (1)
2017– Juventus 29 (2)
National team
2005 France U18 1 (0)
2006–2007 Morocco U20 4 (0)
2008– Morocco 55 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 11 November 2018
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14:01, 20 June 2018 (UTC)

Medhi Amine El Mouttaqi Benatia[note 1] (Arabic: المهدي أمين بن عطية المتقي‎, French pronunciation: ​[mɛdi bɛnatia] ; born 17 April 1987) is a French-Moroccan footballer who plays for Italian club Juventus, and for the Morocco national team, as a centre back.

He began his career at Marseille, spending his time loaned out to Tours and Lorient before joining Clermont in 2008. Two years later he joined Udinese, spending three seasons there before transferring to Roma. After helping them finish as Serie A runners-up in his only campaign there, he was signed by Bayern Munich for €26 million, winning the Bundesliga in both of his seasons. In 2016 he moved to Juventus, initially on loan, and was later signed permanently by the club in 2017.

Born and raised in France, Benatia represents his father's Morocco at international level. He made his international debut for them in 2008 and represented the nation at three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, totalling over 50 caps.

Early life[edit]

Benatia was born in Courcouronnes, France, to a Moroccan father and an Algerian mother.[3][4]

Club career[edit]

Marseille[edit]

Benatia joined Marseille in 2003, and signed his first professional contract with them two years later.[3] After loan spells at Tours and Lorient, he left for Ligue 2 club Clermont on 1 July 2008 on a free transfer.

Udinese[edit]

On 1 July 2010, Benatia signed for Serie A club Udinese Calcio, again on a free transfer. He made 80 league appearances for Udinese, scoring six goals.[5]

Roma[edit]

On 13 July 2013, Benatia signed for Roma on a five-year contract in a €13.5 million transfer,[6] with Nico López and Valerio Verre going the other way on co-ownership as part of the same deal.[7] On 26 September, Benatia scored his first goal for the club in a 2–0 victory against Sampdoria.[8] After further goals against Bologna, Catania.[9] and Chievo Verona in the second half of the season, he ended the season with five goals from 33 games.[10]

Bayern Munich[edit]

Benatia in action for Bayern Munich in 2014

On 27 August 2014, Bayern Munich announced that they had signed Benatia[11] on a five-year deal[12] for a fee of €26 million.[13] Bayern Munich beat Manchester City, Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid, who were said to be also interested in signing him.[14] He admitted he was disappointed to leave Roma but was told he had to go because the club needed the money.[14] Upon hearing this, Roma President James Pallotta was furious and responded by saying he was sold for being a "poisonous liar".[15]

On 17 September 2014, Benatia made his official debut for Bayern in a (1–0) home win against Manchester City, for the opening match of the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League season, where he played for 85 minutes, completing 93% of his passes. In the return match at Manchester City, he was sent off in the 20th minute for denying Sergio Agüero a clear goalscoring opportunity; the subsequent penalty was converted by Agüero and City went on to win 3–2.[16]

Benatia scored his first goal for Bayern on 13 December, opening the scoring in a 4–0 win at FC Augsburg with a header; this result put his club 10 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga table.[17] On 12 May 2015, Benatia scored his first Champions League goal, heading Bayern into the lead in their Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona; although his team won 3–2, they were eliminated 3–5 on aggregate.[18]

He started the 2015–16 season in the German Super Cup, which Bayern lost in a penalty shootout after a 1–1 draw at VfL Wolfsburg.[19] On 14 August, he headed Xabi Alonso's free kick for the first goal of the new Bundesliga season in a 5–0 thrashing of Hamburger SV.[20]

Juventus[edit]

On 15 July 2016, Italian champions Juventus signed Benatia on a season-long loan for €3 million, with an option to buy for an extra €17 million at the end of season.[21][22] He made his club debut on 27 August, in a 1–0 away win over Lazio in Serie A.[23]

On 10 March 2017, Benatia scored his first goal for Juventus in a 2–1 win over A.C. Milan in Serie A, at the Juventus Stadium.[24] On 12 May, Juventus exercised the option to permanently sign Benatia until 2020.[25][26]

In May 2017, Benatia walked out of an interview with television channel RAI Due when he heard racist abuse towards him in his earpiece. The company apologised.[27]

On 11 April 2018, Juventus were leading 3–0 away to Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, a score that would have taken the game to extra time as Juventus lost the first leg at home 3–0. Referee Michael Oliver awarded a 93rd minute injury time penalty to Real Madrid after Benatia challenged Lucas Vázquez in the box; the penalty was subsequently converted by Cristiano Ronaldo for a final 4–3 aggregate loss. Benatia said after the game that Oliver's call made him "more and more disgusted by the world of football".[28]

International career[edit]

Benatia (in white) playing against Algeria in June 2011

Benatia made his international debut for Morocco on 19 November 2008 in a 3–0 friendly win over Zambia at the Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca.[29] He scored his first goal for them on 4 June 2011, opening a 4–0 win over rivals Algeria at the Stade de Marrakech, in qualification for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.[30]

He was part of their squad at the final tournament in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, and played in their first two matches of an eventual group stage exit, defeats to Tunisia and Gabon.[31][32] In the following year's tournament in South Africa, he played the entirety of all three matches as they again were defeated at the first stage.

Benatia was Morocco's captain at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and played every minute until the 1–0 elimination by Egypt in the quarter-finals. In March that year, he dropped himself from the national team until he became a regular for Juventus, stating "I think it’s unfair to come and play for the national team when I lack competitive football and take the place of someone who is in a better position".[33] On 11 November, he scored in a 2–0 win away to the Ivory Coast that qualified the Atlas Lions to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, their first such tournament for 20 years. He called it "the most beautiful moment of my career".[34]

Style of play[edit]

A tall, large, strong, and athletic defender, with good technique, ball-playing ability, defensive skills, and an ability to organise his defence; in recent years Benatia has earned a reputation as one of the best centre-backs in Serie A; he is known in particular for his tackling and ability in the air.[35][36][37]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of matches played on 11 November 2018
Club Season League Cup1 Europe Other2 Total Ref.
League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Tours 2006–07 Ligue 2 29 0 1 0 0 0 30 0 [38]
Lorient 2007–08 Ligue 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
Clermont 2008–09 Ligue 2 27 1 0 0 0 0 27 1 [39]
2009–10 30 1 0 0 2 0 32 1 [38][39]
Totals 57 2 0 0 2 0 59 2
Udinese 2010–11 Serie A 34 3 0 0 34 3 [39]
2011–12 27 1 0 0 11 1 38 2 [39]
2012–13 19 2 0 0 6 0 25 2 [39]
Totals 80 6 0 0 17 1 97 7
Roma 2013–14 Serie A 33 5 4 0 37 5 [39]
Bayern Munich 2014–15 Bundesliga 15 1 2 0 7 1 0 0 24 2 [40]
2015–16 14 1 1 0 6 0 1 0 22 1 [19][41]
Totals 29 2 3 0 13 1 1 0 46 3
Juventus 2016–17 Serie A 15 1 1 0 5 0 0 0 21 1 [39]
2017–18 21 2 3 2 8 0 1 0 33 4 [39]
2018–19 5 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 6 0 [39]
Totals 41 3 4 2 14 0 1 0 60 5
Career totals 269 18 13 2 44 2 4 0 330 22

International[edit]

Statistics accurate as of match played 20 June 2018.[42]
Morocco
Year Apps Goals
2009 7 0
2010 4 0
2011 5 1
2012 8 0
2013 5 0
2014 4 0
2015 4 0
2016 4 0
2017 8 1
2018 6 0
Total 55 2

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Morocco's goal tally first.[38]
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 4 June 2011 Stade de Marrakech, Marrakech, Morocco  Algeria 1–0 4–0 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
2. 11 November 2017 Stade Félix Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan, Ivory Coast  Ivory Coast 2–0 2–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Benatia (fifth from left) in Juventus' 2016–17 double-winning squad
Bayern Munich[43]
Juventus[43]

Individual[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Though the traditional Arabic spelling is "Mehdi", he spells his name "Medhi". See, for example, his Twitter account, UEFA and Juventus.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "M. Benatia" (in Dutch). Voetbal International. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  2. ^ "2018 FIFA World Cup Russia – List of Players" (PDF). FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b Yokhin, Michael (4 February 2014). "Mehdi Benatia – how France lost the best of Generation '87". ESPN. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  4. ^ "INTERVIEW. "Lemerre n'y est pour rien…"". Telquel (in French) (N° 379). Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  5. ^ Medhi Benatia at Soccerbase Edit this at Wikidata
  6. ^ "Transfer news: Roma sign defender Mehdi Benatia from Udinese". Sky Sports. 13 July 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  7. ^ De Martinis, Julian (13 July 2013). "Roma sign Benatia and a new goalie you've never heard of". ESPN. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  8. ^ "Another win for Roma". Sky Sports. 25 September 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  9. ^ "Mehdi Benatia's Match History". WhoScored. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  10. ^ "Team statistics". A.S. Roma. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  11. ^ "Medhi Benatia: Bayern Munich sign Roma defender". BBC Sports. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  12. ^ "Transfer von Benatia ist fix" (in German). Süddeutsche Zeitung. 26 August 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  13. ^ "OPERAZIONI DI MERCATO BENATIA" (PDF) (in Italian). AS Roma. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Transfer news: Mehdi Benatia says Bayern Munich was obvious choice despite European interest". Sky Sports. 8 September 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  15. ^ Pallotta, James (8 September 2014). "Statement by James Pallotta". Retrieved 10 September 2014.
  16. ^ "Man City 3–2 Bayern Mun". BBC Sport. 25 November 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2014.
  17. ^ "FC Augsburg 0–4 Bayern Mun". BBC Sport. 13 December 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  18. ^ Jurejko, Jonathan (12 May 2015). "Bayern Mun 3–2 Barcelona". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  19. ^ a b "Joker Bendtner ist zweimal zur Stelle". kicker (in German). 1 August 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  20. ^ "Bayern Munich 5–0 Hamburg: Bavarians begin Bundesliga campaign in ominous fashion". Goal.com. 14 August 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  21. ^ "Benatia joins Juventus" (Press release). FC Bayern Munich. 15 July 2016. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  22. ^ "Official: Juventus sign Benatia". Football Italia. 15 July 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2016.
  23. ^ Mina Rzouki (28 August 2016). "Khedira stars again as Juventus earn a hard-fought win at Lazio". ESPN FC. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  24. ^ Davis, Matt (10 March 2017). "Juventus 2–1 AC Milan". BBC. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
  25. ^ "Benatia signs until 2020!". juventus.com. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  26. ^ "Medhi Benatia joins Juventus" (Press release). FC Bayern Munich. 12 May 2017. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
  27. ^ "Italian broadcaster Rai apologises to Medhi Benatia for racist incident". ESPN. PA Sport. 7 May 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  28. ^ Burton, Chris (12 April 2018). "Benatia 'disgusted by the world of football' after controversial penalty call crushes Juventus' dreams". Goal.com. Retrieved 12 April 2018.
  29. ^ "Mehdi Benatia, une étoile dans le firmament du football marocain" [Mehdi Benatia, a star in the sky of Moroccan football] (in French). Maroc Québec. 26 June 2016. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  30. ^ "Football : le Maroc humilie l'Algérie 4 à 0" [Football: Morocco humiliate Algeria 4–0] (in French). Bladi. 5 June 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  31. ^ "Tunisia take bragging rights". Sky Sports. 23 January 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  32. ^ Fottrell, Stephen (27 January 2015). "Nations Cup: Gabon grab late winner against Morocco". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
  33. ^ "Benatia drops himself from Morocco team over lack of form". Reuters. 15 March 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  34. ^ Olasoji, Tolu (18 November 2017). "LEADING MOROCCO TO RUSSIA 2018 'MY MOST BEAUTIFUL MOMENT' – BENATIA". Goal.com. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  35. ^ Maurizio Pilloni (28 September 2009). "BEST XI: scegliamo i migliori difensori della storia bianconera" (in Italian). Tutto Udinese. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  36. ^ "Benatia 'not good enough for Bayern' – Matthaus". FourFourTwo. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  37. ^ Steffen Potter (28 August 2014). "Benatia solves Guardiola's Bayern problem". UEFA.com. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  38. ^ a b c "M. Benatia". Soccerway. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  39. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Medhi Benatia » Club matches". World Football. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  40. ^ "Medhi Benatia". kicker.de (in German). kicker. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  41. ^ "Medhi Benatia". kicker.de (in German). kicker. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  42. ^ Medhi Benatia at National-Football-Teams.com
  43. ^ a b "M. Benatia". Soccerway. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  44. ^ "Glo-Caf Awards Lagos 2013". cafonline.com. 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  45. ^ "Glo-Caf Award Winners 2014". 9 January 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  46. ^ "Aubameyang, Samatta rule Africa". cafonline.com. 7 January 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  47. ^ http://Badr Hari et Mehdi Benatia plébiscités lors des "Mars d'Or", http://www.h24info.ma, 16 avril 2014.
  48. ^ "A.S. Roma Awards 2013–14: Player of the Season". 28 April 2014. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  49. ^ "Die ESM-Topelf der Saison 2013/14 – ein Deutscher ist dabei" (in German). kicker.de. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
  50. ^ "Serie A, Gran Galà del Calcio Aic. Tutte le frasi e i premi" [Serie A, Gran Galà del Calcio Aic. All the quotes and awards] (in Italian). Tuttosport. 15 December 2014. Archived from the original on 15 April 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  51. ^ "Globe Soccer Awards Best Arab Player of the Year 2016". Globe Soccer. 27 December 2014.

External links[edit]