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Benatia: Former Bayern Munich and Juventus star retires from football

Former Morocco international Medhi Benatia has announced his retirement from football at the age of 34.

Benatia, who made his senior debut in 2005, represented 10 clubs and scored 19 goals across his club career, finishing as a Champions League runners-up once with Juventus as well as lifting the Italian elite division diadem thrice and two Copa Italia titles twice.

At Bayern Munich, he won the Bundesliga twice and one DFB-Pokal for the 2015–16 campaign.

With several individual honours to his credit, Benatia is an undisputed icon of African football.

 

Accompanying his announcement is a touching post on social media: “From a very young age I had only one dream, to become a professional footballer,” he wrote on Instagram.

“To achieve this, I had to impose a rigour of work, made sacrifices, but above all set myself at each stage of my career new goals.

“Thank God I had the pleasure of becoming a professional footballer but as they say in this job, the hardest thing is not to sign your first contract but to last in time.

“After more than 15 years of “good and loyal service” for football, having played in the most prestigious competitions, I decided to put an end to my career.

“Through my career, I have met great people who have allowed me to build myself, which is why I want to pay tribute to all the clubs I have passed through:

“Olympique Marseille, Lorient, Tours, Clermont, Udinese, Roma, Bayern Munich, Juventus Turin, Duhail and Karagumruk.

“This job also allowed me to defend and represent my country, Morocco, with whom I lived unforgettable moments, the Afcon and especially the 2018 World Cup.

“Finally, I would like to thank all those who have supported me and who have been supporting me all this time, my parents, my wife, my children, my agent, my close friends and you who follow me.

“It is said that the end of one thing is always the beginning of another… So, I say, ‘see you soon’ with always as a guideline, work and passion. Medhi.”

On the international scene, Benatia represented France U17 before pledging his allegiance to Morocco and made his debut in November 2008 in a friendly game against Zambia.

He went on to make 58 appearances for the Atlas Lions, featuring in the 2010, 2012, 2013, 2017 and 2019 Africa Cup of Nations

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