Rabat – Will Moroccan football player Mehdi Benatia leave the national team?
Despite Morocco’s win against Malawi (3-0) in the 2019 CAN game qualifier, Saturday, September 8, Benatia’s absence from the team is still raising a lot of questions about his future with the Atlas Lions.
According to RMC Sport, the Juventus defender is seriously thinking of returning his jersey as captain of the Moroccan team, wanting to retire from playing with the Moroccan team.
In the last week, the 31-year-old football player was the subject of many rumors after Herve Renard did not select him to be one of the 25 players for the Malawi-Morocco qualifier game.
Local media were quick to jump to conclusions, reporting tensions between the coach and the captain since the end of the 2018 World Cup. Benatia went on social media to dismiss the speculation.
Benatia was not the only one to deny the rumors. Speaking in a press conference before the game, the national team’s coach, Renard, had to explain the absence of his captain.
“Between Mehdi Benatia and me, there is of course no problem. He is someone I really appreciate. When you are a coach, you call your captain, you ask him where he is in his training, you know like me that he had a training [with Juventus] where he does not have all the time to play,” said the coach, explaining that Benatia wanted to focus on having a good season with his club, Juventus.
RMC Sport added that the absence of Mehdi Benatia is actually due to a deeper reflection on his future representing Morocco internationally, because the World Cup was difficult for Benatia to live with behind the scenes.
Benatia, on the other hand, may feel he needs to prove himself as he is struggling to find his place with his current club, Juventus, where he has not made any appearances on the pitch this season.
According to Italian football outlet Calciomercato, the Atlas Lion requested a contract renewal with the Old Lady. The footballer’s current contract will expire on June 30, 2020.