Former Bayern Munich and Juventus player Benatia has announced his retirement from football.
Medhi Benatia, the former captain of Morocco, has announced his retirement from football two years after leaving the international game.
The center defender, who is now 34 years old, has spent the majority of his club football career in Turkey, most recently with Fatih Karagumruk of the Super Lig.
During a 14-year professional career that began in his home country of France, where he was born, Benatia played for some of the world’s most prestigious clubs and won four consecutive league titles while playing in Germany and Italy.
He won two Bundesliga titles and a German cup with Bayern Munich and three Serie A championships, two Italian Cups, and a Champions League final with Juventus. He lost in the 2017 Champions League final. He also played in the World Cup with Germany.
He also represented Morocco at the 2018 World Cup and four Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, totaling more than 60 appearances for the country.
Morocco’s qualification for Russia 2018 was secured by one of his two international goals, which came in a decisive 2-0 qualifying win over Ivory Coast. The Moroccan captain was on the score sheet for both goals.
“From a young age, I had only one dream, to become a professional footballer,” Benatia wrote on social media as he announced his retirement.
“To get there, I had to force myself to work hard, make sacrifices, but above all set new goals at each stage of my career.
“Thank God I had the good fortune to become a professional footballer, but as they say in this profession, the hardest part is not to sign your first contract but to last over time.
“After more than 15 years of “good and loyal service” to football, having played in the most prestigious competitions, I have decided to end my career!”
Benatia, who was born just south of Paris to a Moroccan father and an Algerian mother, played for Marseille, Lorient, Tours, and Clermot in France, as well as Udinese and Roma in Italy, where he was nominated to the Serie A team of the season in 2013-14, before finishing his career in Qatar and Turkey.
Benatia announced his retirement from international football in 2019 after leading Morocco to a penalty shootout defeat by Benin at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.