Ju­ven­tus make Be­na­tia loan deal per­ma­nent

New Straits Times - - Sport -

TURIN: De­fender Medhi Be­na­tia has signed a con­tract that will keep him at Ju­ven­tus for three more sea­sons af­ter the club ex­er­cised an op­tion to buy him on a trans­fer from Bay­ern Mu­nich for £14mil­lion (RM78.5 mil­lion).

The 30-year-old Morocco cap­tain had been play­ing for Ju­ven­tus on a sea­son-long loan.

“Since I ar­rived I’ve al­ways ex­pressed my de­sire to stay at Ju­ven­tus and I hope our fu­ture is filled with suc­cesses,” Be­na­tia says.

Join­ing a stel­lar back­line fea­tur­ing the likes of Gior­gio Chiellini, Andrea Barza­gli and Leonardo Bonucci, Be­na­tia has con­trib­uted to Juve’s run to the Cham­pi­ons League fi­nal.

Ju­ven­tus needs only to draw at se­cond-placed Roma on Sun­day to clinch a record sixth straight Serie A ti­tle.

The cen­tral de­fender came on with five min­utes to play in the Cham­pi­ons League semi-fi­nal se­cond leg against Monaco on Tues­day.

Be­na­tia be­came em­broiled in a race row ear­lier this month when he was called ‘s ***** Moroc­can’ live on tele­vi­sion.

He was giv­ing an in­ter­view to Ital­ian broad­caster Rai af­ter Satur­day’s 1-1 draw against Torino be­fore he heard a tech­ni­cian’s voice in his ear­piece ask­ing: “What are you say­ing, s ***** Moroc­can?”

The in­sult was not broad­cast but Be­na­tia stopped mid-sen­tence and asked: “Who said that in the back­ground? I heard some­one talk­ing in the back­ground. Who said that? I heard an in­sult.”

The Rai pre­sen­ter then cut short the in­ter­view be­cause of ‘tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties’.

A Ju­ven­tus press of­fi­cer said that Be­na­tia had heard a racist in­sult con­cern­ing his na­tion­al­ity.

The broad­caster later is­sued an apol­ogy for the ‘de­plorable in­ci­dent’.

“Rai is sin­cerely sorry for the de­plorable in­ci­dent of racism that in­volved the Ju­ven­tus player Be­na­tia dur­ing our Cal­cio Champagne pro­gramme and that for­tu­nately was not heard by the view­ers, as it did not go on air,” the na­tional broad­caster said in a state­ment. Daily Mail


Ju­ven­tus de­fender Medhi Be­na­tia (right) vies with Torino for­ward Andrea Belotti dur­ing their Serie A match last Satur­day.

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