Juventus make Benatia loan deal permanent
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.