Sunday Nov 19, 2017. 09:00
Moroccan international Mehdi Benatia says that leading his nation to the 2018 FIFA World Cup is ‘the most beautiful moment’ of his career.
Nicknamed the Atlas Lions, Morocco qualifed for the World Cup for the first time since 1998 after winning their qualifying group last weekend.
Benatia, who has won league titles German giants Bayern Munich and Italian side Juventus, reflected on the Atlas Lions' qualification.
“It was the most beautiful moment of my career. I told the players that I’d been lucky enough to win titles with Bayern and Juve and this is what we play football for," Benatia told Sky Italia.
The Juventus defender, who is one of the best African defenders, captained Morocco's successful qualifying campaign.
“But after so many years of doing this for our country, this qualification for the World Cup means so much. As captain, I feel it even more, and it was a wonderful moment.
“Every morning I get up and think about it and I’m happy because we didn’t really get to celebrate but in six months there will be an incredible party in Morocco because it’s a country that lives for football.
“Unfortunately we’ve had to watch the World Cup on TV for 20 years but now we’re going and it really is something to be proud of,” the 30-year-old concluded.