Wednesday Feb 06, 2019. 12:00
Moroccan defender Medhi Benatia says he is happy to have joined Qatar club Al Duhail and is targeting the AFC Champions League.
The 31-year-old Atlas Lions centre-back was a surprise departure from Italian giants Juventus, signing for the Doha-based club for a reported transfer fee of €8million last month.
Benatia joins compatriot Youssef El-Arabi at the ‘Red Knights’, who are six-time winners of the Qatar Stars League.
"Al Duhail was the best choice for me and my family, I want to accomplish many goals with this team,” said Benatia upon his presentation to the media.
“I have worn the shirts of important clubs like Roma, Bayern Munich, and Juventus, and I have won several trophies. But now, I have new goals: this team can win the AFC Champions League.”
Benatia also explained the motivation behind his move to Qatar:"I believe that my choice must be respected, because I thought it was the best for me and my family.
“I want my children to grow up in an Islamic environment. I could have gone to the United Arab Emirates or Saudi Arabia, but I preferred Qatar because many players of the Moroccan national team play here.”
Al Duhail are currently placed second on the Qatar Stars League log, two points behind leaders Al Sadd.
They will have their first AFC Champions League group stage match next month, when Iranian club Esteghlal visit Doha.