Former Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia has said the lure to move to a Muslim country was the real reason that he rejected the opportunity to join Manchester United. The player had been on the radar of the Red Devils for a long time and was tipped to join them this winter. However, he has now revealed why he chose to join the Qatar based club Al Duhail ahead of Manchester United.

Speaking to the club’s official website, the Moroccan skipper said, “I faced criticism from the Moroccan sports critics after moving to Doha but I want everyone to respect my decision because it was the best for me and for my family.”

He added, “I want my kids to grow up in an Islamic atmosphere, and I could go to clubs in the UAE or Saudi Arabia but I preferred to be with Al Duhail, and there are a lot of Moroccan players who play in the national team and are with the Gulf clubs. [Morocco] coach Herve Renard knows me well and if he sees that I do not deserve to be with the national team, I will respect this decision.”

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