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Benatia explains decision to join Al Duhail over Man Utd

Mehdi Benatia says he picked Al Duhail over Manchester United in order to raise his family in a Muslim country.

The Moroccan centre-back faced criticism over choosing the Qatari-based club, despite interest from Manchester United and Arsenal.

"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," Benatia told Al Duhail's website.

"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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Freddie Taylor

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