• Serie A: Benatia: ‘Fit for Sampdoria’

    By Football Italia staff

    Juventus defender Medhi Benatia assure’s he’s fit and available for a “difficult” game with Sampdoria on Sunday.

    The defender missed four games before the international break with injury, but he’s ready to face the Blucerchiati this weekend.

    “I feel much better,” Benatia told Sky.

    “It was a bit difficult because I missed four games with Juve, and I want to take this opportunity to thank the medical staff because they did an amazing job.

“I could have been called-up for the match with Benevento, but I hadn’t trained during the week. Then I played with the national team [Morocco] and I was fine during the game.

    “I really want to thank Juve for everything they’ve done for me. It helped me a lot, because being Morocco captain I couldn’t miss this game, and now I want to restart with the team.

    “It’ll be a nice battle, because Sampdoria are a good team, especially in Genoa, where they always play well.

    “We know it will be difficult but there are three points up for grabs and we have to get them at all costs so we can get closer to the top.

    “They have a good team and we know it’ll be difficult, but I repeat: we have the ability to go there to win.”

    Morocco qualified for the World Cup over the break, while Italy missed out after losing the play-off with Sweden.

    “It was the most beautiful moment of my career,” Benatia said.

    “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.

    “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.

    “When I came back I saw captain Gigi [Buffon] and he was genuinely happy for me and that was a pleasure because I know it’s been a really difficult time for him and all Italians.

    “I was very disappointed for them and he went out of his way to congratulate me. We’re part of a family and it made me really happy.”

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