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Mehdi Benatia named Best Arab Player in 2014
In a near unanimous decision, Mehdi Benatia has been recognized with being the world’s best Arab footballer in what is turning out to be a phenomenal break-out year for the Moroccan defender.
After joining Bayern Munich at the beginning of the Bundesliga season, Benatia has continued to demonstrate his defensive prowess, which has earned him the award Best Arab Footballer of 2014 during the International Sport Conference.
Benatia’s stardom has been on the rise after establishing himself as one of football’s premier defenders during his year with AS Roma. The Moroccan-born defender has been described by Globe Soccer as being an intelligent defender with a hard playing style that also makes him a threat when he presses into the box.
He has also been attributed with organizing Bayern’s extraordinary back line that has only yielded four league goals in the first half of the Bundesliga season, with only one of the goals coming with the Moroccan centre-back on the pitch.
For Benatia, who is also the captain of the Moroccan national team, this is not the first high-honor award he has received this year. Earlier this month, the 27-year-old earned a spot on the UEFA 40-man shortlist alongside the likes of high-caliber defenders such as Sergio Ramos and Mehdi’s teammates Philipp Lahm and David Alaba.
Benatia also shared the award ceremony’s wall of fame with players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, who won Best Player of the Year, as well as James Rodríguez, who was honored with Best Revelation Player of the year.
The world’s ‘Best Arab Player’ will be unable to showcase his talents at the 2015 Cup of African Nations following Morocco’s disqualification from the continental contest. Instead, The Morocco national team captain will look to continue his immaculate form when Bundesliga play resumes on January 30th.