After representing some of the biggest clubs in Europe throughout a well-travelled career, Mehdi Benatia has now decided to hang his boots once and for all.

The 34-year-old started his career in France, representing the likes of Lorient and Olympique Marseille before making the move to Serie A through the gates of Udinese in 2010.

The defender then earned a switch to Roma in 2013, before making a major move to Bayern Munich a year later.

Following his spell in Germany, the Moroccan joined Juventus in 2016. During his first season in Turin, he acted as a backup for the infamous BBC defense.

But following the departure of Leonardo Bonucci in 2017, Benatia stepped up to the plate, and was one of the club’s most consistent players during the 2017/18 season.

However, Leo’s return then saw him relegated to bench once again, so he ended up joining Al Duhail in January 2019.

This season, Benatia started a new adventure in Turkey with Fatih Karagumruk, but recurring injuries prevented him from playing on a regular basis, and the writing was on the wall.

On Thursday, the defender announced his retirement from the sport in a long Instagram post, while thanking all the clubs that he represented throughout his career.

“From an early age I had only one dream, to become a professional footballer.

To get there I had to strive to work hard, make sacrifices, but above all set new goals at every stage of my career.

Thank God I was lucky enough to become a professional footballer but, as they say in this profession, the hardest part is not signing the first contract but lasting over time.

After more than 15 years of “good and loyal service” to football, having played in the most prestigious competitions, I have decided to end my career!

Throughout my career I have met great people who have allowed me to build myself, which is why I want to pay tribute to all the clubs I have been to: OM, Lorient, Tours, Clermont, Udinese, Roma, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Duhail and Karagumruk.

This work has also allowed me to defend and represent my country, Morocco, and living unforgettable moments, including several African Cup of Nations, but in particular the 2018 World Cup.

Finally, to conclude, I would like to thank all those who supported throughout time, my parents, my wife, my children, my agent, my dear friends and you who follow me.

They say that the end of one thing is always the beginning of another.

So I say see you soon, always with work and passion as a guideline “