The defender revealed that his old team-mates were devastated at being beaten 7-1 on home turf in midweek and is now hoping that the Giallorossi can still reach the last 16
Mehdi Benatia conceded that Bayern Munich’s walloping of former club Roma on Tuesday was a bittersweet experience for him.
The Moroccan centre-back spent a season at the Stadio Olimpico boosting his reputation as a world-class defender before moving to the Allianz Arena in August.
Benatia returned to Roma with his new Bayern team-mates on Tuesday and took part in a trouncing of last season’s Scudetto runners-up that left the centre-half with mixed emotions.
“It was something special for me to play against my old friends,” he told the Bundesliga champions’ website. “It was a good return for me, a great game from us.
“Most important are the three points. The key to the victory was our respect of Roma – coach Pep Guardiola rightly told us before the game that they are a top team with plenty of quality.
“Though I am very satisfied with the win, but at the same time it’s bittersweet because they’re my old friends. The club and the city are in my heart.
Benatia revealed that, understandably, Rudi Garcia’s men were devastated by the Champions League loss but – with Roma still second in the group with three games to go – he hopes they can follow Bayern into the last 16 at Manchester City and CSKA Moscow’s expense.
“Of course they were all very disappointed,” he added. “To lose 7-1 just hurts.
“But they still look good as a team. I hope they qualify for the knockout stages with us.”
As for his negative reception, with many within the club having slammed his departure at the end of the transfer window as treachery, Benatia added: “Honestly, I hardly heard the whistles.”
Bayern are back in action on Sunday away to Borussia Monchengladbach, who are currently runners up behind them in the Bundesliga.