Benatia: I am not a machine

The former Roma defender feels he did not deserve the harsh treatment he received in his first few months at the Allianz Arena outfit

Bayern Munich defender Medhi Benatia says he is “not a machine” and feels he has been treated unfairly in his first six months at the Bundesliga champions.

The Morocco international joined Bayern from Roma for an initial fee of €26 million, potentially rising to €30m, but has so far been struggling to really live up to the high expectations.

Benatia admitted he has found it hard to comprehend the criticism aimed his way and conceded he struggled to cope with being sent off in the Champions League group stage.

“I am not a machine,” the centre-back told Sport Bild. “Right from the start, the only thing people were talking about was how much I cost.

“People were already criticising me before I had even played my first game. This is absurd.

“I was very surprised when Franz Beckenbauer criticised me after my red card against Manchester City. I never met him in person or spoke to him.

“It was very hard for me to deal with that as it was the first red card of my career. Sporting director Matthias Sammer assured me again, though.”

Benatia, who is currently recovering from a calf injury, has made 16 appearances in all competitions for the Bavarians so far this term, scoring once in the process.

The 27-year-old has a contract with the Bundesliga champions until June 2019.