Monday 20 August 2018

Mehdi Benatia goes viral for shielding mascot from rain with matchday pennant

So that’s what the pennants are for.

Morocco’s Mehdi Benatia (John Walton/Empics Sport)
Morocco’s Mehdi Benatia (John Walton/Empics Sport)

By Nicola Irwin, Press Association

Morocco’s Mehdi Benatia has made a name for himself ahead of the World Cup – with a sweet gesture that showed his compassionate side.

As Morocco lined up against Slovakia for a pre-tournament game, the heavens opened.

The Juventus defender, also a dad of four, used his team’s pennant as a makeshift umbrella for the child mascot who was standing in front of him.

The gesture was praised across social media as people shared various versions of the image, and TV screengrabs.

In other pictures, Morocco’s goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, stood next to Benatia, is seen with his un-gloved hands over the head of his young charge.

Awww. More pussycats than Atlas Lions.

The action did no harm to Morocco’s World Cup preparations. They went on to beat Slovakia 2-1 and will face Estonia next.

Morocco’s first World Cup match is against Iran on June 15.

Meanwhile, Benatia is a name we might be hearing more of when the Premier League restarts. He’s a rumoured transfer target for Arsenal.

Press Association

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