Turkish Football News

Benzia: I chose Algeria for my family

Yassine Benzia interview

Algerian star Yassine Benzia shared some interesting facts about his life during a sit down with Fenerbahce Magazine.

Fenerbahce midfielder Yassine Benzia sat down for an interview for the October issue of Fenerbahce Magazine and had some interesting things to say about his career and his time in Istanbul so far.

After featuring in his first Istanbul derby against Besiktas, the Algerian said he was impressed with the atmosphere at Kadikoy.

“I saw how passionate the fans are, how they are tied to their club and how intensely they live and breathe football,” he said.

He compared the football played in France and Turkey, breaking down the differences between the two nations.

“There are differences and similarities between the two leagues. The players are very close to each other. I found that to be very similar in both France and Turkey. In this aspect, I didn’t have any adaptation problems as a player who trained in France.

“As for differences, I can say that the game is more tactical in the French league. There is more emphasis placed on tactics and a more defensive game is preferred. In Turkey, teams play a more open style of football,” he explained.

When asked why he chose to represent Algeria instead of France, where he was born, he said;

“I chose the Algerian national team for my family. A big part of my family lives in Algeria. Only my mother lives in France. My aunts, uncles, relatives, cousins, grandfather, grandmother all live in Algeria. Because of that, I chose to represent Algeria. The national team is full of good players at the moment. There are young, strong players. I think we can achieve some success with this generation.”

As a devout Muslim, he touched on the differences between living in France and Turkey.

“As a Muslim, the difference is black and white when comparing living in France to Turkey. Here, there’s always a prayer call, there is no doubt about the food not being halal. There, you’re always eating fish because you really don’t know if the meat is halal. This is something that affects your eating habits. Also, since we are Algerians, Muslims in football, we started a step behind everyone else. There were difficult moments that laid before me in my career.”

He closed off the interview by thanking Fenerbahce and the club’s supporters for their interest in him.

“I’d like to thank Fenerbahce very much. They really worked on bringing me here. They showed their interest very clearly and I’m happy to have come to such a big club. Since I arrived, the fans have been sending me messages of support on social media, showing me their appreciation. I am very thankful for their support.”

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