A rise in the 73rd minute on the lawn of New York City (against Maxime Chanot), with already two interesting strikes. This is how Christian Benteke’s American adventure began. The few administrative hassles to evolve in the United States having been settled, the new DC United striker can now open a new page in his already busy career.
“I am very happy”, he reacted after the meeting on the Twitter account of his new club. “Honestly, I just arrived yesterday (Tuesday) so the most important thing was mostly to make my debut. We knew we were facing a tough opponent and we got the 3 points so it’s perfect. I’m already excited for the idea of playing at home on Sunday (against the Colorado Rapids).”
In his Washington-based club, Christian Benteke will be the new offensive asset of coach Wayne Rooney. “We are really happy to have been able to bring a player of his caliber and experience”rejoiced the former English striker. “He’s definitely going to help the group and help us a lot in the attacking zone. So signing him at the very end of the transfer window was a huge plus for us. He’s hungry and that’s the most important thing. He wants to play , he wants to do things right, he wants to score goals and he is the No.9 profile that I was looking to bring into the team.”
“It was always difficult to face him”
Christian Benteke and his new coach know each other well. They faced each other a dozen times in England, when the Belgian was at Aston Villa, Liverpool or Crystal Palace and the Englishman played at Manchester United then Everton at the end of his career. “It was always difficult to face him”recalls Wayne Rooney. “Especially for my defending teammates who had to hold him. He has a lot of qualities in different areas. Obviously he can score goals. But he is also able to keep the ball when necessary. He is always good physically and he can combine very well with the other attackers we have.“
From now on, the 31-year-old Red Devil will be able to focus on his integration into the DC United group, before a potential start on Sunday against the Colorado Rapids. “The first thing is that he has to acclimatize to the heat. Especially in terms of the humidity which is different. Getting used to that is already an important thing. For the sporting aspect, he knows that “He comes to a very tough, very competitive league. His qualities can really match the style of this league. Of course, he will have to work hard like the other players, but he has a very good character and he is a leader. “