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  Wednesday, 24 July, 2002, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
Benarbia named captain at Man City
Ali Benarbia and Kevin Keegan
Benarbia has a great relationship with manager Keegan
Ali Benarbia has been named as the new captain of Manchester City following the retirement of Stuart Pearce.

Benarbia only joined the side last year from Paris Saint Germain, but after a fantastic first season with club he has been given the responsibility by manager Kevin Keegan.

The news was something of a surprise as Keegan had been expected to name former Denmark goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel as Pearce's successor.

Benarbia's first game in charge will be in a friendly on Wednesday night against Aarhus in Denmark.

Keegan said on the club's website that he felt Benarbia was absolutely the right choice.

"His command of English and his understanding of it is such that he will be a very good captain," Keegan said.

"His experience is not questioned and he provides a very good link between the French players and the English ones and of course he leads by example.

"Ali has earned that right and respect from everyone last season, certainly the fans and myself," Keegan added.

"He will be around for the next two years and is the perfect choice to replace Stuart Pearce."

See also:

27 Jun 02 | Man City
08 Apr 02 | Africans abroad
21 Apr 02 | Football
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