Christian Benteke gives heartfelt Aston Villa interview

3 minute read

Former Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke predicts Unai Emery’s side to compete for a Champions League finish next season, and has thanked fans for their continued support following his three years spent at the club between 2012 to 2015.

Benteke scored 49 goals in 101 games for Villa after signing from Genk for just £7million. His goals were key to Villa surviving the drop in each of the three campaigns he played for the club, while he also scored a memorable goal in the FA Cup semi-final win over Liverpool in 2015.

The Belgian then signed for the Reds that summer in a deal worth £32.5million, which was the club’s second most expensive signing at the time. However, Benteke insists the favourite period his career was his time spent at Villa Park.

“I’m so grateful for my time at Aston Villa, they gave me the chance to become the man I am today and I will forever be grateful for this club,” he said in an interview with Villa TV.

“It was the best time of my career, I think. I came from a small country in Belgium at the time in 2012, and I was 22. I wasn’t known and I came with a lot of dreams to be a superstar in the Premier League and in those three years I had so many nice memories and they will always be with me.

“When I signed, on my debut I had the chance to score. We played at home in that game and I always think about this first memory.”

Benteke scored 19 goals for Villa in 2012/23, which remains a record amount of goals scored by a Villa player in the Premier League era.

“At the time when I came to Villa, I was just hoping to play my game and I was not thinking about breaking any records, I was just thinking about having fun and to make my name in the Premier League,” the striker added. “Now, the fact that I am holding this record, it is an honour and a blessing for me.”

Villa qualified for European football last season after finishing in seventh under Emery, whose impact on the club since taking over in November was nothing short of transformational. Benteke has tipped his side to challenge for the top four next term.

“I still follow the club, they finished strong last season and I’m pretty sure that this season they will have a good season,” Benteke said. “I think they are going to fight for the Champions League spots, or the Europa League.

Asked what his message is to Villa supporters, Benteke said: “Thank you for everything that they have done for me and until today they still give me love when I see them. When we play different teams in the US, you have some Villa fans and they still give me some love and I will always be grateful for this club because if I am known worldwide, one of the reasons is because of Aston Villa.”

What do you make of Benteke’s comments? Tell us in the comments section…

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Villa have shown their intent ahead of the new season with the big-money signing of Pau Torres, and the canny free signing of Youri Tielemans.

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