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Milan unveil Taarabt, the Balotelli of Morocco

05 Feb 2014 15:32:18

Milan unveil Taarabt, the Balotelli of Morocco

AC Milan winger Adel Taarabt pledged to fulfil his potential for the Serie A giants, if given the chance by coach Clarence Seedorf, when he was unveiled by the club on Wednesday.

Taarabt, currently owned by English Championship side Queens Park Rangers, signed for the Rossoneri last week from Fulham on a loan deal that will see him remain until the summer with the chance of a permanent deal available.

Whether describing himself as the 'Balotelli of Morocco' will win favour with the club's talismanic striker Mario Balotelli remains to be seen.

But the 24-year-old, who grew up in Marseille being inspired by the feats of French great Zinedine Zidane, says he is itching to stake his claim for a place in Seedorf's side.

"It was a dream come true signing for Milan. It's a big change for me and I can't wait to make my debut," Taarabt said on Wednesday.

"I'm still really young and they say I've got talent. It's been a while now that people have said that I should be playing in a big team.

"During my days with QPR, I was linked with PSG (Paris Saint-Germain) but nothing happened. I'm here now and I can't wait to show my true worth. I have an idol and his name is Zinedine Zidane, because I grew up in Marseille."

Milan CEO Adriano Galliani said: "I think I am the director who has seen the most QPR matches, even when they were in the English second tier I watched them thanks to my friendship with (former chairman) Flavio Briatore.

"I was often asked about him and he always seemed a great player to me. I don't understand why at the age of nearly 25 he hasn't as yet shown all his talent, but I am convinced that with us he will show his true potential."

Taarabt's arrival will boost an attack already boasting striker Balotelli, who is usually supported by fellow forwards Robinho, Kaka and Keisuke Honda in Seedorf's preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

Despite the competition for places, the Moroccan international hopes to show the 37-year-old Dutchman -- who took over from sacked Massimiliano Allegri three weeks ago -- he has plenty to offer.

"I hope Milan is a platform for me to show my abilities and to give everything to the team," added Taarabt.

"It's true that when Milan were interested in me, I thought 'well, they've got the Italian Balotelli and now they're going to also have the Balotelli of Morocco'.

"Milan have shown great faith in me by including me in their Champions League squad. But I'm really motivated and can't wait to show my worth in Serie A and play my part against Atletico Madrid."

After a disastrous start to the campaign Milan sit in 10th place, 30 points behind leaders Juventus, 15 adrift of the last Champions League qualifying place and six behind Verona in the first available Europa League place.

The Rossoneri, who host Atletico in the first leg of the sides' Champions League last-16 clash in a fortnight, are away to third-placed Napoli on Saturday.


AFP

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