Return of Taarabt: how Adel reinvented himself at Benfica

08 February 2020 10:11
After four years on the sidelines, the Moroccan is now a snarling defensive midfielder and a key man for the derby with PortoAdel Taarabt has been called many things. Martin Jol, his manager at Tottenham, labelled him “a wizard”. A few years later at QPR, Harry Redknapp described him “three stone overweight.” Both are probably close to being true. But nobody ever dared to call the Moroccan a defensive midfielder, even Taarabt himself: when asked to respond to Redknapp’s criticism, the then 24-year-old simply replied “maybe he expects me to make more tackles. I am not this type of player.”Except, this season for Benfica, that is exactly the type of player Taarabt has become and at the age of 30, he is playing the best football of his life – an all-action combative menace at the base of midfield: snapping into challenges, shouting and ordering his team-mates this way and that, and yes, occasionally still nutmegging people. This cheeky nutmeg by Adel Taarabt wins Skill of the Day! #UCL | @Mastercard Related: Football around Europe: 10 things to look out for this weekend Adel Taarabt vs. Belenenses:From nutmegs and flicks to a composed defensive midfielder. Taarabt's transformation has been astonishing, especially considering his tough time in Portugal. Against Belenenses he was all over the pitch. Man of the Match. Continue full article

Source: TheGuardian