Benfica midfielder Adel Taarabt has given an interview to The Athletic and spoke about his years in England and his move to Luz. At 32, the Moroccan is in his fifth season at Benfica.
Passage through England (represented Totenham, Queen Park Rangers and Fulham): “In England, it’s difficult for someone who arrives. They hire you and then leave you alone. When I look at the Benfica academy, at 13 or 14, they think like real sportsmen. Or two hours , and then I was alone.” “I didn’t have anyone around me to tell me this or that. The only thing you’re asked to do in England is to show up on the pitch, and I came with that mentality. When I came to Benfica, I thought it would be the same and I found it difficult, because it’s not like that.”
First times at Benfica and new lifestyle: “I became calmer. I started to think about what I could do better, I changed my life. I gave more time to my family. I became totally professional. I changed my way of eating, I changed the way I sleep. I feel better, more in shape, with the intensity of the training that we have, I go to the gym every morning before training, “said he revealed.
Guided by Bruno Lage: “He told me he didn’t understand how I was in this situation. When he arrived, we didn’t know each other, but I was training very well and he was happy.”
Deepest midfield position: “It’s a different position, where I couldn’t take so many risks. In England, I played free, and the only thing they asked me was to create. Now I do both, I I’m trying to create and defend too. I need to have a lot of discipline. I’m getting there, but I’m trying to pass in the final third. It’s more about getting the team to play .
Renewal with Benfica in 2020, with lower salary: “After the first year, I wanted to do it. I felt the club was amazing. They always supported me in all the phases I went through. It was the right decision.”