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LE BALL – Taarabt talks openly about mistakes and ‘rebirth’ (Benfica)

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In the interview with ‘The Athletic’, Adel Taarabt spoke about his time in English football (Tottenham, Queens Park Rangers and Fulham).

“In England, it is difficult for those who arrive. They hire you and then leave you alone. At the Benfica academy, at 13 or 14, they think like real athletes. When I arrived in England, I trained for an hour or two and then I was alone. The only thing they ask you to do is show up on the pitch, and I came to Benfica with that mentality. I thought it would be the same, but no…”

In 2018/2019, after being hired from Genoa, things started to change and he eventually played for the eagles first team – he had already played for B in his first season at the club, 2015/2016, and also in 2018/2019. “I felt calmer, I changed my life, I gave more time to my family, I became a real professional. I changed the way I eat, sleep, go to the gym every morning, I feel better, fitter. Now I believe more in what people have told me. When I was younger, I thought I was always right. I loved playing football, but I didn’t believe in the rest, which I know now makes the difference. Being healthy, sleeping well, all that,” he said.

He also recalled conversations with the coach who contacted him at Luz, 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 with it.

Despite the mistakes made and the time wasted, he doesn’t look back with regret: “Some say I could have been one of the best players, but I don’t think so. I enjoyed my time when I was 18, 19, 20. I played for Tottenham, I played for Milan, I played in the Champions League, I played with Ballon d’Or winners like Luka Modric and Kaka. Yes, maybe it could have been better, but I’m still very proud of the career I’ve had.”

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