Taarabt joined Tottenham in 2007 from Lens but only made 15 appearances for the Lilywhites (Transfermarkt) before a couple of loan spells at QPR, where he would eventually settle permanently for a three-year spell.
The Moroccan has enjoyed something of a journeyman career, playing for several clubs in different countries.
He turned out for AC Milan and Genoa in Serie A, Benfica in the Portuguese league, and currently still plays for Al-Nasr SC in the UAE league.
It’s fair to say Taarabt has plenty of experience in different leagues and cultures from his long career, and the player has been discussing the differences between the various clubs.
One team, in particular, stands out for him, and that is Portuguese giants Benfica.
He said: “It’s the club that shocked me the most.
“People tell me that I played for Milan and Tottenham, but Benfica is on another level.
“It’s Champions League. When I arrived at Benfica, I saw the boys, aged 15, and I was shocked. Before training in the gym, after training in the gym.”
By the sounds of it, the whole mentality at Benfica was different to what Taarabt was used to. He added: “The Portuguese have the best mentality.
“When I left London, I arrived in Lisbon with a Ferrari. I got to the parking lot and you know what cars I saw? Peugeot 307 and 407.”
Taarabt recalled how those he met during his time with Benfica told him “The Portuguese are not like that”.
The experience led to him selling his Ferrari and starting to forget about designer clothes: “What a life! Magnificent, simple life. No show,” Taarabt concluded.
Spurs Web Opinion
That does sound like a great attitude and ethos around the club there at Benfica, and it’s interesting to hear how Taarabt reacted to that as he was a bit of a flashy guy by all accounts.
Still, he didn’t spend enough time at Tottenham to really form an opinion.
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