Taarabt playing for Morocco in 2009
|Full name||Adel Taarabt|
|Date of birth||24 May 1989|
|Place of birth||Fes, Morocco|
|Height||1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||Attacking midfielder / Left Winger|
(on loan from Queens Park Rangers)
|Number||23(27 in champions league)|
|2007||→ Tottenham Hotspur (loan)||4||(0)|
|2009||→ Queens Park Rangers (loan)||7||(1)|
|2009–2010||→ Queens Park Rangers (loan)||41||(7)|
|2010–||Queens Park Rangers||102||(26)|
|2013–2014||→ Fulham (loan)||12||(0)|
|2014–||→ Milan (loan)||10||(4)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 05:51, 18 April 2014 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
He began his playing career in France at Lens before moving to English Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur in 2007. Having been unable to break into the first team at Spurs under either Juande Ramos or Harry Redknapp, Taarabt moved to QPR on loan in July 2009. He was signed permanently in August 2010 and quickly established himself at Loftus Road. QPR were relegated in 2013, and in the ensuing summer Taarabt moved to Fulham on loan.
He represented France at youth levels but opted to play for his native Morocco at senior level. Taarabt made his Morocco debut in February 2009, and scored his first international goal the following month.
- 1 Club career
- 2 International career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Career statistics
- 5 Honours
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Taarabt was born in Fes, Morocco. At a young age, his family moved to a small town called Berre-l'Étang, Bouches-du-Rhône, France. He began his career at Lens in 2004, and played 14 games for RC Lens B in the Championnat de France amateur. He made one first team appearance for Lens during the 2006–07 season.
Taarabt signed for Tottenham Hotspur on a long-term loan on 2 January 2007 after the club offered to integrate him quickly into the first team to offer him maximum playing time. Within two months he made his first senior appearance in a Tottenham shirt, entering as an 87th minute substitute against local rivals West Ham United, which ended as a 4–3 victory. He made a second appearance in the 1–0 loss to Chelsea, again as a second half substitute, playing as a striker.
Tottenham signed Taarabt permanently on 8 June. Upon signing for Tottenham he was hailed as the next Zinedine Zidane. He scored his first goal for Spurs in a pre-season friendly against Stevenage Borough on 7 July. He made his first appearance of the 2007–08 season with Tottenham against Derby County in the 4–0 win on 18 August, which he entered at the 70th minute.
Queens Park Rangers
On 13 March 2009, he joined Championship team Queens Park Rangers on loan until the end of the season. He scored his first goal for QPR in a 2–1 win over Bristol City. His loan spell was cut short after he suffered a knee injury which required surgery.
Taarabt rejoined QPR on a season-long loan for the 2009–10 season on 23 July 2009. On 1 October, Taarabt scored a "wonder strike" in a match against Preston North End. He collected the ball on his chest inside the QPR half and dribbling 20 yards past three players and curled in a shot from 25 yards. This led Jim Magilton to label Taarabt as a "genius" and the goal is seen as one of the Championship's finest.
Tottenham confirmed in October 2009 that Taarabt could stay at QPR for the season providing that a Premier League club did not make a bid for him in the January transfer window. QPR were unable to make the transfer a permanent one because they could not afford the £4.5 million valuation placed on Taarabt by Spurs.
In March 2010, Taarabt was quoted in an interview as being sorry that he signed for Tottenham. He had said "The big mistake was to sign for Tottenham and not go to another club when I first came over". He stated that he wished he had signed for Arsenal instead but had opted for Spurs after Damien Comolli moved from being a scout at Arsenal to director of football at Spurs. He stated that he felt he would have been given more chances to play at Arsenal and was advised at the time not to sign for Spurs by his friends Armand Traore and Abou Diaby, who play for Arsenal.
Taarabt went on to state his intention to sign for one of the top clubs in Spain "I hope to be playing for one of the top four in Spain next season – Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia or Sevilla. I have contact with good teams and I know that they want me. Now I just have to hope they can agree a deal with Tottenham."
In January 2011, Taarabt was interviewed by the Evening Standard, in which he stated: "The man who took me to Tottenham was Damien Comolli. He was at Arsenal then. But, when I was going to go to Arsenal, he moved to Tottenham. He told me: 'Come to Tottenham. We want to do like they do at Arsenal and take the best young players in the world. You're going to have a better chance there.' I believed him. This was a mistake and I regret it. Tottenham tried to do it like Arsenal but it's a different culture. I would have had a better chance at Arsenal. I would progress with Arsène Wenger. He is a legend in France, one of the best managers in the world".
Adel Taarabt was to make his debut as a full Queens Park Rangers player as the club signed the Moroccan for a reported £1,000,000. The contract with Queens Park Rangers provides for Tottenham to receive 40% of future transfer profit, in addition to the payments already made. This was proved to be one of the bargains of the season as Taarabt went on to score 19 goals in 44 league appearances that season for the West London club. With his unpredictable skill and reputation for never giving the opposition defence an easy 90 minutes Taarabt went on to win the Championship Player of The Year and gained a place in The Championships best XI (also featuring teammate Paddy Kenny).
In March 2011, Taarabt missed two matches when he returned to France for family matters as one of his cousins had tragically been killed by Algerians. In the international match Morocco vs Algeria he picked up a booking and was lucky not to be sent off. In the return fixture Morocco manager Erik Gerets decided to drop Taarabt to the bench. Taarabt decided to not turn up to the international fixture and vowed to never play for his country again. However, several months later Taarabt wanted to play for Morocco again which Gerets reluctantly allowed but said that if Taarabt acted irrationally again he would not play for his country whilst he was in charge.
Some notable moments during the season were against Cardiff City (away, 2–2 draw) where Taarabt picked up a brace, scoring a wonder goal during the process. Also during the home game against Cardiff where Taarabt scored the winner which took QPR back to the top of the Championship.
The 2011–12 season marked Taarabt's first real foray into the Premier League, for although having been featured in English football's highest tier as a Tottenham Hotspur player, he had never made a breakthrough into the Spurs first eleven. The start of the season held much optimism for both QPR and Taarabt, yet this soon gave way to speculation that he would move away, and his name was associated with the likes of PSG and Napoli. This was coupled with the arrival of Joey Barton in the August transfer window, who was immediately installed as captain at the expense of Taarabt.
These factors had the unfortunate effect of unsettling the player and he was unable to recreate his form from the previous season. By early November he had taken over 20 shots and none of these had resulted in a goal. Prior to this he had often let his temper get the better of him. During the 6–0 loss away to Fulham on 2 October he was substituted at half time, which apparently led to an argument with manager Neil Warnock. This attitude provoked criticism from his teammates, with Joey Barton being particularly vocal. Taraabt was again substituted at half-time for a poor showing in the 3–1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur and was subsequently left out of the side for the games against Manchester City and Stoke City. During this period continued speculation linked him with PSG, and Warnock even admitted he would gladly accept an offer for Taraabt if the right offer came along.
Taraabt went on international duty and also had some minor injuries which also saw him left out of the side at this stage. Warnock was highly critical of the player's agents during this period and laid much of the blame for him being unsettled at their feet. He advised him to rethink the advice they had given him and stated "They won't make him better and I think it is a shame. Adel can always make money but he is better than that. I will be sad if he ends up going to make some money because I think he has great ability." Still left out of the side throughout most of November, subsequent injuries to his teammates saw a recall, however, and he was commended for his performance in the 2–0 loss to Manchester United on 18 December. He sustained this level of improved performance against Sunderland and Swansea City. On 31 March, Taarabt scored the first goal in Queens Park Rangers's victory over Arsenal, and was also voted Man of the Match. Taarabt followed up his goal against Arsenal by scoring a long range free kick – the winning goal in a victory over his former club Tottenham on 21 April. He was also shown his first red card in English football in the same game for a second bookable offence.
On 11 July 2012 Taarabt signed a new three-year contract with QPR, keeping him at the club until June 2016. On 1 October 2012, Taarabt scored his first goal of the season against West Ham United with a dipping long range shot after dribbling past two players. He scored his second goal in three games with an emphatic volley away against West Bromwich Albion on 6 October, only five days later. On 15 December, he scored both goals in QPR's first victory of the 2012–13 season, a 2–1 win over West London rivals, Fulham, the second with a mazy dribble ending with a finish on the outside of his foot, which his manager Harry Redknapp praised as, "One of the all-time great performances". Then on 2 January 2013 in QPR's second win of the season, a 1–0 away victory over rivals Chelsea, Taarabt was played in an unfamiliar striker position gaining Man of the match and assisting the only goal – described as a Pelé-esque.
Taarabt joined Premier League side Fulham on a season-long loan on 7 August 2013. He made his Fulham debut in an away match against Sunderland where he played the full 90 minutes. He scored his first goal for the club against Burton Albion in the League Cup on 27 August 2013.
A.C. Milan (loan)
On 30 January 2014, Taarabt signed for Milan until the end of the season. He scored his first goal for AC Milan 8 minutes into his debut against Napoli, having tackled the ball in his own half and dribbling half way across the pitch to score from outside the box in a 3–1 loss to Napoli.  On 19 February, he made his debut in Champions League in first leg of quarter-final in a 0–1 loss in San Siro against Atlético Madrid.
Taarabt represented France at under-16, under-17 and under-18 levels, but opted to play for Morocco, saying "I felt the time was right when I was given this opportunity". On 11 February 2009 Taarabt played his first international match with Morocco in a friendly against Czech Republic in Casablanca. He also made an appearance on 29 March during Morocco's 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier 2–1 defeat against Gabon.
Taarabt scored his first international goal on his first start on 31 March 2009 in a friendly 2–0 victory over Angola. On 6 September 2009 he scored his first goal in a competitive international match against Togo in the 2010 World Cup qualification after he broke through the opposing defence in stoppage time.
On 3 June 2011, Taarabt decided to end his international career the day after being dropped to the bench for an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Algeria. He reneged on that decision, returning on 9 October 2011 for their last qualifier against Tanzania. Taarabt scored a free-kick that would end up being the winning goal and sealing Morocco's qualification.
Taarabt is a Muslim and stated in an interview in June 2010 that this religion has had a significant impact on his life as a footballer:
"Being a Muslim has had a big impact on my professional life. As Muslims, we don't drink alcohol, we don't smoke, so essentially we've become healthier, more professional footballers because of our lifestyle. Before every game, I perform salat. Without it, I just don't feel confident. I make sure I pray after a match, too – to give thanks and be grateful for the stamina and strength God graced me with."
Taarabt married in 2011.
- As of 21 April 2014
|Queens Park Rangers||2008–09||7||1||0||0||–||7||1||0|
|1||31 March 2009||Estádio do Restelo, Lisboa, Portugal||Angola||1–0||2–0||Friendly|
|2||6 September 2009||Stade de Kégué, Lomé, Togo||Togo||1–1||1–1||2010 WCQ|
|3||10 October 2009||Stade Omar Bongo, Libreville, Gabon||Gabon||1–3||1–3||2010 WCQ|
|4||9 October 2011||Stade de Marrakech, Marrakech, Morocco||Tanzania||2–1||3–1||2012 AFCON|
- Championship Player of the Month: August 2010
- Football League Player of the Year: 2010–11
- Queens Park Rangers Young Player of the Year 2009–10
- Queens Park Rangers Young Player of the Year 2011–12
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2010). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2010–11. Mainstream Publishing. p. 397. ISBN 978-1-84596-601-0.
- "Player profiles". Queens Park Rangers F.C. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
- "Adel Taarabt". Sky Sports. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
- "Adel Taarabt". Ligue de Football Professionnel. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
- "Tottenham sign midfielder Taarabt". BBC Sport. 2 January 2007. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
- Fletcher, Paul (4 March 2007). "West Ham 3–4 Tottenham". BBC Sport. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
- "Tottenham agree deal for Taarabt". BBC Sport. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
- "QPR complete Taarabt loan swoop". BBC Sport. 13 March 2009. Archived from the original on 16 March 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2009.
- "QPR 2–1 Bristol City". BBC Sport. 21 March 2009. Archived from the original on 23 March 2009. Retrieved 23 March 2009.
- Ley, John (28 April 2009). "Adel Taarabt returns to Tottenham from QPR loan needing knee surgery". The Daily Telegraph (London). Archived from the original on 2 May 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2009.
- "Taarabt seals Loftus Road return". BBC Sport. 23 July 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2009.
- "QPR 4 Preston North End 0: Adel Taarabt's wonder strike inspires Rangers romp at Loftus Road". Daily Mail (London). 19 October 2009. Archived from the original on 21 October 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
- Warburton, Paul (22 October 2009). "QPR relieved after Spurs confirm Taarabt loan agreement". London Informer. Archived from the original on 26 October 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
- Butler, Jeremy (29 March 2010). "Preston 2–2 QPR: The Daily Mirror match report". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 4 April 2010.
- Bennett, Julian (18 March 2010). "Adel Taarabt's parting shot to Tottenham: I wish I had joined Arsenal". Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 16 May 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
- Bose, Mihir (26 January 2011). "Neil Warnock's like a dad – I'm desperate to get QPR promoted, says Adel Taarabt". Evening Standard. Retrieved 26 January 2011.
- "QPR's Adel Taarabt admits to Paris Saint-Germain talks". BBC Sport. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
- Mokbel, Sami (11 September 2011). "Barton set to take QPR armband in debut against former club Newcastle". Daily Mail (London).
- "STATS – PREMIER LEAGUE'S 10 WORST FINISHERS: NANI, CARROLL, DOWNING, BALE, TOURE, JOHNSON AND MORE". Talk Sport. 22 November 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
- Ashton, Neil; Williamson, Laura (2 October 2011). "Bus strop! Star man Taarabt storms away from Craven Cottage as QPR lose 6–0". Daily Mail (London).
- Doyle, Paul (16 October 2011). "Neil Warnock demands unity as Joey Barton criticises Adel Taarabt". The Guardian (London).
- "QPR's Neil Warnock open to £20m Paris St Germain bid for Adel Taarabt". The Guardian (London). 18 November 2011.
- "Warnock warns Taarabt on advisors". BBC News. 2 December 2011.
- "QPR 1–0 Tottenham" BBC Sport. 21 April 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
- "Taarabt pens new deal" QPR. 11 July 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
-  1 October 2012.
-  6 October 2012.
-  15 December 2012.
-  2 Jan 2013.
- "Adel Taarabt: Fulham sign QPR midfielder on loan". BBC Sport. 7 August 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
- "Burton 2 – 2 Fulham". BBC. 27 August 2013. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
- "Transfer window: Adel Taarabt completes QPR to AC Milan move". BBC Sport. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
- "SSC Napoli 3 AC Milan 1". Soccerway. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "International ambition". Tottenham Hotspur F.C. 17 February 2009. Archived from the original on 18 February 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2009.
- "Morocco and Czech Republic draw 0–0 in friendly". USA Today. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 13 February 2009.
- "International round-up". Tottenham Hotspur F.C. 1 April 2009. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
- "Togo and Morocco draw 1–1 in World Cup qualifier". USA Today. 6 September 2010. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
- "Angry Taarabt storms out of Morocco camp". BBC Sport. 3 June 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
- "Africa Cup of Nations: Adel Taarabt out of Morocco squad". BBC. 26 December 2012.
- "Adel Taarabt". Emel. June 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
- Counts for appearances and goals at the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup, UEFA Supercup and UEFA Intertoto Cup. Including qualifying games.
- "QPR's Neil Warnock & Adel Taarabt scoop top awards". BBC Sport. 9 September 2010. Retrieved 11 March 2011.
- "Taarabt wins player of year award". BBC News. 21 March 2011.
- Queens Park Rangers profile
- Adel Taarabt – FIFA competition record
- Adel Taarabt – UEFA competition record
- Adel Taarabt career stats at Soccerbase
- Adel Taarabt French league stats at LFP.fr (French)
- Adel Taarabt at National-Football-Teams.com
- ESPN profile
- BBC profile