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Morocco midfielder Adel Taarabt extends Benfica contract

08:35 IST 15/08/2019
Adel Taarabt
The Morocco international has committed his future to the Portuguese top-flight champions

Benfica midfielder Adel Taarabt has penned a new three-year deal that will keep him at the club until 2022.

The 30-year-old joined the Primeira Liga outfit as a free agent in 2015 after terminating his contract with Queens Park Rangers.

Upon his arrival in Portugal, Taarabt struggled to break into the first-team and was loaned to Serie A club Genoa where he spent 18 months.

On his return from the temporary spell in Italy, the former Tottenham Hotspur and Milan midfielder was demoted to the Eagles' reserve team.

The appointment of Bruno Lage at the helm in January 2019, signalled a revival for him as he finally made his Benfica debut in nearly four years as a second-half substitute against Tondela on March 30.

The Morocco international went on to play 147 minutes of football in the 2018-19 season including one league start (against Feirense).

Despite his initial struggles at the club, Taarabt described the renewal as a show of good faith for his performances in training.

"Obviously I am very happy and looking forward to this new chapter of my life," Taarabt told the club website.

"I think this renewal is a vote of confidence. I am very proud that the club believes in me and I am very happy that we have reached an agreement to extend the contract.

“I already have many years of football, but the spirit of this team is something I haven't seen much around. So we believe in this group, a mix of experience and talented players. We have a very good group."

Taarabt was an unused substitute as Benfica began their Primeira Liga title defence with a 5-0 victory over Pacos de Ferreira last Saturday.