Morocco midfielder Taarabt leaves QPR for Benfica
Morocco's controversial midfielder Adel Taarabt has joined Benfica on a five-year deal after his Queen's Park Rangers contract was terminated by mutual consent
Morocco's controversial midfielder Adel Taarabt has joined Benfica on a five-year deal after his Queen's Park Rangers contract was terminated by mutual consent.
"I don't think it's necessary to explain why I chose Benfica. It's a great club that have produced great players over the years and they were champions last season," he told Benfica TV.
"When my manager told me of Benfica, I said I was ready to change because this is a great opportunity for me", the 26-year-old Taarabt was quoted as saying on the club's official website (www.slbenfica.pt).
Taarabt made 164 appearances for QPR, scoring 34 goals, after joining in March 2009 from Tottenham Hotspur, initially on loan before a permanent move the following year.
In 2010/11, he captained QPR to the Championship (second tier) title and was the division's Player of the Year after a season in which he scored 19 goals and had 19 assists, helping the club return to the Premier League after a 15-year absence.
The next season he helped QPR retain their Premier League status, scoring crucial goals in wins over Arsenal and Spurs.
Taarabt, who had loan spells in 2013-14 at Fulham and AC Milan, has courted controversy during his career and was criticized by then-QPR manager Harry Redknapp in October last year for being "about three stone overweight".
He played five times after Redknapp quit for health reasons and was replaced by Chris Ramsey in February but was unable to help the club avoid relegation to the Championship.