Former Tottenham midfielder Adel Taarabt claims he was tipped to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona during his days in north London by his Spurs teammate Luka Modric and others.
Taarabt joined Tottenham as a teenager from French club Lens in 2007 and was immediately mooted as a future first-teamer when footage of his incredible footwork and ball skills surfaced.
However, despite impressing for QPR during a loan spell and after moving to Loftus Road permanently, Taarabt never fulfilled his potential in England, eventually moving to Benfica in Portugal where his career appeared to be petering out.
After a couple of stints on loan at Genoa, the 30-year-old has finally begun to make an impact at Benfica, playing in the Portuguese top-flight and the Champions League this season.
Speaking to FourFourTwo, the 30-year-old has revealed he was tipped to join either Real Madrid or Barcelona during the early days of his Spurs career, with a number of more senior players – including Modric – impressed by the youngster’s talent.
Taarabt said: “I don’t like to say this about myself, but I think if you talked to everyone who saw me when I was a young talent, many would have said I’d play for Real Madrid or Barcelona one day. Even Luka Modric said that to me once.
“But it didn’t happen. Not only because of others, but because of me.”
It’s a shame Taarabt could never match his talent with application at Tottenham, but at least it seems he has finally settled at another club. And whatever happened to that Modric bloke, anyway?