Adel Taarabt makes Benfica debut nearly four years after signing from QPR
Former QPR midfielder makes his Benfica debut 1,387 days after joining the Portuguese club
Last Updated: 31/03/19 1:05pm
Adel Taarabt made his Benfica debut against Tondela on Saturday, nearly four years after signing for the Portuguese club.
The 29-year-old came on as a 71st-minute substitute for Pizzi at the Estadio da Luz on Saturday night - 1,387 days after he joined the club.
The former QPR midfielder joined Benfica in June 2015 after his contract with the west London club was terminated by mutual consent.
But the Morocco international failed to break into the team and was loaned out to Genoa. He stayed there for 18 months and scored twice in 29 appearances.
He returned to Benfica in the summer and joined up with the club's B team. And after impressing head coach Bruno Lage in training, he was brought off the bench in the Primeira Liga clash to make his long-awaited debut.
The last time Taarabt was in a Benfica matchday squad he was an unused substitute in a 2-1 win over Galatasaray in November 2015.
After the game, Lage praised Taarabt but says he has a lot of work to do to become a regular fixture in the senior squad.
"He is 29 years old, he had a brilliant career but he lost a lot of time," he said in his post-match press conference.
"It's his responsibility to get back on track and he knows it. When we examined who could come with us [to the Tondela game] we thought we had to give him a chance.
"By then, it depended on him. He won a match with the B team. To get into the Benfica team is very simple; you have to train at 1,000 per cent."