/ Soccer

Adel Taarabt blow for QPR as African Nations Cup looms

Updated: Wednesday, 19 Dec 2012 09:35 | Comments

Adel Taarabt is keen to play for Morocco at the African Nations Cup next month
Adel Taarabt is keen to play for Morocco at the African Nations Cup next month

QPR playmaker Adel Taarabt has confirmed he wants to play for Morocco at the African Nations Cup next month.

Hoops manager Harry Redknapp last week revealed he had asked Taarabt to miss the tournament to stay and help struggling QPR in their battle to avoid relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

But Taarabt, 23, is hoping he earns a recall by his country for the continental finals, which take place in South Africa from January 19 to 2 February.

He has been out of favour with Morocco recently but is playing to impress national team coach Rachid Taoussi, who took charge in the summer.

"I will do everything I can to prove to him that I deserve to be there," Taarabt told the African football blog on www.lequipe.fr.

Discussing Redknapp's request for him to stay in London, Taarabt said: "He came to see me to ask me not to go but I told him, 'If they call me, I can't refuse, boss. I love my country, I love the Moroccan people and football means a lot to them'.

"I warned him that the only solution was that the coach doesn't call me up."

Taarabt added: "The coach isn't obliged to take me. I hope to be at the African Nations Cup but even if I'm not there, and that would be painful, I will be the biggest Morocco supporter."

Taarabt scored twice as QPR beat Fulham at the weekend to register their first Premier League win of the season.

He has excelled under Redknapp since the former Tottenham manager replaced Mark Hughes at Loftus Road, and is delighted to be reunited with the boss he played under briefly at White Hart Lane.

Former Spurs man Taarabt said: "He is a peerless motivator. You believe you are the best player in the world when he talks to you.

"Before matches he is very strong. When you go on the pitch you fear nothing. At the end of the match against Fulham, he came to me to say, 'I told you that you were as good as Berbatov'."

Taarabt has been linked with a host of major clubs but stressed he is in no hurry to leave QPR.

He said: "I see all the clubs linked with my name but I've just signed for four years at QPR. The chairman has said that he wouldn't see me. I don't know what would happen if someone offered 20 million. But I love the club and the fans. And they love me too."

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use