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16/02/2009

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International ambition

Adel Taarabt says it was a proud moment for him to make his international debut last week.

The midfielder opted to play for Morocco, the country of his birth, and came on as a substitute in the 0-0 friendly draw with Czech Republic.

Although the 19-year-old grew up in France and played at youth level for Les Blues, he felt this was an opportunity he could not refuse - especially with the potential of World Cup football on the horizon.

"Morocco is the country of my birth, and although I was only nine months old when I moved to France, a lot of my family still live there," said Adel.

"I could have waited to play for France but I felt the time was right when I was given this opportunity, and it was a very proud moment for me with all my family watching.

"Most of the squad play their football in Europe so I knew many of them and it was very comfortable.

"Now I have the chance to play in a World Cup, the first one in Africa, although we have a difficult qualifying group."

And Adel knows standing in Morocco's way to a trip to South Africa in 2010 is a fellow Spurs team-mate and another of last week's international debutants.

"We are up against Cameroon and Benoit Assou-Ekotto, who is my best friend at the Club. Only one of us can go to the World Cup, but hopefully it will be me!"