A few months before he returned to pre-season training Abdelaziz Barrada had just signed his first professional contract at Getafe. Everything was going to plan or so he thought. On a hot July evening, sitting on the sidelines, a new Coach was assessing his charges. Getafe had once been everyone’s second club but now they had become the source of jokes, especially about attendances, and change was needed. Abdel put in a good training session but what he didn’t know was that he was actually fighting for his future. The squad was too big and players had to be let go and the young Frenchman was on the list to be cut but Luis García felt he deserved a second chance. He gave the midfielder one last try and Getafe haven’t looked back since.
He was born in Provins, France, and was quickly snapped up as a youngster by US Sénart-Moissy who play in the amateur leagues in France. After just a year PSG signed him and put him in their reserves where he waited for three years to get his chance. In the end he was let go and Getafe signed him for their reserves. Making 32 appearances, scoring four times he was handed his first professional contract and he was also called up for the Moroccan National team.
When Getafe changed Coach, Barrada’s future hung in the balance. He was promised that he would get his chance with the senior team but when García arrived, nobody knew his intentions. At Levante he had signed older players who were coming to the end of their careers. Getafe had to cut their squad down to 25 and also the new man in the dugout wanted to bring in some fresh faces. At the time the club were in the process of being taken over by a member of the Dubai royal family, something that was later exposed as a con although Getafe continue to say they didn’t have the wool pulled over their eyes, but so far the money hadn’t arrived and so cost cutting was needed. The local government had also cut its annual funding to the club and so players were bracing themselves for the chop.
Getafe had just signed Pedro Leon from Real Madrid. Leon played as an attacking midfielder and the club believed that they couldn’t afford to have another player in the same position just sitting on the bench, so it was decided to let Barrada go. But, García had doubts and so he gave the player another chance and saw that he could operate on the wings too. He was kept on, given his debut and then set about showing La Liga what he could do.
‘He is one of the most talented players I have ever seen, he is just amazing and he will only get better’ said Luis García just 18 months ago about Barrada and he wasn’t wrong. The interview with the former Levante Coach took place just a week after Getafe had beaten Atlético de Madrid at home by a solitary goal. Who scored? Barrada, with a perfect free kick. To prove it was no fluke he has scored a few more of them. He is lethal at set pieces, both outside and inside the box. He is cool, calm and precise and this is something that will definitely appeal to Arsene Wenger buy what else can he do?
As said he prefers to play as a central midfielder but can play on both wings. He is right footed but is pretty nifty with the left one. He can dribble; an art is on the verge of becoming extinct. He is not afraid to run at defences and he is particularly good at running towards the goal line and then cutting in. He can cross a ball from far or short distances. His vision is incredible. He has the ability to find a player from the tightest angle. He finds space where most players would struggle and he is comfortable shooting both close up and from outside the box. So the big question is, why has no one moved for him yet?
There will still be those who argue that how can someone so talented, go unnoticed for so long? The truth is he has been noticed but only in La Liga. Also one might point out that no one had heard of Michu last season in England neither. Man City looked at him last season but the Olympics caused a few problems as he was away with Morocco and so they were put off. Valencia, Arsenal and Spurs are all after him and know that he has a release clause of €21m but they would get him for less as Getafe are struggling at the moment and need cash. The player wants Champions League football and has expressed it numerous times this season. Where he goes, he is bound to be a success, but with La Liga clubs struggling with debt, the Premier League is