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Larbi Ben Mbarek: The forgotten genius

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 The first to strike gold in Europe
Was that famous Black Pearl
Fondly known as Benbarek
To others the Moroccan Earl

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 El Ouatane aged fourteen
Honed the Black Pearl’s stealth
Two Spanish titles for El Prodigio
Order of Merit after his death

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Forty three goals for Stade Français
As Larbi walked the walk
Fifty six as Spain’s Perla Negra
La perle noir du Maroc

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 From twenty Francs a day
An Iberian prince at Marseille
The first ever “black pearl”
Very high praise from Pele

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Eight goals against Southend
A first French cap against Italy
War loomed and Larbi went home
With the arrival of the Nazi

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 French journalists raged in despair
When Atletico signed a cheque
One wrote; ‘Sell the Eiffel Tower,
But not Ben Barek’

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 Idéal Club Casablanca and US Marocaine
Stade Français adding spice
Atlético Madrid Los Rojiblancos
Where Larbi won La Liga twice

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 Nineteen caps for Les Bleus no myth
Danced on dictator Franco’s deck
Bel-Abbès and a stadium named
For Haj Abdelkader Larbi Ben M’barek

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 number7
© emdad rahman

One of africa’s greatest imports – It seems Haj Abdelkader Larbi Ben M’barek has been airbrushed from football history.

What a player and what history!

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/larbi-ben-mbarek-the-forgotten-genius/