Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Nabil Bentaleb is looking forward to the World Cup in Brazil having made huge strides at White Hart Lane.
Bentaleb was something of an unknown quantity prior to Tim Sherwood’s appointment as Spurs boss. But the 19-year-old soon got his chance, making 20 senior appearances after starting the season with the under-21s.
The young Algerian was later called up for his country and heads to Brazil in confident mood.
Speaking to Tottenham’s official website, Bentaleb said, “It’s my first season playing at the highest level and I think I did pretty well to get a chance to be in the World Cup.
“It’s going to be an amazing experience.”
It has been a huge turnaround for a player who only made his senior international debut in March; something he is fully aware of.
“At the beginning of the season I was not expecting to play at the World Cup,” he said. “I was looking to be at home watching it.”
But while we will be doing just that, the Tottenham starlet will be hoping to play a part in Algeria’s campaign, where they find themselves in the same group as Belgium, Russia and South Korea.
With Marc Wilmots’ side many people’s dark horses for the competition, and with South Korea always giving a good account of themselves in major tournaments, Bentaleb may be on a plane home relatively quickly.
But even if that happens, it will surely not dampen the fact that a player who began the season without a senior first-team appearance for club or country is suddenly preparing for the biggest footballing competition of all.