Saphir Taider: The MLS is of the highest level

Saphir Taider: The MLS is of the highest level
Algerian player Saphir Taider (R) fights for the ball with Zambian player Patson Daka (L) during the World Cup 2018 qualifying football match between Algeria and Zambia in Constantine, Algeria on 05 September 2017 © BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Monday Mar 12, 2018. 11:30

Algerian midfielder Saphir Taider has brushed off suggestions that the Major Soccer League (MLS) is a big step down from his previous career in Italy’s Serie A.

The 26-year-old Fennec Foxes player left Bologna in early 2018 to join MLS side Montreal Impact, with critics claiming that he only went to North America for the money.

However, Taider insists that there was more to his decision than the financial incentives, citing the relationship with Impact coach Remi Garde.

“I could have stayed in Europe, but here I came as a designated player. The president wanted me absolutely, the coach also wanted me at all costs,” Taider told Le Buteur in an interview.

“MLS is a championship that continues to grow. The league that manages the championship is very serious.”

Taider added, “Me, I knew that here, with a coach like Rémi Garde, I would continue to progress. The championship is still competitive.

“We played last weekend our first game of the championship in Vancouver and I can tell you that it was not easy at all.

"I feel that I am progressing, I discover another mentality. Do not worry, coming here, I will not lose my football.”

The Algerian admits that the MLS does not have the tactical sophistication of Serie A, but compares it more to the physically-demanding English Premier League.

“Frankly, I was not surprised by the level of play because I knew it was not going to be easy. There is a lot of commitment.

“Afterwards, tactically, it's not perfection. It's not like in Italy. Me, I was used to more rigour on this part.

“MLS is more of an English game. Teams run from everywhere. It's box-to-box. At the end of the match, there are more spaces because the teams are tired. It remains of the highest level.”

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