Morocco wideman Nabil Dirar believes that AS Monaco’s recent return to prominence demonstrates that anything is possible in football.
The Monegasques are preparing for a Champions League semi-final against Juventus, while they are also eyeing their eighth French title, and sit three points behind Paris Saint-Germain with two games in hand ahead of Sunday evening’s showdown with Olympique Lyonnais.
Yet only four years ago, the Club of the Principality were still in the second tier of French football, following relegation in 2011.
Speaking to L’Equipe, Dirar has conceded that he never imagined that Monaco would reach these heights when he signed from Club Brugge in 2012.
“When I look back, I can’t believe it,” Dirar began. “It’s a dream.
“It’s true we’re winning, we’re a gang of mates,” he added. “To go from Ligue 2 to the semifinal of the Champions League is evidence that everything is possible in football.”
31-year-old Dirar hasn’t always looked the part for Monaco during his five years at the club, and he’s been a relatively peripheral figure in Leonardo Jardim’s young and inexperienced side this term.
He’s typically been used on the right flank, and has amassed 15 league appearances, of which 10 have been off the bench. He’s contributed two assists, scored once and also featured six times during Monaco’s run to the final four of the Champions League.
“When I signed for Monaco, it was to grow in Ligue 1,” he added. “I never imagined playing in the European Cup.”
Monaco could move above PSG on goal difference with a win at Lyon on Sunday evening as they near a first championship since 2000.
They face Juve in the first leg of their semifinal on May 3, having ousted Borussia Dortmund 4-3 on aggregate in their quarterfinal.