Larbi Benbarek

Larbi Benbarek; also Ben Barek or Ben M'barek (Arabic: العربي بن مبارك‎; 16 June 1917 – 16 September 1992) was a French-Moroccan football player. He represented the French national football team 17 times.[1] He earned the sobriquet of "Black Pearl".

Larbi Benbarek
Larbi Benbarek.jpg
Personal information
Full name Haj Abdelkader Larbi Ben M'barek
Date of birth (1917-06-16)16 June 1917
Place of birth Casablanca, Morocco
Date of death 16 September 1992(1992-09-16) (aged 78)
Place of death Casablanca, Morocco
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Position(s) Attacking midfielder
Youth career
1928–1930 FC El Ouatane de Casablanca
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1930–1934 Wydad AC
1934–1938 US Marocaine
1938–1939 Marseille 30 (10)
1939–1945 US Marocaine
1945–1948 Stade Français 87 (43)
1948–1953 Atlético Madrid 113 (56)
1953–1955 Marseille 32 (13)
1955–1956 USM Bel Abbès
National team
1936–1937 Morocco 3 (?)
1938–1954 France 17 (3)
Teams managed
1957 Morocco
1960 Morocco
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only


Ben Barek was born on 16 June 1917 in Casablanca,[2] then part of French Morocco. The first African star and the first to bear the nickname of "Black Pearl," Ben Barek blazed a trail to the European, and particularly French and Spanish, leagues for African-born players. He arrived in Marseille, France, at the age of 20 and became an instant favorite with fans for his skills and technical abilities.He is largely remembered as the first successful French African footballer in Europe. His career was interrupted by the onset of World War II, but he was soon back to his best with Stade Français FC, eventually moving on to Spain with Atlético Madrid, where his international reputation spread. His nickname with the fans in Spain was "The Foot of God". With the help of Benbarek, Atlético won La Liga in 1950 and 1951. He returned to Marseille in 1953 but joined USM Bel-Abbès shortly thereafter, where he ended his playing career. He makes 1053 goals in his career.

One of the finest players ever to represent France, he made 17 appearances for Les Bleus between 1938 and 1954. His comeback in 1954 against Germany in Hanover was curtailed by an injury after half an hour and proved to be the end of his career.

In 17 games he score 35 goals and 14 assists and he’s trainer Adam Miftah was his coach

Later lifeEdit

Larbi Ben Barek died in his hometown on 16 September 1992. Six years after his death, he was awarded the FIFA Order of Merit Award, which is the award of the highest honor in FIFA.


Club Atlético de Madrid[3]



  1. ^ Frenkiel 2008, p. 100.
  2. ^ "L'histoire du football se conjugue à tous les temps". La Nouvelle République. 16 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Ben Barek - BDFutbol" (in Spanish).