Abou Diaby has admitted it saddens him to hear people joke about his appalling injury record.
The former Arsenal midfielder suffered an astonishing 42 separate injuries in nine seasons in north London and was sidelined for the majority of his time in England.
“They say I’m ‘L’Homme de Verre’. It means that I’m made of glass,” he told the Daily Mail. “It can be painful, on a psychological level. They don’t know how much I give every day of my life to try and recover. But hey, what can I do? This is my life story.”
Diaby’s problems started in 2006 when he suffered a severe ankle injury following a poor challenge by Sunderland’s Dan Smith.
Immediately after the match, a 3-0 victory for Arsenal at the Stadium of Light, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said he would seek legal advice over the challenge due to Smith’s ‘bad intentions’.
And two years ago Wenger again brought up the foul, saying it was the cause of the injury hell endured by Diaby over the following years.
“Of course it is the moment that killed everything,” Diaby said. "That’s where it all came from. It gave me a big restriction on my ankle and I overcompensated with other parts of my body. Before that, I’d never had a muscular injury, my lifestyle was good.
“But really, there is no resentment any more. I left it behind a long time ago. The only thing I wish is that it had happened later in my career. If it happened when I was 28, things might have been different. Between 19 and 27, I would have had time to progress, play every week and be the player I should have been.”
THE SUNDAY MIRROR
Abou Devastated for him. That cunt Dan Smith should have been done for GBH.