Arsenal midfielder thought about giving up football


Arsenal’s Abou Diaby admitted that he did consider giving up the game during his long injury layoff this season but now has his sights set on returning for the final match against Norwich and perhaps also the FA Cup final against Hull City.

Diaby has suffered more than most with injuries the latest of which is a knee problem that has had him out of action since March 2013.

He is now back to training however and was on the substitute’s bench during the 1-0 win over West Brom at the weekend.

While being interviewed by French sports newspaper L’Equipe Diaby said: “I would have loved to play 10 minutes this weekend, I was counting substitutions: one, two, and three.

There was big desire. I am ready. Anyway I am already happy to have reached this point.”

When talking about his time out he mentioned that there were times he thought he may never play again.

“It has been the longest absence of my whole career,” he explained. “You ask yourself if you are still a football player.

“You think about giving up. I told myself: I am fed-up. I quit!

“I talked to my parents, brothers, sisters and friends. Then, one day I woke up: no, out of the question to quit.

“I am a believer and in my belief despair doesn’t exist. Moreover I am only 28-year-old. I still have five, six years remaining, maybe more.”

His immediate goal now is to play against Norwich on Sunday and then hopefully win the FA Cup, as for playing for France in the World Cup it remains a dream.

He said: “My current objectives? Playing for the last Premier League day. And if my dark season could finish with a win in the Cup final, it would be wonderful.

“World Cup? There are two matches remaining, so you have to be realistic. But if I could be the 23rd player on the plane to Brazil… I am dreaming about that.