4. Benoit Assou-Ekotto – Cameroon

The Cameroonian defender, who is currently playing for Ligue 1 side Metz as left back, spent five years at Tottenham, making 200 appearances across all competitions. he said in an interview with Guardian in 2010:

“If I come to England, where I knew nobody and I didn’t speak English … why did I come here? For a job. A career is only 10, 15 years. It’s only a job. Yes, it’s a good, good job and I don’t say that I hate football but it’s not my passion.

“I arrive in the morning at the training ground at 10.30 and I start to be professional. I finish at one o’clock and I don’t play football afterwards. When I am at work, I do my job 100%. But after, I am like a tourist in London. I have my Oyster card and I take the tube, I eat.

“I don’t understand why everybody lies. The president of my former club Lens, Gervais Martel, said I left because I got more money in England, that I didn’t care about the shirt. I said: ‘Is there one player in the world who signs for a club and says, Oh, I love your shirt?’ Your shirt is red. I love it. He doesn’t care. The first thing that you speak about is the money.

“Martel said I go to England for the money but why do players come to his club? Because they look nice? All people, everyone, when they go to a job, it’s for the money. So I don’t understand why, when I said I play for the money, people were shocked. Oh, he’s a mercenary. Every player is like that.”

 3. Mario Balotelli – Italy

Balotelli is one of the controversial players in football history, the Ghanaian Italian born striker has seen his football career overshadowed by his on-pitch antics or off the field behaviours.

Normally, We have seen many players jumping over the moon celebrating when they score a goal yet Balotelli simply dismisses it as part of his job. “I do not celebrate my goals because it is my job, when a postman delivers a letter, does he celebrate?” he explained.

2. David Bentley – England

The English former footballer disliked the game to such an extent.

“To be honest, I was even having a few doubts about football when I was at Blackburn.’’ Bentley said.

“I remember being a bit disappointed in myself. I was thinking: ‘You should love it, what’s the matter with you? You’re only saying this because you’re a little bit unhappy at the minute’.

“But in the end I just got tired of all the bull**** that goes with it, people wanting you to sell yourself as something you’re not.’’

1. Espen Baardsen – Norway

Former Norway and Tottenham goalkeeper Espen Baardsen, who retired from professional football at 25, told Guardian:

“I got bored of football. Once you’ve played in the Premier League and been to the World Cup, you’ve seen it and done it.

“It was dictating what I could do and when. I felt unsatisfied intellectually, I wanted to travel the world.”

“Football is stressful, try playing in front of 40,000 crazy football supporters who are happy or sad for their whole weekend depending on how you perform.

“And I’m now more relaxed, five kilos lighter, fitter and healthier than I was at the end of my football career.”

See Also:

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