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Tottenham fullback Assou-Ekotto admits serious injury changed his approach to football life

Tottenham fullback Benoit Assou-Ekotto admits a serious knee injury changed his outlook on football.

Assou-Ekotto became football's forgotten man, sidelined for 18 months with a ­serious knee injury in 2007. He returned to the game transformed.

He explained to the Sunday Mirror: "When your surgeon tells you that you might not play again I think it puts things into perspective.

"You realise there are more important things in life than kicking a ball around.

"I have never bought into the ­hypocrisy of football but perhaps I'm more strident in my views now. I'm lucky and appreciate what I have, but football is just a job, a means to an end. I had a lot of time to think and reflect when I was ­injured. I even kept the severity of my injury secret. I didn't tell my mother ­because she would have cried.

"It would only have upset her needlessly. Her tears wouldn't have made my injury better. Besides I could have always cried for myself."

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