Former Arsenal midfielder insists he could have won Ballon d’Or but injury prevails him


Former Arsenal star Abou Diaby has claimed that he could have won the Ballon d’Or but injury prevails him from that.

He joined Arsenal for £2million in 2005 and spent a decade in north London, but managed only 16 Premier League outings in his final four seasons at the club, he made just 180 appearances during a spell that was plagued by injury. Diaby suffered 42 separate injuries at Arsenal before leaving on a free transfer last summer to join Ligue 1 club Marseille.

The France international is back home playing for Marseille, but his fitness worries have not eased and he is currently sidelined with an ankle complaint which has kept him out since October. Despite being in his 13th season as a professional he has only made less than 200 career club appearances.

When asked about his problems the 30-year-old former Arsenal man  who only managed two appearances this season revealed he felt the continuous injury was the only thing preventing him from attaining the top of the game.

“I have no limits,” he said. “Once upon a time, people would ask me about the Ballon d’Or. I told them I dreamt about it.

“I have always had big ambitions, like to become one of the best in my position. I think that I had the potential to achieve that. I am not saying it pretentiously, but some people in life are ambitious, others aren’t.”

In spite of his issues Diaby still sees himself as gigantically fortunate, keeping in mind he is still confident of playing on. The midfielder also insisted when he does retire he will need a change and has other interests he would like to pursue apart from football.

“I do not think that I can stay in football immediately after [retirement],” he said.

“I created my foundation. Humanitarian work interests me too. For the southern countries but also in the Paris region where I preside over an association that works with youngsters. Projects interest me, even if they are not the only thing that does.”