Despite injury problems that would have beaten most players, Abou Diaby says he feels lucky that he’s still involved in football.
The former Arsenal man moved to Marseilles last summer, but has made just five appearances for the Ligue 1 side because of his ongoing, relentless fitness issues.
However, in an interview with France Football, he says he feels fortunate that his career wasn’t completely ended like some of his peers.
“I have been enormously lucky,” he said. “Because at the age of 19, everything could have ended there. Today, at the age of 30, I feel lucky.
“I often look at examples of players who have had to end their careers as a result of injuries.”
Asked who he was referring to, he continued, “Dean Ashton. I saw his interview live when he was saying that at the age of 26 he ended his career as a result of an ankle injury.
“I also think about Fabrice Muamba. He half died on the pitch. Today, for his health, it is better that he stopped. But if he could make it back on the pitch, he would have done it. Look at Abidal! He is strong!
“I also see Djibril Cissé who, recently, still wanted to come back. For me, they are examples.”
It’s an outlook not many would expect, given how his career was basically ruined by injuries all stemming from that horrendous Dan Smith challenge, but the rest of the interview gives you an insight into his character and why he thinks that way.