Tottenham’s Serge Aurier opens up on ‘calming down’

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The right-back earned an infamous reputation with his loose cannon attitude on and off the pitch, but becoming a father has seen him turn a new leaf

Tottenham Hotspur’s Serge Aurier has revealed the impact that fatherhood has had on him, culminating in him ‘calming down’.

A month ago, the 25-year-old welcomed his firstborn, Nehcha into his family and revealed her arrival has made him ‘change’ significantly.

Aurier is known for his documented troubles at former club Paris Saint-Germain which included an ill-advised Periscope Q&A session about his teammates and coach Laurent Blanc among numerous others.

However, after a shaky start, since arriving in England he has conducted himself in a good manner.

"My mum always said it changes your life when you have a baby. I never really believed people who said that and I didn't think it would change me, but it has. Now I know," Aurier told football.london.

"Before it was difficult for me when I didn't play and I'd come back to my house and in my head I'd be thinking 'you didn't play, you didn't play'. It stayed with me.

"Now it's different. I go to training with a different mind. When the game is finished I come back to my house, I see my baby and I think 'that is life'.

"I am still hungry at work, but when I'm back in my house I forget everything. Now I have two jobs. I do my new job and then the next day when I go to training, okay I don't forget [being out of the team], but I'm calm."

Reflecting on his tough childhood experience, the Cote d'Ivoire international who fled his war-ravaged country for France at the age of 10 continued: "I like to put a smile on people's faces and I like to put a smile on my life, because when I was younger it was very difficult for me and for my family.

"There is the motivation for the player who plays in the street. When I was younger, I went anywhere I could to play, with my friends, with my father and my brothers.

"Football is my life. When I was young I loved to play. I didn't know everything, but my head was focused on football. Today it is my passion. I believed in my dream. Every day I give 100 per cent in my training and for the game.

"Life for different people is not the same. I play football in my dreams and for me it's the best job in the world. You play in front of so many people. Every week it's trying to prove something. You have to give everything. It's very difficult but you play for your dream and for me the gift of football is amazing."

While owning up to his flaws, Aurier also talked about the footballers’ reality that must be embraced.

"When I played in France, people said this guy is like that and like this.

"I want to play football and I want to enjoy my life with my family and friends. I don't waste my time on bad things. Now I have my baby and it has changed the way I think.

"When the footballer has a problem the media take it like this [points around the room]. You forget that before the football this guy is human.

"I don't go into the centre of London much because I've changed my mentality now. If I go to London and I have a little problem the media would say 'ah this guy is a footballer' and tomorrow I'd be in the magazines. It's too much you know.

"People forget that before the football I'm human. Okay, you see me on TV and I play football, but change your minds and you see 'this is like me, he's human like me'. Okay, he plays football in front of the cameras, but don't forget I'm human before a footballer. That is the reality.”

On his relationship with France midfielder Moussa Sissoko who aided his settling down in London.

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"We played together at Toulouse, but the relationship is stronger than that because I knew him before because he lived only five minutes away from me in Paris,” he explained.

"When I arrived here he gave me so much love. It's not easy to arrive at a new club, but Moussa helped me.

"He's a quiet guy when you don't know him, but inside the squad it's not the same because he's a very, very funny guy. Other people don't know him because he doesn't speak so much, but inside, with the team, he's very dangerous you know!"

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