'Yes, I play for the money' - Tottenham's Benoit Assou-Ekotto says playing football is just a job

Spurs' French-born Cameroon international says he treats football only as a means to an end, and says players who talk the talk but do not walk the walk infuriate him
Tottenham Hotspur defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto admits that he treats playing football simply as a job, and is in it for the money.

The left-back had a serious knee injury and was sidelined for a protracted period during 2007, which he reveals forced him to think about the bigger picture.

Now he insists that he views playing football only as a means to an end, treating it like a normal job.

"When your surgeon tells you that you might not play again I think it puts things into perspective," Assou-Ekotto said, according to The Sunday Mirror.

"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."

He added: "I’d rather be honest and say what I think," he said."I play football to earn a living and make my life easier.

"Yes, I play for the money but then doesn’t everybody who gets up in the morning and goes to work? They do it to provide for their family."

The France-born Cameroon international also takes a dim view of players who pledge allegiance to a club, only to leave for greener pastures at some point.

Assou-Ekotto said: "It infuriates me when footballers go on about playing for the shirt. I think they should be held accountable for it when they kiss the badge and six months later clear off for a better pay day.

"After all, they turn up at a press conference and go on about history and the love of the club.

"But what is the first thing they ask about before signing? How much! I have a conscience so I’m not prepared to say something I don’t believe."