'I told myself, I quit!' - Arsenal star admits he nearly retired from football

Abou Diaby, who is on the verge of a return from a lengthy knee complaint, has revealed he almost quit the sport as a result of the injury

Arsenal’s French midfielder Abou Diaby has revealed that he nearly quit football after his latest injury set-back.

Diaby has had a troublesome time with injury problems throughout his career to date and his latest – a prolonged knee complaint – was almost enough to make him stop playing football, he admits.

He said to L’Equipe: "It has been the longest absence of my whole career.

"You ask yourself if you are still a football player.

"You think about giving up. I told myself: I am fed-up. I quit!

"I talked to my parents, brothers, sisters and friends. Then, one day I woke up: no, out of the question to quit.

"I am a believer and in my belief despair doesn't exist. Moreover I am only 28-year-old. I still have five, six years remaining, maybe more."

Diaby will be glad that he has continued to play now, too. He was named amongst the Arsenal substitutes at the weekend, in their 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.

His return to the pitch will have to wait, though, as Arsene Wenger selected Kim Kallstrom, Tomas Rosicky and Thomas Vermaelen to come off the bench ahead of him.

The French international’s only remaining hope of playing this season will now be in Arsenal’s final game, away at Norwich City.

If he can make a successful comeback from injury it would be a major boost for Wenger’s side as he undoubtedly adds power and presence to their midfield.

However, with his past record, there can be no guarantees that he will stay fit for long enough to negate the need for Wenger to sign a midfielder during this summer transfer window.

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