14. On his spiritual home: “White Hart Lane was always a place where I felt I belonged.”

13. On his childhood hero: “It was always Johan Cruyff, he made playing football seem so easy. I love watching him, and he was the only poster on my bedroom wall as a kid.”

12. On missing out on his dream move: “I had twice the chance to sign for Barca, and it didn’t happen. As a Latin man, as a very Latin man, I so much enjoyed playing in England, but I’m from the Mediterranean, not from the North Sea.”

11. On Gerard Houllier claiming that he had “committed a crime against the team”, when France missed out on 1994 World Cup qualification: “It’s nice to say that Ginola is a criminal but in football you win with 11 and you lose with 11. And at that moment, I lost all on my own.”

10. On watching France win the World Cup in 1998 without him: “It was probably the worst time of my life. I was there in the Stade de France with the BBC and saw them win the World Cup. I went back to my hotel room and I was probably the only Frenchman crying.”

9. On his fans: “It never ceases to amaze me the lengths that some people will go to to try and speak to me or meet me.”

8. On playing with Gazza at Everton: “The first morning I trained with Everton he came out on to the pitch wearing this wig with long flowing hair because my hair was long at the time. It made everybody laugh.”

7. On having studied law at University: “I would have been a fantastic lawyer. I would have started in France and then gone to an international level. When I speak to people they listen to me. I don’t want to sound too pretentious, it is just a fact that all through my career, when I make a point or statement people listen.”

6. On Christian Gross: “He was Swiss-German and spoke English with this very strong German accent. When he did his pre-match speeches at Tottenham I could see all the players laughing. Gross was so convinced about what he was saying: ‘You are to play wis your heart!’ He’d jump around or get really nervous about things and I would have to tell him to calm down.”

5. On struggling to be understood as a player: “I am a maverick, I accept that now.”

4. On why he left Spurs in 2000: “George Graham didn’t want me anymore. He said to Alan Sugar to put me on the transfer list. I think I had become too big for him, I had just been Player of the Year. I wanted to end my career at Spurs. I was 32 I could still play at my best, and I had been working hard to be at this level. I didn’t want to leave.”

3. On George Graham’s treatment of him: “He substituted me in 36 of the 79 matches I started. He would always look for the negative things to say about me, trying to put me under pressure. I tried my hardest but Graham would always give me hassle. He would single me out and criticise something in my game, so that I lost the respect of my team-mates.”

2. On how to manage David Ginola: “The managers who were good to me were the ones who just let me do my stuff. You give me the ball and I do the rest.”

1. On what it meant to him to leave Tottenham: “When I left Spurs at 31, I knew it was probably the end, inside me, as a passion. I gave so much passion to the club that I didn’t see myself giving as much to any other club.”




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