Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby has revealed he considered retirement during his lengthy recovery from a serious knee injury.
The Frenchman spent 13 months out of action with ruptured cruciate ligaments in his left knee, but was an unused substitute during Sunday's 1-0 win over West Brom.
It was his first appearance in a squad since suffering the injury in training last year and the 27-year-old revealed he had considered giving up the game as he questioned his ability to return.
However, with Diaby able to play a part in Arsenal's two remaining fixtures of the season, including the FA Cup final, the former Auxerre man is looking ahead to a positive campaign finale.
"You ask yourself whether you're going to still be a footballer," he explained to L'Equipe.
"You think of giving up everything. I said to myself: 'I'm sick of this! I'm quitting!' I spoke about it with my parents, my brothers, my sisters, my friends...then, I got up one morning (and said): 'No, out of the question!'
"I had to start from scratch. But given where I'd been, it didn't really matter. It's been tough because I've had a lot of injuries. I'm religious, and in my belief, despair doesn't exist.
"You must never give in. Also, I'm only 27, soon 28. I still have five or six years ahead of me, perhaps more.
"If my black season could end with a cup final victory, that would be marvellous."comments