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Benoît Assou-ekotto

Benoît Pierre David Assou-Ekotto (born 24 March 1984) is a French people-born Cameroonian association football who plays for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur F.C. as a defender (association football) Fullback.

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Benoît Assou-ekotto biography


Benoît Pierre David Assou-Ekotto (born 24 March 1984) is a French people-born Cameroonian association football who plays for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur F.C. as a defender (association football) Fullback.

Club career

RC Lens

At the age of 10, Assou-Ekotto followed Benoît Assou-ekotto brother in signing for RC Lens, before making Benoît Assou-ekotto league debut on 28 March 2004 against Paris Saint-Germain F.C., which Lens won the game 1–0. Benoît Assou-ekotto played in 66 games in Ligue 1 for Lens. Benoît Assou-ekotto then played in seven of eight UEFA Cup matches as Lens went out to Udinese in the last 32. After breaking into the first-team with three appearances in 2003–04, Assou-Ekotto caught the eye with 29 starts in 2004–05. At the start of the 2005–06 season, Benoît Assou-ekotto played in all of Lens' games in the UEFA Intertoto Cup, as they won that tournament and secured a place in 2005-06 UEFA Cup UEFA Europa League. In the 2005–06 season, Benoît Assou-ekotto was an almost ever-present for Lens in the league missing just four of 38 league games as Benoît Assou-ekotto team finished fourth and again qualified for the UEFA Cup. Assou-Ekotto's outstanding performances throughout the season led to Benoît Assou-ekotto being praised as one of the best left backs in the country.

Tottenham Hotspur

In the summer of 2006, Assou-Ekotto moved to Tottenham Hotspur F.C. for an undisclosed fee, but the media expected it to be in the region of £3.5 million. Manager Martin Jol and club sporting director Damien Comolli described Benoît Assou-ekotto as one of the brightest prospects in French football at that time. Assou-Ekotto was expected to provide competition with South Korean Lee Young-Pyo at the Defender (association football) Full back position, but Benoît Assou-ekotto performances in pre-season secured Benoît Assou-ekotto a place in the starting line-up ahead of Lee. Benoît Assou-ekotto made Benoît Assou-ekotto full debut in a 2–0 defeat at Bolton Wanderers F.C on the opening day of the 2006-07 season and looked to have unseated Lee until injury saw the Korean win Benoît Assou-ekotto place back. After picking up a knee injury in December 2006, Benoît Assou-ekotto appeared to have lost Benoît Assou-ekotto place in the first-team to Lee and played just two matches throughout the entire 2007-08 season.

When Benoît Assou-ekotto first arrived in England, Assou-Ekotto spoke little English language and Benoît Assou-ekotto initially struggled at Tottenham. Assou-Ekotto has since argued that Benoît Assou-ekotto injury changed Benoît Assou-ekotto attitude to football because Benoît Assou-ekotto realised that it could have ended Benoît Assou-ekotto career:

When your surgeon tells you maybe you won't play football anymore many things are different in your mind. Before, when you're injured, your money comes into your account every month and everything is cool. But when they speak to you about the end of your career at 22 or 23… it's why maybe I changed. I'm safe now but this gave me a lesson. That's why I changed many things in my mind and in my life.

At the start of the 2008-09 season, Spurs made their worst ever start to a campaign since 1912, losing six and drawing two of their opening eight matches. At that time, Assou-Ekotto's chances of first-team football were limited and Benoît Assou-ekotto still claimed that Benoît Assou-ekotto wanted to leave England to go back to French football, even after Juande Ramos was sacked and replaced by Harry Redknapp. Redknapp decided to give Assou-Ekotto the chance to play in the team. Benoît Assou-ekotto improved rapidly with regular games and became first choice towards the end of the 2008-09 season. Having regained Benoît Assou-ekotto fitness in the 2008-09 season, Benoît Assou-ekotto became the North-London club's first-choice left back due to a string of good performances under Redknapp. Such performances have led to Assou-Ekotto earning plaudits internationally and Benoît Assou-ekotto is now regarded as a quality Premier League full back. Benoît Assou-ekotto started the 2009 Football League Cup Final against Manchester United F.C., where Benoît Assou-ekotto played exceptionally well up against Cristiano Ronaldo. Even though Tottenham lost the match on penalties, Assou-Ekotto made left back Benoît Assou-ekotto own position for the rest of the season as Benoît Assou-ekotto made such a performance throughout the final. Since then, manager Redknapp has praised Assou-Ekotto, saying "I think Benoît Assou-ekotto has been injured before but I have been very impressed with Benoît Assou-ekotto this season as Benoît Assou-ekotto has been in great form. Benoît Assou-ekotto has looked an outstanding left back."

Benoît Assou-ekotto scored Benoît Assou-ekotto first career goal in a 2-1 win over Liverpool F.C. on the opening weekend of the 2009–10 Premier League with a half-volley from 20 yards. Benoît Assou-ekotto was rewarded for this fine form with a four-year contract extension on 19 August. During mid-season, Benoît Assou-ekotto temporarily lost Benoît Assou-ekotto place to youngster Gareth Bale but regained it when Redknapp moved Bale onto the left wing. Benoît Assou-ekotto has been a regular starter for Tottenham since the 2010–11 Premier League. On 11 January 2012, Benoît Assou-ekotto scored a 35-yard screamer against Everton, in the 64th minute. This was the 3rd goal in Benoît Assou-ekotto senior career, and on 12 February Benoît Assou-ekotto scored Benoît Assou-ekotto fourth goal in the 5-0 hammering of Newcastle United at White Hart Lane

International career

Assou-Ekotto made Benoît Assou-ekotto debut for Cameroon national football team against Guinea national football team in a friendly match on 11 February 2009. Benoît Assou-ekotto also played the full 90 minutes in Cameroon's 1–0 surprise 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification (CAF) defeat to Togo national football team on 28 March 2009. Benoît Assou-ekotto was named in Cameroon's 2010 Africa Cup of Nations squad but was forced to withdraw prior to the tournament due to injury. Assou-Ekotto was also named in Paul Le Guen's final 23-man roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and played every minute of Cameroon's three matches.

In an interview with the BBC in February 2011, Assou-Ekotto stated that Benoît Assou-ekotto was encouraged to play for the France national under-16 football team as a teenager, but that "I told them I don't need to go because there is no point to wear the French shirt, I don't have feelings with French players".

Personal life

Frankness

Assou-Ekotto is known for Benoît Assou-ekotto forthright social commentary. In 2010, Benoît Assou-ekotto sparked controversy with Benoît Assou-ekotto criticism of the inconsistency between the public and private opinions of Premier League footballers, claiming that Benoît Assou-ekotto was "always honest", though Benoît Assou-ekotto added that Benoît Assou-ekotto did not believe that the truth was always "good to say". In 2011, Benoît Assou-ekotto drew further attention when Benoît Assou-ekotto commented that football was "just a job", explaining that Benoît Assou-ekotto primary motivation for playing the game professionally was the wage collected rather than Motivation Intrinsic_motivation_and_the_16_basic_desires_theory:

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... there are more important things in life than kicking a ball around... 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. 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.

Benoît Assou-ekotto maintained a similar philosophy during the 2011 Luka Modric transfer saga, asserting that a football player could be expected to transfer to a new club if Benoît Assou-ekotto parent club failed to match other teams' higher wage offers.

Community involvement

Since arriving at Spurs, Assou-Ekotto has pursued an interest in the Tottenham and its inhabitants, expressing a "great sense of connection to Tottenham". Benoît Assou-ekotto carries an Oyster card and frequents the London Underground, and often walks with Tottenham supporters towards White Hart Lane before home matches. During the London riots in 2011, the outspoken footballer suggested in an interview with BBC Sport that Benoît Assou-ekotto colleagues do more to mitigate geopolitical issues, such as donating a hundredth of their salaries towards local causes. Assou-Ekotto himself made a "significant contribution" to the London Evening Standard's Dispossessed Fund. In Benoît Assou-ekotto personal column for the same daily, Benoît Assou-ekotto wrote at length on Benoît Assou-ekotto experiences mingling with locals both during the riots and after with the Tottenham_Hotspur_F.C. Social_responsibility:

During and just after the riots, I thought a lot about the challenges we face as a society. One thing I do think is just how separated we are even though technology and society... I try to meet and talk with the residents in Tottenham as much as possible, hoping to better understand the challenges people face in their lives... Maybe growing up in a small town or coming from a small African nation makes me like the idea of community.

Family

Benoît Assou-ekotto is the younger brother of fellow professional football player Mathieu Assou-Ekotto.

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beno%C3%AEt_Assou-Ekotto

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