Former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner says he has regrets over his career.
The Danish made the revelation recently in his autobiography, saying he “became too fond of the lifestyle that came with the money” of being a professional footballer.
The ex-Denmark international, who had stints with different clubs, which include Juventus, Nottingham Forests, Wolfsburg, after leaving Arsenal opened up about his past difficulties.
Arsene Wenger signed Bendtner as a youth but struggled to realize his potential. In his new book, he admitted to drinking and gambling during his time at the Gunners.
“I became too fond of the lifestyle that came with the money.
“I want to go back in time and hit that young lad on the head with a hammer. Make him understand what a chance it is. That he has something special – something he has to look after.”
“There’s definitely some regret I didn’t take my career in a more positive way. Looking back definitely gave me upset because there are moments which were very hurtful and difficult to talk about.
“But I couldn’t just write another sports biography where I was praising myself. Luckily I trusted [author] Rune completely and could open up and say: ‘There’s only one way I can do it and that’s with complete honesty.'”
During his stint with Arsenal, Bendtner scored 45 goals in 171 games. He then had loan spells at Birmingham, Sunderland, and Juventus before joining Wolfsburg in 2014.
His return to English football was with Nottingham Forest in 2016. Unfortunately, he did not see out a full season before moving to Rosenborg, and then FC Copenhagen. He has 81 caps for Denmark.
Nicklas Bendtner reveals clash with Adebayor
Meanwhile, Bendtner also revealed the reason for the disagreement between him and former teammate, Emmanuel Adebayor in January 2008 during the League Cup semi-final second leg at White Hart Lane against Tottenham.
Speaking exclusively to Arsenal’s ‘In Lockdown’ podcast, the Dane said he couldn’t get along with the former Togolese international.
“He’s not really my cup of tea. I got on with most people in the team and made some really good friends, but me and him? Probably not so much.
“I remember him being substituted on and I think there was a key moment where I don’t think the ball had been passed to him. There was a heated exchange of words where a lot was said between us, and then we squared up to each other.
“Then he sort of push headbutted me, so he sort of pushed me away while headbutting me on the nose. Then Gallas came in, split us up, and took us apart.
“I was very upset. I mean, we had such a poor performance, I think we lost 5-1. I was disappointed enough with myself and the team about the performance we gave, so that [incident] obviously didn’t do anything to help.
“We tried to talk to it through in the dressing room but not so much words… more something else. Then we got separated and called into the boss’ office the next day. We got fined and that was the end of it. We didn’t really have any encounters at all from that moment.”
He further stated that they just play together on the pitch but were never friends.
“We never tried to patch things up. We learned to have the respect for the club and the team. That we would be on the same team, we would give everything when we were on the pitch together, but we wouldn’t be friends.
“It’s not like if he was through on goal I wouldn’t pass the ball to him, that would never have been an effect from my point of view. I would always have passed in the greater good. We sort of just learned to play having it the way we had it, with the respect and understanding of the group.”