Samir Nasri admits he thought his footballing career was over during his recent 18-month ban, before eventually returning to the professional game with West Ham United.
In February 2018, Nasri was given a six-month ban from football by UEFA for receiving an intravenous drip of 500 millilitres of water containing nutrients.
By August, the ban had been increased by an extra 12 months and backdated to 1st July 2017. As a result, the former Gunners was free to return to football this month, with West Ham United signing him.
Speaking to the English media this week, Nasri admitted that he reached a real low point during his ban, and he believed his career was over.
“I had some really tough moments when I was really down,” said Nasri (via Tuesday’s Evening Standard). “Mentally, I’m really strong but, for maybe the first time in my life, I cried about my career because I thought it was over.
“When you’ve been out for a year and you think it’s over, you think completely differently after that. I was just looking on TV and I wasn’t able to train and, in the meantime, I had a son.
“A lot of things have changed in my life and for the best. I’m really happy about it. I’m just blessed. I’m lucky to have a second chance. Not everyone in life has a second chance.”
The 31-year-old went straight into West Ham’s Premier League squad against Brighton on Tuesday, though he didn’t come off the bench. As a result, his first opportunity for Premier League minutes will be against Arsenal, on Saturday 12th January. Football does love to provide convenient coincidences.
Before that, Nasri could make his cup debut for West Ham against Birmingham on Saturday.