Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma insists he is sorry for the horror tackle which left Sochaux midfielder Thomas Guerbert with a broken leg in November 2013 - but admits he would make it again.
The 20-year-old received a 10-match ban for the tackle, committed while playing for Saint Etienne, but he claims he does not regret making it.
The France Under-21 international does, however, admit he felt sympathy for his opponent.
Zouma admits he would make tackle again
"I was disappointed for the player," Zouma told The Times, according to the Mirror. "I hurt him and I didn't want to hurt him. I saw his ankle badly damaged in the dressing room and was sorry for him and his family.
"I can say sorry again now. I've heard he's playing again, which is good news. He plays with my brother at Sochaux and he's fine now.
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"If I had to make the tackle again, I would do exactly the same. My brother was playing in the same game, and he just told me to stay strong as these things are part of football."
Zouma improving every week
Despite the incident, Chelsea agreed to pay £12 million for the French starlet in January 2014. He spent the rest of the 2013-14 campaign back on loan with Saint-Etienne before linking up with Jose Mourinho’s side last summer.
Zouma has made 14 appearances for Chelsea this term, scoring two goals, and has earned praise from fans and pundits alike for his mature and disciplined displays.
Mourinho even declared the centre-back as one of the world’s two best young defenders, along with Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane, in a press conference earlier this week.
And Zouma is already putting pressure on experienced England international Gary Cahill for a first-team place at Stamford Bridge.