Abou Diaby says injury stopped him winning Ballon d'Or

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Abou Diaby was a lot of things at Arsenal, but world class was most certainly not one of those things.

The 30-year-old showed bright sparks during the early days of his spell with the Gunners, but that promise was quickly extinguished thanks to a series of injuries that eventually saw him fade into the background.

It's fair to say that injury robbed the former France international of his best years, and Diaby himself feels so aggrieved about this that he even thinks that he would have been a Ballon d'Or winner had it not been for all the knocks he'd taken.

Diaby ended his decade-long spell at Arsenal in the summer of 2015 to join Ligue 1 giants Marseille in his native France, but his injury problems still haunt him and he has so far managed to make just five appearances for the club.

Even now, he is sidelined with an ankle problem that he sustained in October, and when asked about the constant injury problems that have dogged him throughout his career, he felt strongly about how badly the injuries had held him back over the years.

"I have no limits. Once upon a time, people would ask me about the Ballon D'Or," he told France Football.

"I told them I dreamt about it. I have always had big ambitions, like to become one of the best in my position. I think that I had the potential to achieve that.

"I am not saying it pretentiously, but some people in life are ambitious, others aren't."

High hopes

Diaby had been labelled by fans and pundits alike as the 'new Patrick Vieira' when he first arrived on the scene, with many predicting that he would make a big impact on the game.

But as the seasons went by he played fewer and fewer games, and didn't feature at all during his final campaign with Arsene Wenger, bar a cameo appearance in the League Cup.

Since arriving at Marseille his problems haven't disappeared. He featured a grand total of four times in his maiden campaign, and had only managed to play two more games this time around.

There will almost certainly be some sections that wonders why he still bothers.

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Ligue 1
Alexis Sanchez
Vassiriki Abou Diaby
Premier League
Mesut Özil
UEFA Champions League

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