By Rob Kelly

Laurent Koscielny believes his unconventional route to the top has made him mentally tough.

The 27-year-old spent much of his early career in the lower leagues of French football at Guingamp, Tours and Lorient before moving to Arsenal in 2010.

He has since gone on to represent the French national team, and believes the path he has taken has been vital for his development.

“You have some young players that you [immediately] know will become very good, and some who take a different road, like me, Olivier Giroud and Franck Ribery,” Koscielny told Arsenal Player.

“There are a lot of players who did not play in academies when they were younger. It is better for us because we passed through difficult situations and this makes us stronger now.”

Koscielny is known for his whole-hearted commitment to the cause, and admits this is an essential part of his make-up.

“Life is strange. Maybe tomorrow I won’t be able to play because I am injured so I live every day at 100 per cent,” he said.

“I am happy to be a professional footballer, to play in a big stadium with a big atmosphere against very good players.

“I can't say I am tired, that I don’t want to run and want to stay at home. It's not possible. I have a great passion for football and every time I am on the pitch I give 100 per cent.”

Watch the full Close Up interview with Laurent on Arsenal Player now.

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 13 Nov 2012