Interview

'It takes a knock to realise how good life is'

For many players, an extended spell on the sidelines can be extremely tough to deal with - but for Hector Bellerin it was an invaluable learning experience.

Our right-back spent 255 days out with a knee injury, and says that it was time that he put to go use as he reflected on a range of issues.

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"I'm a very, very different Hector [now], that's for sure," Bellerin told the official matchday programme. "Two hundred and fifty-five days is a long time. But it's been a process that has been more positive than negative. 

"When people hear about you rupturing your ACL and going through this nine-month injury, they just think 'Oh wow, this is bad, his head must be flying in a bad state of mind' and 'let's help him' and all this stuff. 

"But it's been something that I feel has helped me love football even more and realise how lucky I am to be in the position that I am, and now I take the opportunity to play and even to train with a different frame of mind to what I did before. I think I'm definitely enjoying it way more now.

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"I think since I became part of the first-team squad, I kind of played every game and there were season where I played like 48 games, which means you play on the Saturday, then on the Tuesday, then you play on the Friday, then on the Wednesday and it's non-stop," he added. 

"Whether you have good games or bad games, you never really have time to think about them or to enjoy the wins or if you score a goal you don't really have the time to celebrate. 

"So, it was the first time I had a chance to actually look back at my achievements, whether that was as a football player, as a 24-year-old or as everything else. I could finally sit down and think, 'Wow, I've done this and I've done that' and before it was just part of my work and I never really appreciated it. 

"So it has made me appreciate myself more, which is really important for me and also, as I've said, appreciate how lucky I am to be able to wake up every morning and play the game that I love, in a club that I love, surrounded by people that want me to be better every day. It takes, sometimes, a hard knock to actually realise how good life is."

 

 

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