Press conference

One year on… Koscielny on a transformative injury

Laurent Koscielny’s last appearance in a Europa League semi-final was a traumatic one.

It was on May 3 last year that our captain crumpled in a heap at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon.

In that moment, Koscielny lost his chance of guiding us to a cup final or playing in France’s triumphant World Cup campaign. A long rehabilitation lay ahead.

Fast forward 12 months and Koscielny was sat alongside Unai Emery at a busy press conference, relaxed and ready to make a rather happier semi-final memory.

Not that the Frenchman has any regrets. On the contrary, his personal battle to return to fitness and return to our team has been an enlightening experience.

24:50

Laurent Koscielny: Stronger | In-depth documentary

“Sometimes in life we are focused on small things and it can’t be good for you,” said Koscielny.

“I learned about my life [while I was injured], about the people around me. It’s a difficult experience but I loved it because sometimes your eyes are opened more than before.

“When you don’t have the injury, it’s difficult to know about this situation. [When you do have it], you grow up as a footballer but also as a man.

“You fight with yourself because you are a competitor and you want to come back to your level or maybe even more. I did this over seven months and I continue to fight.

“It’s not about my age or my injury, it’s because you want to win everything when you are a competitor.

“It was a big challenge for me to fight against my injury and I think I did well. I’m positive about this. It’s a new semi-final against a new Spanish team, but my life is now moved on from this moment and I need to live with it.

“Now it’s OK and it’s behind me. I’m very positive about where I am. I will always fight for my club, for me and my family as well. I’m just happy and enjoying my time on the pitch.”

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