Bendtner: Footballers Are Worth Their Pay

"The biggest thing I miss because of football is that I really, really love to go on a skiing holiday but as long as I have my career, I can’t do that because of the risk of being injured" - Nicklas Bendtner
Nicklas Bendtner has risked the wrath of credit crunch-hit fans by insisting footballers are worth their multi-million-pound contracts — because they have to make sacrifices such as not going skiing. Bendtner, who will line up for Denmark against England in tomorrow night’s friendly in Copenhagen, is paid £50,000 a week by Arsenal. But just over a week after Chelsea stunned the nation by paying £50million for Fernando Torres and giving the Spaniard a £170,000-a-week deal, the Dane insisted Premier League stars are worth every penny.

Bendtner said, "There is a price to pay as well for us players. Personally, I think I pay a big price with my body, my time and with never being able to have privacy when I am out and around other people. I am not complaining. It’s a natural part of being a professional footballer but it is definitely a price to pay when, for example, you can’t go out to eat in a restaurant with your girlfriend without photographers chasing you. The biggest thing I miss because of football is that I really, really love to go on a skiing holiday but as long as I have my career, I can’t do that because of the risk of being injured. That is one thing that has been taken away from me by football that other young people can do.

"They (others) have the freedom to decide how to spend their time. I see friends doing interesting things with their lives but I have always made football my first priority. I would lie if I said that I didn’t enjoy the money I earn in football. It’s always fair to ask whether players are worth the incredible amounts of money we earn and ask whether we earn too much. Somehow I believe that we must be worth our salaries because that is how the mechanism of society works. As long as I work as hard as I can, I believe I am worth what is coming my way. We spend an incredible amount of time, energy and focus on our football career. When we are not training or playing matches, we still have to live for football," he continued.

Bendtner, 23, grew up in the suburbs of Copenhagen and played for Tarnby Boldklub before joining FC Copenhagen’s youth ranks and then moving to Arsenal’s academy in 2004. These days, he is the biggest draw in Danish football, famed for holding such a high opinion of his own talent, as seen in one of the quotes of last season, "If you ask me if I am one of the best strikers in the world, I say yes."

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