Most football fans will say top players should count themselves lucky that they’re able to earn big money playing a game they love.
But the theory is flawed. Some footballers, by their own admission, don’t even like beautiful game.
There are those who don’t like playing football, others who aren’t interested in watching it and a handful who have completely and utterly fallen out of love with it.
Former Wales international Lewin Nyatanga, who retired in 2018 at the age of 29, later told how he had a complicated relationship with his chosen career.
And he said he wasn’t alone in struggling with aspect of being a footballer.
He said: I know a lot of footballers who hate football, I know some who love and some who have a love/hate relationship with it but nobody says it because they’re so scared of the backlash.”
Here, we look at nine players, including some memorable Premier League stars, who made it to the top of the game, but could take or leave football.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto played 155 games for Tottenham and happily admitted he moved there for the money
French-born former Cameroon international Benoit Assou-Ekotto had a pretty decent career, beginning his career at Lens before moving to Tottenham, where he spent nine years on the books.
The left back had a loan spell at Queens Park Rangers and later turned out for Saint Etienne and Metz. Now 35, he hasn’t played since 2018.
A year earlier, Harry Redknapp revealed he wanted to sign him for Birmingham, but that the player had suggested he was more interested in becoming a porn star.
Assou-Ekotto apparently fancies a career as a porn star
A notoriously frank talker, Assou-Ekotto told the Guardian in 2010 the main reason he played football was for the money and not for the love of it.
He said: “If I come to England, where I knew nobody and I didn’t speak English … why did I come here?…