Peter Crouch reveals Premier League cult hero was ‘weird guy who didn’t like football’ and always ate same bizarre lunch

PETER CROUCH has revealed former Tottenham left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto “didn’t like” football and used to eat his own peculiar lunch before games.

Assou-Ekotto, 39, spent nine years at Spurs from 2006 to 2015, racking up 202 appearances for the club.

Peter Crouch has spoken about Benoit Assou-Ekotto’s bizarre views and eating habitsNews Group Newspapers Ltd

Assou-Ekotto, right, spent several years as Spurs’ first-choice left-backNews Group Newspapers Ltd

Two of those seasons were spent playing with Crouch, 42, who featured as one of Harry Redknapp‘s strikers while they competed for the Champions League places.

Yet despite impressing with many of his performances, Assou-Ekotto was not actually a football fan.

Speaking to The Mail, Crouch said: “He [Assou-Ekotto] would tell us straight out that he had no interest in football whatsoever. He genuinely didn’t like it.

“At 1.30pm on a Saturday he’d have no idea which team you were playing. ‘But Benoit, we’ve been talking about them in training all week…’”

Crouch also spoke about the bizarre lunch the ex-Cameroon international used to eat prior to a match.

The former England target man continued: “And so to his pre-match meal. Now none of us are adventurous. It’s pasta, chicken, no sauce, and has been for the past 20 years.

“Benoit would turn up with a Tesco’s bag containing the same four items every time: a croissant, a hot chocolate, a full-fat Coke and a packet of crisps.

“The croissant I understood. He is French-Cameroonian. The hot chocolate: same cultural backstory. He used to dip the first into the second.

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“But the crisps, and the Coke — it was like two discrete lunches, one belonging to a middle-aged Parisian and the other a 12-year-old on the Seven Sisters Road. And it worked. He was always in great shape and rarely injured.

“We accepted it, along with all the other weirdness: the random cars he would turn up to training in, sometimes a Smart car, then a Lamborghini; the way he would refuse to take ice baths for recovery, on the rather basic premise that they were ‘too cold’.

“Benoit was a really weird guy but we loved him a lot.”

As well as his dislike for football and unique eating habits, Assou-Ekotto also enjoyed taking the tube.

While a Spurs player, he often used the underground to navigate London.

At the time, he told the Evening Standard: “I really like London. When I go back to France, 24 hours is enough. I like the mentality here. I have an Oyster card and can use the tube stations without a problem.

“The people on the tube are very friendly. Sometimes they ask me about the last game, sometimes they ask me if I’m really Benoit Assou-Ekotto… and sometimes I say no, he is my little brother!

“Or they ask me why I use the tube and I say why not? They say it’s strange because I play in the Premier League and use the tube. It’s funny to speak to people who are surprised with how you live.

“Not many people in football have the same attitude as me. Nobody is born with a silver spoon in their mouth. When you know where you come from, it’s easier to map out where you want to go. You shouldn’t forget that.”

After leaving Spurs eight years ago, Assou-Ekotto spent one year at Saint-Etienne and two years at Metz, before hanging up his boots in 2018.

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