Vous-êtes ici: AccueilSportFootballPlayersBenoit Assou Ekotto

Benoit Assou-Ekotto Profile

Assou Ekotto
Queens Park Rangers ()
Arras, France
Lens/ Tottenham
11 February 2009

Benoît Pierre David Assou-Ekotto (born 24 March 1984) is a professional footballer who plays for English club Queens Park Rangers on loan from fellow English club Tottenham Hotspur.

Born in France, he plays internationally for the Cameroon national team.

Assou-Ekotto made his debut for Cameroon against Guinea in a friendly match on 11 February 2009. He also played the full 90 minutes in Cameroon's 1–0 surprise World Cup qualifying defeat to Togo on 28 March 2009.

He was named in Cameroon's 2010 Africa Cup of Nations squad but was forced to withdraw prior to the tournament due to injury. Assou-Ekotto was also named in Paul Le Guen's final 23-man roster for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and played every minute of Cameroon's three matches.

In an interview with the BBC in February 2011, Assou-Ekotto stated that he was encouraged to play for the France national under-16 football team as a teenager, but that "I told them I don't need to go because there is no point to wear the French shirt, I don't have feelings with French players". In an interview with The Guardian in May 2010, he stated:

Me playing for Cameroon was a natural and normal thing. I have no feeling for the France national team; it just doesn't exist.

When people ask of my generation in France, 'Where are you from?', they will reply Morocco, Algeria, Cameroon or wherever. But what has amazed me in England is that when I ask the same question of people like Lennon and Defoe, they'll say: ''Im English that's one of the things that I love about life here."

Assou-Ekotto is known for his forthright social commentary. In 2010, he sparked controversy with his criticism of the inconsistency between the public and private opinions of Premier League footballers, claiming that he was "always honest", though he added that he did not believe that the truth was always "good to say".

In 2011, he drew further attention when he commented that football was "just a job", explaining that his primary motivation for playing the game professionally was the wage collected rather than intrinsic pleasure:

I have never bought into the ­hypocrisy of football but perhaps I'm more strident in my views now. I'm lucky and appreciate what I have, but football is just a job, a means to an end... there are more important things in life than kicking a ball around... Yes, I play for the money but then doesn't everybody who gets up in the morning and goes to work?

They do it to provide for their family. It infuriates me when footballers go on about playing for the shirt. I think they should be held accountable for it when they kiss the badge and six months later clear off for a better pay day.

He maintained a similar philosophy during the 2011 Luka Modric transfer saga, asserting that a football player could be expected to transfer to a new club if his parent club failed to match other teams' higher wage offers.

Since arriving at Tottenham, Assou-Ekotto has pursued an interest in the local community and its inhabitants, expressing a "great sense of connection to Tottenham". He carries an Oyster card and frequents the London Underground, and often walks with Tottenham supporters towards the stadium before home matches.

During the London riots, the outspoken footballer suggested in an interview with BBC Sport that his colleagues do more to mitigate geopolitical issues, such as donating a hundredth of their salaries towards local causes.

Assou-Ekotto himself made a "significant contribution" to the London Evening Standard's Dispossessed Fund. In his personal column for the same daily, he wrote at length on his experiences mingling with locals both during the riots and after with the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.

During and just after the riots, I thought a lot about the challenges we face as a society. One thing I do think is just how separated we are even though technology has made the world smaller... I try to meet and talk with the residents [in Tottenham] as much as possible, hoping to better understand the challenges people face in their lives... Maybe growing up in a small town or coming from a small African nation makes me like the idea of community.

He is the younger brother of fellow professional football player Mathieu Assou-Ekotto.