Peter Crouch celebrates with team mates Benoît Assou-Ekotto and Gareth Bale in 2010
Clive Rose/Getty Images
Peter Crouch has opened up about the weird habits of one of his former Tottenham Hotspur teammates who had passion for crisps, croissants and cars – but didn’t even like football.
Benoît Assou-Ekotto played 202 games for Spurs between 2006 and 2015, and became something of a cult hero at the club.
But on many of those occasions the stylish left back didn’t even know which team he was playing until minutes before the match because of his total disinterest for the sport.
Crouch said: “He 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 perhaps the French-Cameroonian player’s strangest habit, Crouch said, was his pre-match meal – usually something professional sportspeople take extremely seriously.
Assou-Ekotto playing for Spurs in 2013Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
“Benoît 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.
“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.”
Crouch, 42, was speaking in an interview with the Mail, ahead of the release of a documentary about his career.
Both players were fan favourites at the club, Crouch for his towering height and Assou-Ekotto for his flair-filled runs down the wing.
Assou-Ekotto made 22 appearances for Cameroon during his 14-year career, which also saw him play for Queen’s Park Rangers, Lens and Saint Étienne.
Crouch added: “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'.
“Benoît was a really weird guy but we loved him a lot.”