It’s been a rollercoaster year for Tottenham’s Erik LAMELA but the Argentine played his first match in over a year and even had an assist.
Exactly 400 days since he last took the pitch (October 25, 2016), Coco LAMELA was back playing for Tottenham in the Premier League as he came on as a substitute in his team’s 2-1 loss to Leicester City. LAMELA came on and had an assist within 80 seconds after being substituted on.
Following the pitch, Erik took to the media to talk about his long injury layoff. At one, there were even rumors that he would never play again. Here’s what he had to say:
Erik LAMELA on possible early retirement:
“Of course, in really bad times you always think the worst. But my family was always with me and the supporters wanted me on the pitch, they bring me energy to work every day and to never give up. Today I’m here today because I really wanted it and when you really want something you can do it.”
Erik LAMELA on his injury:
“It was crazy, it was probably the worst time of my life. I really wanted to play but it took too long, my injury. Two surgeries in one month and a half.
“Of course, I was not available to play. But working every day and doing the right rehabilitation, in my mind was always the feeling that I wanted to play and be back with the team.
“Everyone is different in life. Some people wanted me back and I was only focused on it. My family was always with me, my girlfriend always pushing me to be back. And of course it was hard to be so long out of the pitch but it’s football, no?
“The manager and all the staff honestly were amazing. They were always with me, behind me. All of us wanted the same thing – me playing. Sometimes you have to respect the times and today I feel better. It’s been a very long time fighting to get back. Unfortunately, I didn’t get well soon, but now I’m much better and very happy to be back.”
Erik LAMELA on his contract ending this season:
“I don’t want to think about it. I am only focused on keep playing, recover for training tomorrow and day by day.”
On the birth of his first child:
“I’m so happy for this.”
Erik LAMELA on Tottenham, family:
“My family and football are the most important things in my life. I am here in London to play for Tottenham so when you can’t play, it’s very hard. I fought every day, every week, I did what the staff wanted and today is the day I come back. It feels amazing to play again. I really enjoyed it.
“There were some very hard times but in life, you need to keep going, always looking forward. I fought every day to be good, to train, to help my team-mates. I did my best always and that’s why, today, I’m here again. There has been a lot of support from my team-mates, also the fans, everyone who works in the Club. Every day, every week they ask(ed) how I felt and I felt sad for them because I wanted to play. I wanted to bring energy and good play to the team. Today is another step. I am back on the pitch and it felt amazing to play again in front of the people. Unfortunately, we didn’t win.”
Disappointing result but happy to be back ⚽❤️ #COYS
Una lástima el resultado pero feliz por haber vuelto a las canchas ⚽️❤️ pic.twitter.com/FaCvscktRG
— Erik Manuel Lamela (@ErikLamela) November 28, 2017
His return back means Erik has now played 122 matches for Tottenham Hotspur. Welcome back, Coco!