Pascal Chimbonda, who enjoyed two spells with Tottenham, admits that he still has a lot of affection for the North London club.
Chimbonda arrived from Wigan on transfer deadline day in 2006 and he was the first choice right-back for two seasons before eventually losing his place to Alan Hutton.
While he was sold in 2008, Harry Redknapp brought him back to the club in the second half of the 2008-09 season, although the Frenchman hardly played in his second spell at the club.
Speaking about Spurs, Chimbonda told the Athletic: “I still support them (Tottenham). I’m in touch with some guys there so it’s still a family.
“Joining Spurs was a big step to prove how far I can go, it was another level. Different players, higher quality. Everything was perfect. Leaving Wigan was very difficult but football is a business.”
The defender also opened up on the special relationship he has with some of his former Spurs teammates.
He revealed how he and former Tottenham midfielder Didier Zokora got Dimitar Berbatov to come out of his shell after as he was very quiet when he initially arrived at the club.
He said: “I loved my time there, we had really nice players. On and off the pitch.
“[Didier] Zokora was my mate, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, and Adel Taarabt also. Aaron Lennon, Michael Dawson, and Jermain Defoe made me feel welcome.
“At Spurs, only one person wasn’t talking… Dimitar Berbatov. Wow, this guy is so hard. He would sit in the changing room and not talk to anyone. And in the end I made him speak to me and we became good friends, but seriously this guy in training doesn’t speak to anyone!
“In France when we come to training we shake hands, in England, we say hi. He didn’t say hi or anything, not bye. Me and Zokora made him laugh, made him talk. He was the best player too.”
When asked what made Berbatov so good, the defender said: “You’ve seen him play yeah? He made the team so much better.
“If you lost a simple ball, he would go crazy at you but you can give him any shit ball and he’d control it. He was different class.”
Chimbonda also raved about the talent Adel Taarabt possessed as a young player at Spurs. He revealed how Juande Ramos asked him to play one-touch in training as he never gave the ball away.
Chimbonda added: “Oh my, he was such a talented player. As talented as I’ve ever seen. He’s so good. In training, he was always doing skills.
“He did so many that Ramos made him do one touch because otherwise if you gave him the ball you wouldn’t see it again.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Despite the fact that Chimbonda spent a short time in North London, I remember him quite fondly. While he was quite a laid back character, he usually gave 100 per cent for us whenever he stepped on to the pitch. It is great to see that he still has affection for the club.
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