Nicklas Bendtner On Arsenal, Being Boxed Off & Adapting To Life At Juve
Some of my friends in London are in the art world and they introduced me to it slowly. There are always new things happening in that world, new artists coming up, so it’s something you can never get tired of if you understand what I mean. The new thing I like are the graffiti artists, I think they’re quite interesting.
‘I have seven paintings and three sculptures which I’m really proud of. My favourite is probably the first one I bought which is the Damien Hirst. I love it. I can look at it all day long. It represents me in sort of a way because I can see something of me in it. That keeps me looking at it and finding new things. ‘It’s nice when you get to know a person and find a new depth to them. Each time you meet there’s something new and interesting cropping up.
The painting is particularly significant to Bendtner because he believes people stopped looking for anything new in him a long time ago.
‘I got a bit stuck in England, At times I felt I was misunderstood and people had sort of boxed me off. Everyone will have an opinion of me but very few know what I’m like. A lot of things have been written about me and taken out of proportion. Nicklas said this, Nicklas said that. No matter how many times I try to clear it up, people never seem to let it go. That’s what I mean by the painting. I felt it was important to come to a new country and get a new start; get my career going again. ‘Italy has such great romance. it’s very beautiful. They have an art fair in Venice which is amazing, and Florence. They have so many great painters – not that I’ll be able to afford them in my lifetime.
‘The car crash It set me back a huge deal,’ he admits. ‘When I finally got over that I was still part of Arsenal but not as I was before. Everything just hit me at once. I went through a complete transition and changed everything in my life after that. I’m still young but when I was younger I maybe didn’t think about what I had, what a big deal it was, and what you could do if you really put your mind to it. Yes that [drinking and parties] was part of it. There are other aspects which are a bit more personal that I don’t want to get into.
When you experience the birth of your child, it’s amazing what happens,’ he says. ‘You change in your way of thinking. If you draw a circle and put arrows out there saying “this is in your life, and this is what you really need” there is actually very little you need to be happy.’It’s always been something I wanted but I probably wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was. This last year it’s just started to happen.’
‘I feel that if I was still there I would be able to compete for a place. Despite what happened to me it’s still a great club and I still feel for some people there. I wouldn’t say that I can never ever go back but at the moment it’s not on my mind.
I’ve settled in quite well,’ he says. ‘The hardest thing has been that none of the coaches apart from one speak any English so it’s been difficult for me to communicate with the staff and the players.
‘I have a teacher but I’m getting a new one because we didn’t get on – she didn’t speak English or Italian very well! I’ve never trained so hard in my life. It’s a very different set-up to England. Here they like you to come in every day. It’s just the Italian way, not just Juventus, and something you adapt to. Since coming here I’ve literally had two days off in two months, and I’ve spent them with family.
quotes from DailyMail