Menez: Without football I’d be in jail

The France international was raised in a tough suburb of Paris and admits that if not for the sport then his life could have taken a very different path

AC Milan forward Jeremy Menez says that if it were not for football, he could well be in jail.

The Frenchman has been a revelation for Milan this season, hitting 8 goals in 13 starts, relishing the freedom afforded to him by coach Filippo Inzaghi as his side continue on their quest for a return to Champions League football.

The one-time ‘new Zidane’ was raised in a tough suburb of Paris and admits that without football his life could have been very different.

“Perhaps if I had not had football I could have ended up in jail,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

“After all, a lot of my friends are there. Theft, drugs, those sorts of things… there you want everything but money is short.”

Menez returns to the capital to face former club Roma at the Stadio Olimpico this weekend as Milan look to close the three-point gap on third-placed Napoli.

And Giallorossi coach Rudi Garcia is well aware of the threat Menez poses to his side.

“He’s a very talented player,” Garcia said.

“He’s part of the French national team and possesses amazing skills. We have to be focused when marking him, hoping that he doesn’t score any goals against us.”