Peter Crouch: The biggest regret I have from my 22-year career in football

Crouchie was left red-faced against Real Madrid.

Peter Crouch

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Paddy Power ambassador Peter Crouch has revealed his biggest regret from a 22-year playing career and also spoken about his disappointing departure from Tottenham back in 2011 on the latest episode of our twice-weekly From The Horse’s Mouth podcast.

When people ask me about disappointments in my career, the one that springs to mind straight away is getting sent off at the Bernabeu while playing for Tottenham.

We were on a great run, having beaten Inter Milan and AC Milan – I got the winner at the San Siro and we got through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League to face Real Madrid.

I was so excited, as I had never played at the Bernabeu before. I was like a big kid looking around, thinking ‘this is amazing’, but within 10 or 15 minutes I get two yellow cards and get sent off!

The dressing room is underneath the stadium and there are tiers upon tiers of fans and you can hear them.

I’m sat in the dressing room with a towel over my head, hearing goal after goal after goal going in and I’m thinking ‘that’s down to me’.

That was low point, definitely, and a big regret.

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Peter Crouch Tottenham Real Madrid Champions League 2011

I do have a little excuse when it comes to the cards though. The first one was me being excitable, so I can give the referee that. It was a tackle on Sergio Ramos.

For the second one, I went to block a ball down the line from Marcelo and I did dive in a bit but I didn’t touch him. He’s jumped up in the air and rolled around, and there is a camera angle where you can see he looks at the referee and he celebrates as the red card comes out then he jumps back up.

I’ve never wanted to punch anyone more in my life.

For them, that was seen as a win. They’ve won the game and they played me. I was naive to let myself get caught up in that. I was pumped up for the game I thought we had a really good chance as we had such a good team. I just got played and I was so angry but that’s why those boys are at the top for so long. It was a disappointing moment.

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Leaving Tottenham

I ended up leaving Tottenham later that year, and it was a real blow to be honest. I don’t blame [manager] Harry Redknapp at all. I think he would have had 10 strikers if he could but the chairman had to balance the books.

It was me or Emmanuel Adebayor at the time, and I just felt that I had done well for Tottenham and I got discarded a little bit. ‘We’re bringing Adebayor in and you’re out’. I get it, they got a good offer from Stoke but I was happy and I didn’t want to leave.

I was 30 and they got a lot of money for me so I totally get the club’s decision. There is no bad feeling and I’m only joking when I say ‘stabbed in the back’ but it was just disappointing that it ended that way because I felt like we had a good side and I could have been part of it a bit more.

Having said that, although I didn’t want to go at first, I went to Stoke and had eight years there. I actually loved it and it worked out really well for me.

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