Arsenal-bound Yaya Sanogo has told L'Equipe he feared his career was over before it had really started when an injury left him unable to run.
A knee problem, suffered after a lower leg fracture sustained in September 2010, left Sanogo, 20, sidelined and battling for full fitness for two years.
However, after contemplating life outside professional football, the striker overcame his injuries and self-doubt to make his professional debut at Auxerre, whom he joined in 2006 from CO Les Ulis.
"I underwent physiotherapy for eight months at [France's national football centre] Clairefontaine," he told the paper.
"At that time, I was all alone. You say to yourself: 'But I can't even run.' I said to myself it was finished. I had made a lot of sacrifices. I started playing football at six, arrived at Auxerre at 13 and, overnight, I couldn't run any more.
"You turn in on yourself, and start to think about doing other jobs. One day, I said to myself: 'I'm going to push as hard as I can. If it goes, it goes.'"
His knee held firm and, having scored nine times in 13 second-tier appearances for Auxerre last season, he is poised to wrap up his move to North London after the France Under-20 side's run at the World Cup in Turkey is over.
A Sanogo goal helped Pierre Mankowski's side win 3-1 against Ghana in their opening group game.