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Feb 7, 2011

Bendtner: I'm worth every penny

Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner believes his pay packet reflects the sacrifices he makes in order to be a professional footballer, while the Danish international revealed he is unsure whether his future lies with the Gunners beyond this season.

• Bendtner confidence off the scale
• Wilshere escapes FA action
• Diaby hoping to match Vieira feats
• Walcott grateful for summer break

Bendtner, 23, has never been short of self confidence and has repeatedly stated his belief that he can be one of the world's best players, despite his failure to hold down a regular starting spot at Emirates Stadium.

And the Denmark forward's latest comments are unlikely to endear him to an impatient Arsenal faithful, who have yet to see any real evidence to back up his claims that he can be a world beater.

Bendtner insists that life is tough for the modern footballer because of the intense media spotlight they are forced to live under, while he claimed that the extortionate wages earned by players are comparable to "movie actors".

"There is a price to pay as well for us players," Bendtner, who is on a reported £50,000-a-week salary, said. "Personally, I think I pay a big price with my body, my time, and with never being able to have privacy when I am out and around other people.

"I am not complaining. It's a natural part of being a professional footballer but it is definitely a price to pay when, for example, you can't go out to eat in a restaurant with your girlfriend without photographers chasing you.

"The biggest thing I miss because of football is that I really, really love to go on a skiing holiday, but as long as I have my career I can't do that because of the risk of being injured.

"I would lie if I said that I didn't enjoy the money I earn in football. Somehow I believe that we must be worth our salaries because that is how the mechanism of society works. As long as I work as hard as I can, I believe I am worth what is coming my way.

"It is difficult to compare a footballer's wage to the wage of a bank manager or the manager of a large company. They are without a doubt putting a lot into their jobs and they are important to other people's lives as well but my line of work is different to that.

"I am in the football business and on the highest level, where Arsenal are, football is first-class entertainment. So it is wrong to compare my salary to the salary of businessmen. Compare it to movie actors instead."

Bendtner has struggled to assert himself on the side this season, with Marouane Chamakh and Robin van Persie ahead of him in Arsene Wenger's pecking order, and the former FC Copenhagen trainee admitted that he may be forced to consider his future should first-team opportunities continue to be restricted.

"I am happy to be an Arsenal player but of course I must play more," Bendtner said. "I'm good enough to be in the line-up. I will play this season to the end as an Arsenal player and then make a decision on my status in the summer. If I'm still happy then I will stay. Otherwise, we must see what will happen."

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