- Nicklas Bendtner has opened up on his life in football in a new documentary
- The former Arsenal star revealed that his wage skyrocketed at the Gunners
- We can’t pan Arsenal fans for being emotional. The Emirates is a great place to watch football right now – Listen to the It’s All Kicking Off podcast
Nicklas Bendtner has opened up on his life in football, attending boozy parties and how he once fell out with his dad over money in a new three-part documentary.
The programme also reveals that the centre-forward’s wage at Arsenal once skyrocketed form £400-per-week to £10,000-per-week following his successful loan spell at Birmingham City in the early parts of his career.
The 36-year-old retired from professional football in 2020, with the Danish striker ending his career at FC Copenhagen.
One of football’s great characters, he was given the nickname ‘Lord Bendtner’ by Arsenal fans and had notably called himself ‘one of the best strikers in the world’ during his formative years.
Nicklas Bendtner has opened up on his career and life after football in a new three-part documentary
The former Arsenal star spoke out on his party lifestyle as well as how he had too much too soon
Bendtner was here pictured on a night out after Arsenal lost to Man United in the semi-final of the Champions League in 2009
He’d join arsenal in 2004 and subsequently would rise through the academy at London Colney before going out on loan to Birmingham City in 2006.
Bendtner would go on to score 13 goals in 48 appearances for the Blues impressing during his season-long loan at the club that Arsene Wenger opted to up his wages by nearly 75 per cent.
Despite that, former Arsenal player Liam Brady added that: ‘The more successful he became, the worse he became. He thought he could just party and drink.’
He would go on to score some important goals for Arsenal, with the 2009-10 season being his best for the club, netting 12 times including perhaps his best strike for the Gunners, his goal against Blackburn Rovers at The Emirates.
Speaking on his early years, the centre-forward said: ‘When things go as fast as they did for me, there is a golden opportunity to take hold of a young lad and try to put some framework in place.
‘But everyone just let me do what suited me. No one said no, no one gave me consequences. That made it difficult. Deep down, I knew I wasn’t where I should be.
‘When at the same time I have a personality where I want to experience the world – taste it all and try a lot of different things – then it would have been healthy if someone had helped me to reduce it.
‘Somehow, I taught myself what made me happy when I was sad.
‘But in relation to football, it was perhaps not always the most appropriate things I did.’
Bendtner, who spoke with Mail Sport’s Ian Herbert back in 2020 about his extravagant lifestyle and having too much too young, added during the documentary that he had ‘let the black wolf inside decide instead of the white one’ when it came to life choices during his career.
By the time he had left Arsenal, Bendtner had fallen out of favour, had made some massive claims about his own ability and had struggled on loan at Sunderland and Juventus.
The Dane was also embroiled in some unsavoury scraps on the field, including one with team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor, with Bendtner also clashing with William Gallas.
The striker also infamously showed off his Paddy Power underwear after scoring during Denmark’s 3-2 defeat against Portugal in 2012
Bendtner would go on to make 171 appearances for Arsenal, and would become known as ‘Lord Bendtner’ among fans
He would score 47 goals for the club, departing north London in 2014 for Wolfsburg
The former Denmark international also stated that he once fell out with his father, Thomas, over money.
While he explained that he didn’t want to go into too much detail on the incident, he added that he should have kept family separate from his business affairs.
His father had worked as his advisor at one point during his career, but Bendtner revealed he had believed his dad had embezzled money out of his jewellery company.
‘There are many things in it, because it is an inflamed relationship, but I do not want to go into it in more detail,’ he said during the documentary.
‘He [Bendtner’s father] also declined to be part of the documentary, so out of respect I will keep it more general.
‘Looking back, we definitely should have kept family and work roles separate.
‘There were no bad intentions behind it.
‘We tried to do what we felt was right, but none of us were smart enough to know the difference, or the outcome.’
He continued: ‘He was my father, best friend and confidant. I had a fantastic childhood.
‘So, a completely fantastic childhood with some fantastic parents who have been very supportive, driving me to football and all that stuff.’
Bendtner won 81 caps for the Danish national side, scoring 30 goals during his international career
He would also spend a season with Nottingham Forest between 2016 and 2017 before returning in 2020
But during the documentary, the former Nottingham Forest striker added that he always had a love for football and that the playing field was the only place that he could express himself.
He added: ‘For me, football is love. It’s the only thing I’ve really loved doing and it’s the only thing that gave me a free space. A place where I belonged.
‘As soon as I stepped onto the field, all other problems disappeared. And in the dressing room, I was just part of something bigger than myself.
‘I really liked that. But it is difficult to find in the same way elsewhere.’