Saha: I thought of quitting football

Saha told the News of the World: “The injuries I have had recently have been the hardest times of my life.

“Somewhere in my mind, while it was happening, I thought that it was all over, that Sir Alex Ferguson has had enough of my problems.

“It just wouldn’t stop, as soon as I was ready to play again I would get injured. I couldn’t take it anymore.

“At the beginning of last season I was at my lowest – it was hell.

“I thought about throwing in the towel as I couldn’t handle it any more. What disappointed me was the fact I couldn’t pay back the faith the club and the manager had placed in me after they stood by me through previous injuries.”

He added: “I’ll always remember what Sir Alex has done for me. I went to see him when I was at the end of my patience.

“I must have been injured for the 15th time and had the impression he had already been too nice to me.

“I didn’t want to abuse the situation so I said to him, ‘I can’t take it any more, relegate me to the reserve team’. He replied, ‘Louis, you’ll be back. We’re counting on you’.

“That’s a phrase I’ll never forget. He never gave up on me. Not once.”