Nicklas Bendtner has opened up about his life in football, attending boozy parties and how he once quarreled with his father over money in a new three-part documentary.
The program also reveals that the center forward’s salary at Arsenal soared from £400 a week to £10,000 a 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 and the Danish striker ended his career at FC Copenhagen.
He would enjoy a historic 14-year professional career, spending time at Arsenal, Birmingham, Sunderland, Juventus Wolfsburg and Nottingham Forest.
One of football’s great characters, he was given the nickname “Lord Bendtner” by Arsenal fans and notably called himself “one of the best strikers in the world” during his formative years.
Nicklas Bendtner talks about his career and life after football in new three-part documentary
The former Arsenal star opened up about his partying lifestyle and how he had too much too soon.
Bendtner was pictured here on a night out after Arsenal lost to Man United in the Champions League semi-final in 2009.
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He would join Arsenal in 2004 and subsequently rise through the London Colney academy before leaving on loan to Birmingham City in 2006.
Bendtner scored 13 goals in 48 appearances for the Blues, impressing so much during his season-long loan at the club that Arsene Wenger opted to increase his salary by almost 75 per cent.
Despite this, former Arsenal player Liam Brady added during the documentary that: “The more successful he was, the worse he became.”
“He thought he could have fun and drink.”
He would go on to score some important goals for Arsenal, with the 2009-10 season perhaps being his best for the club, scoring 12 goals, including one of his best goals for the Gunners – his goal against Blackburn Rovers at The Emirates.
Speaking about his early years, the centre-forward said: “When things go as fast as they did for me, there is a golden opportunity to contact a youngster and try to establish a framework.”
‘But everyone let me do what was best for me. Nobody said no, nobody 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, try everything and try a lot of different things, then it would have been healthy if someone had helped me narrow it down.
‘Somehow, I learned for myself what made me happy when I was sad.
“But in relation to football, maybe I didn’t always do the most appropriate things.”
Bendtner, who spoke to Mail Sport’s Ian Herbert in 2020 about his extravagant lifestyle and having too much and too young. And during the documentary he claimed that he had “let the black wolf inside him decide instead of the white one” when it came to life choices during his career.
By the time he left Arsenal, Bendtner had fallen from grace, made lofty claims about his own ability and had struggled while on loan at Sunderland and Juventus.
He would join Copenhagen towards the end of his career, with the striker revealing in 2019 that his agent had told him to accept a rather unique clause in his contract.
Bendtner revealed that his agent had said: “You have to accept that in the contract it has to be stated that from now until the New Year you must not drink alcohol and you must not ski and things like that.”
And the Dane offered his opinion on the clause, stating: “I don’t think everyone has it in the contract.” Damn legendary.
The striker also showed off his Paddy Power underwear after scoring during Denmark’s 3-2 defeat against Portugal in 2012.
Bendtner would make 171 appearances for Arsenal and would be known to fans as ‘Lord Bendtner’.
He would score 47 goals for the club and left north London in 2014 to sign for Wolfsburg.
The Dane was also involved in some nasty fights on the field, including one with teammate Emmanuel Adebayor, and Bendtner also clashed with William Gallas.
More bizarrely, he was also once fined £80k by UEFA after revealing he was wearing a pair of Paddy Power pants during Denmark’s 3-2 defeat to Portugal in 2012, an incident that was subsequently He said he regrets it.
Reflecting on his career during the documentary, the former Danish international also claimed that he once quarreled with his father, Thomas, over money.
While he explained that he did not want to go into too much detail about the incident, he added that he should have kept the family separate from his business affairs.
His father had worked as his advisor at one point in his career, but Bendtner revealed that they once fought over his jewelry company.
“There are a lot of things in it, because it is an inflamed relationship, but I don’t want to go into more details,” he said during the documentary.
‘He (Bendtner’s father) also declined to be part of the documentary, so out of respect I’ll keep it more general.
‘Looking back, we definitely should have kept family and work roles separate.
‘There were no bad intentions behind this.
“We tried to do what we thought was right, but none of us were smart enough to tell the difference or the result.”
He continued: ‘He was my father, my best friend and confidant. I had a fantastic childhood.
“So I had a completely fantastic childhood with fantastic parents who were very supportive and got me into football and all that.”
Bendtner once uploaded a poster of him holding the Ballon d’Or to Instagram.
Bendtner made 81 appearances for the Danish national team and scored 30 goals during his international career.
He would also spend a season at Nottingham Forest between 2016 and 2017 before returning in 2020.
Despite this, the former Nottingham Forest striker added during the documentary that he always had a love for football and that the playing field was the only place where he could express himself.
And he added: “For me, football is love. It’s the only thing I’ve really loved doing and it’s the only thing that has given me a free space. A place where I belonged.
‘As soon as I entered the field, all other problems disappeared. And in the locker room I was just part of something bigger than me.
‘I really liked that. But it’s hard to find something similar elsewhere.’