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One year ago, Tottenham Hotspur released a forgotten player called David Bentley while also preparing a world-record deal that saw Gareth Bale leave for Real Madrid.
This week, the former Blackburn Rovers midfielder Bentley announced his decision to quit the game after falling out of love with football, as David Kent of the Daily Mail reported.
There is always sadness when a once-lauded player leaves the sport, but Bentley is just 29 years of age.
And there was genuine emotion in the tone of his words as he spoke of his decision to quit to Sky Sports News on Friday.
I've given up football. It's over a year since I played my last game and I've taken the decision to take my life in a different direction. I felt like it was time to call it a day.
I've just had little baby twins, three months old, and I've got a little four-year-old and I want to focus on that. My love for the game went a little bit and I didn't want to carry on just for the fact of paying me money.
I've just fallen out of love with the game. I had a bit of a difficult time at Tottenham and it's just one of them things. It's probably a little bit early but it's where I am at now.
It's a positive decision in my life and I am only viewing it as positive. I'm happy.
I have no regrets. I loved every minute of playing but the game has changed. When I first started it was the enjoyment, going in to work every day was brilliant.
Now it's a little bit robotic, the social media side of it, the money that has come into the game. I hate to say it, but it's made it boring and predictable—calculated—and to go and sign another three or four years into that wasn't really an option for me.
Bentley was spoken of as a natural successor to David Beckham just six years ago, and Spurs shelled out £15 million for his services.
The midfielder repaid part of that fee with a stunning goal against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium—the strike looked like it would send him into the stratosphere of only a few footballers.
But Bentley, who won seven caps for England, was the wrong man in the wrong place at White Hart Lane, where Aaron Lennon was emerging as a genuine talent.
The departure of Juande Ramos in October 2008 did not help either, with his replacement, current QPR boss Harry Redknapp, appearing to favour Lennon.
It was a slippery slope which would eventually lead to this week's announcement of Bentley's retirement.
The midfielder seemed to have earned a reprieve with Spurs when an injury to Lennon allowed Bentley to stake a claim for a first-team berth under Redknapp.
However, after playing his part in helping Spurs qualify for the Champions League in 2010, Bentley seemed to be the instigator as some players poured a bucket of water over Redknapp during a television interview.
Bentley barely featured again while, in contrast, his team-mate Bale, a less lively figure in the dressing room, saw his own star begin to rise, notably on the European stage in the following season.
While the Wales international is now the proud owner of a Champions League winner's medal and the world's most expensive footballer, Bentley is leaving football.
Two paths have never been more different.
Believability Meter: High
Whatever the truth is behind Bentley's retirement, he remains a poignant reminder to all up-and-coming footballers.
Positioned alongside Gareth Bale in 2010, the world could have been at the feet of both. Instead, only one reached the promised land.