Govou hits back at critics

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Lyon forward Sidney Govou has hit out at rumours which have suggested his private life is not ideal for a professional footballer.

It has been intimated he is a little too fond of nightlife and that it was such an inclination for partying which nearly led to his departure.

After a falling-out with his coach Gerard Houllier it had looked as though he would swap France for Spain, with Valencia at the head of the queue for his services in the summer. 

When a move failed to materialise, though, Govou had no option but to remain with the champions and while thus far this season it has been a situation he has had no trouble with, it has not stopped him from being openly critical about those who tarnished his reputation.

"I really wanted to leave (in August), as I was scared to stay one year too many," he told L'Equipe. "But the propositions didn't come.

"About my reveller image, it is what has been said inside the club that hurt me the most.

"Some told me to my face and I listened to them, the others only wanted to harm me. That doesn't stop me from loving the club.

"But I will never forget. You can't do anything, and one day they will pay for it.

"I have been naive and I should have protected my words. But I didn't want to lie.

"With Gerard Houllier, I believe we are two intelligent people with a common aim.

"Having talked a lot, notably with French team members, I have understood at Lyon I am experiencing something exceptional.

"Where else could I find that?"