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*Christian targets Happy New Year

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Christian Ziege is not surprisingly quite happy that 2003 has drawn to a close as he targets another playing return in the coming weeks.

The German international is, once again, on the comeback trail - this time from a knee injury sustained in his last return in the Carling Cup tie against West Ham at the end of October.

Before that, it was the horror thigh injury he suffered on Boxing Day 2002 when, after featuring and getting sent off against Charlton Athletic, what he thought was simply a dead leg later that evening required emergency surgery when his thigh swelled up to over twice the normal size.

He made a remarkable recovery after a spell in a wheelchair and came on as a second half substitute in the final game of the season against Blackburn. Christian then began the pre-season preparations and all was going well until he discovered that there was still a problem with the thigh that led to a second operation.

So all in all it has been a difficult and challenging year for the cultured left-back and one that he is not unhappy to leave behind.

"Everything this year has been stange," reflected Christian. "I'm just hoping that the new year comes and off I go again."

"The initial injury happened on Boxing Day, but everything else has happened during the year - so many bad things.

"Maybe someone is trying to put me through a hard time to see how I react and what I do. I hope I have come through all these things and can be back on the pitch for a few years."

Despite the trials of the last 12 months, Christian does not suspect the turn of the year will signal the crossing of any phychological barrier.

"Not really," he pondered. "I just have to say that 2003 was not my year and hope that 2004 is different - it is just a mind game really."