Alex Song admits he was told he wouldn’t play much if he signed for Barcelona but made the move anyway because he knew it would make him rich.
That’s right, here we have a footballer finally admitting it IS about the money as he was hardly poverty-stricken at Arsenal. We all knew when he left for Spain that he wouldn’t play much and it seems even the player knew that – and didn’t care.
“In my first professional contract I received £15,000 a week,” Song said. “You can imagine how euphoric I was… A young teenager, went from collecting 4,000 to 15,000 pounds.
“I could do shopping, crazy parties, etc … I went to a training and saw King Thierry Henry arrive in a car that was a gem. And I said I wanted it too, at any price. And I had it!
“Two months later I regretted buying it because I was spending all my money on fuel. In the end I ended up buying a Toyota,” he added.
“Most young footballers live beyond their means” he continued before saying it was not until “the last four years at Arsenal that I started earning a living, because my salary had increased considerably and I understood that I was being a wasteful person.
“After eight years at Arsenal, I hadn’t even been able to save £100,000! People thought I was a millionaire, but I was not like that.”
That’s hardly Arsenal’s fault, is it?
Initially, Song admitted he couldn’t turn down the chance to play for Barcelona, which is understandable, but now he comes clean and says it was all about the money.
“When I saw the amount I was going to receive at Barcelona, I did not hesitate,” he added. “I thought about my wife, my children and how it was necessary that after football we could have a comfortable life.
“When I spoke to the sports director, he said he wasn’t going to play much, but I didn’t care because I knew he was going to be a millionaire,” he concluded.
‘Not playing much’ is something of an understatement.
The player, made by Arsene Wenger and now without a club despite only being 32, played an average of 63 minutes per game across 65 games in Spain. 39 of those were league matches during his four year Barcelona contract which also saw him sent to West Ham on loan before heading to Rubin Kazan on a free.
From there, he signed for FC Sion in 2018 for a fee in the region of £1.35m.
22 appearances and one goal later, Song is now a free agent after claiming unfair dismissal by the Swiss side. Both Song and Johan Djourou, along with others, were sacked after a wage dispute.