Former Arsenal star Alex Song has opened up on how his move to Barcelona was largely motivated by money while he recalled a priceless story involving Thierry Henry.
The 32-year-old spent seven years with the Gunners between 2005 and 2012, making 215 appearances for the club before joining the Catalan giants.
After spending two seasons at the Camp Nou, he made 65 appearances before joining West Ham Utd, and he has now revealed that even though he was warned that he wouldn’t be given a great deal of playing time by Barca, the contract on the table and the money involved was enough to convince him to join the La Liga giants.
“During my entire time at Arsenal I couldn’t even save £100,000, while people thought I must be a millionaire,” he is quoted as saying by the Sun. “When Barcelona offered me a contract, and I saw how much I would earn, I didn’t think twice. I felt my wife and children should have comfortable lives once my career is over.
“I met Barca’s sporting director, and he told me I would not get to play many games. But I didn’t give a f*** – I knew that now I would become a millionaire.
“I’ll always say that a 20-year-old who drives a Ferrari is a poor man, as at that age he’s not yet achieved anything. But a man of 50 who drives a Bentley is a man to be respected.”
On one hand, his comments will no doubt result in him receiving some stick as it doesn’t show a great deal of ambition and clearly displays a preference for money over a bigger playing role.
Nevertheless, when you consider his motive in terms of essentially financing a good life for his family off the back of that Barcelona contract, then it arguably makes you look at it in a difference light.
Meanwhile, in a rather amusing story dating back to his time at Arsenal, Song has revealed that he wanted to mirror Henry’s class and spending but quickly found out that it wasn’t sustainable at that particular time in his own career.
“I would go to training and see Thierry Henry – the King – turn up in an absolute gem of a car. I told myself I wanted the same car at all costs,” he added. “I went to the dealership, signed the papers and arranged to pay for it by standing order – and just like that I had the same car as The King.
“But I swear that I had to hand the car back inside two months. All my money was going on filling it with petrol.
“I told them: ‘Give me a Toyota – this car’s too much for me.’
“When I next went to training Thierry asked me: ‘Where’s your car, son?’ I told him it’s on a higher level than me.”