This weekend statements went viral that the footballer Alex Song had during an Instagram dialogue with the player of the NBA Pascal Siakam some time ago. The 34-year-old Cameroonian, who now plays for Djibouti’s Arta/Solar 7, was able to stand out in the Arsenal from Premier League for five seasons before coming to the Barcelona in mid-2012. Almost 10 years after that transfer, the player remembered what his mentality was like back then.
“Most footballers live beyond their means. I was at Arsenal for eight years, but only started making a good living in the last four. That was because my salary went up a lot, but also because I realized how wasteful I was. When I first joined them, I was earning €15,000 a week. He was a young boy and he was ecstatic,” he acknowledged.
The midfielder had settled in the Premier League but his concern was always linked to money, especially since he enjoyed comparing himself with some of his teammates: “I wanted to rub shoulders with the greats. I could shop wherever I wanted and spend crazy nights. I would go to training and see Thierry Henry, the King, show up with a real gem of a car. I told myself that I wanted the same car at all costs. I went to the dealer, signed the papers and the loan, and thus I had the same car that The King”. Of course, what he did not take into account is that the Frenchman had a higher salary than his: “But I swear that I had to return it two months later. All my money was being spent filling it up with gas. I told them: ‘Give me a Toyota, this car is too much for me’”.
“The day after I went to training, Thierry asked me: ‘Where is your car, son?’ I told him that he is on a higher level than me. During all my time at Arsenal, I couldn’t even save €100,000.while people thought he should be a millionaire.”
In mid-2012 he was contacted by Barcelona, one of the best teams in the world in those years. While many players aspired to get there to be part of that squad, he accepted the challenge, but to be able to expand the zeros in his bank account: “When Barcelona offered me a contract and I saw how much I would earn, I did not think twice . I felt that my wife and children should have comfortable lives once I finish my degree. I met the sports director of Barça and he told me that I would not play many games, but I did not care, I knew that now I would become a millionaire. I didn’t give a shit about being a bench warmer at the Camp Nou for the money I made.”
He was in the culé team until 2014 and played several games, 63 in total, scoring a goal and lifting the La Liga trophy and the Spanish Super Cup, the only two he had in his showcase until last year, when he won the Djiboutian league with Arta/Solar 7.