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How family and finances drove former PSG defender to accept Al Arabi SC’s offer

The former PSG defender opened up about the motivations that led him to join Qatari side Al-Arabi, including his desire to be closer to family and secure financial stability.

Abdou Diallo has revealed the motivations that led him to sever ties with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and embrace a new chapter with Qatar’s Al-Arabi SC, in a candid conversation on the ASAC podcast.

The move, which concluded in August for an estimated €15mn, ended the 27-year-old’s four-year tenure with PSG and marked his entry into Qatar’s top-tier league.

Diallo’s transfer was part of a larger migration of players from PSG to the Qatari league this summer, including Marco Verratti, who also joined Al-Arabi, and Julian Draxler.

Notably, Diallo’s brother Ibrahima moved to Qatar just a month prior, influencing the Senegalese international’s decision to make the switch.

In an interview transcribed by RMC Sport, Diallo confessed, “It wasn’t at all the project [that I was interested in] at the start of the window. I had prioritised staying in Europe, in the top five leagues. The Qatar offer came at the worst possible time; I didn’t see myself there at all.”

Diallo’s decision took a significant turn following his brother’s transfer to Qatar.

“My brother signed there a month earlier. It was a big argument in favour. Last year, I didn’t see him at all. That changes your life. There are more important things than football in life,” he stated, revealing the weight of family considerations in his decision-making process.

Moreover, financial stability was another key factor in his decision to move.

As the eldest son from a divorced family, he feels a sense of cultural responsibility to provide and protect.

“For a long time, I have played with the fear of poverty, of injury, of not making it. Football was my escape, my social ladder and an opportunity to improve my family’s life. I can’t be selfish and think only about my happiness. Life isn’t like that,” he said.