Senegalese defender confesses 'fear of poverty' made him move to Qatar from PSG

Abdou Diallo at the World Cup with Senegal | Imago

Senegalese defender confesses 'fear of poverty' made him move to Qatar from PSG

Ayoola Kelechi 23:59 - 25.09.2023

The former PSG and RB Leipzig defender noted that being the first born son of his family was a deciding factor in taking a lucrative deal to join Qatari side Al Arabi SC

Former Paris Saint-Germain defender Abdou Diallo has opened up about the reason why he decided to leave France for Qatar. 

Diallo ditches PSG for Al-Arabi SC

Diallo joined Al-Arabi SC from PSG this summer alongside teammate Marco Verratti, as both players shocked the football world by moving from Ligue 1 to the Qatari Stars League. 

There have naturally been speculations about what could have driven Diallo to make such a drastic move at this stage of his career, and the Senegal international revealed all during his appearance on the ASAC podcast. 

Diallo noted that he initially had no intention of moving to Qatar, saying, “It wasn’t at all the project [that I was interested in] at the start of the window. I had made staying in Europe, in the top five leagues, a priority. I received a few interesting approaches. The Qatar offer came at the worst possible time; I didn’t see myself there at all.”

Abdou Diallo played for France's youth teams before switching international allegiance to Senegal | Imago
Abdou Diallo played for France's youth teams before switching international allegiance to Senegal | Imago

However, he noted that when his brother, Ibrahima Diallo made a similar move to Qatar from Southampton, a potential move to the Gulf became more appealing. 

“My brother signed there [Qatar] a month earlier. It was a big argument in favour, Diallo said, continuing, Last year, I didn’t see him at all. That changes your life. There are more important things than football in life, it has to be said. I am very happy to be closer to my family.” 

Financial responsibility inspires Diallo to daring move

The defender who spent the 2022/23 season on loan at RB Leipzig, winning the DFB Pokal with the German said, also noted the place of finance in his final decision, saying, “Lots of players will recognise this, but I played with fear of poverty, of injury, of not making it, of not improving my family’s life, because football was my escape, my social ladder and an opportunity to improve my way of life. 

The 27-year-old centre-back further expounded on the need to succeed financially considering his background and role in the family saying, “I am the first-born boy, from divorced parents, and in our culture it’s important. I have a place, a rank to hold and responsibilities.

For a long time, I have played with this fear. It isn’t the game itself that made me scared, but the risk. I can’t be selfish and think only about my happiness. Life isn’t like that.”

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Since moving to Qatar, Diallo has played in four matches, scoring one goal, but is yet to taste victory with the side, who continue to struggle despite the arrival of big names this summer. 


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