15, November 2018
Ex-Arsenal & Cameroon star Alex Song on nightmare spell in football as he looks to rebuild his career 0
Former FC Barcelona midfielder Alex Song has revealed how he went from the Camp Nou to living in isolation, to sleeping at Rubin Kazan’s training ground within a short space of one year.
Song, who earned the last of his 41 international caps for the African champions back in 2014, seemingly had the world at his feet when the Blaugrana prised him away from the Premier League in a £15m deal in 2012.
However, after 65 games across all competitions over the space of two seasons, Song was shipped out on loan to West Ham United before joining Rubin Kazan in Russia, where his career stalled dramatically.
Song was one of several of big-name arrivals and was given huge promises over the ‘project’ that was being started at the club.
Upon his move to Kazan, Song was set to move into his own house – only to be told after six months in a hotel, that there was no property and he would now be residing at the club’s training ground.
“I spent my time sitting in my room and I would never even put the lights on when I was in there. I just sat with my computer, no television on, nothing, because I couldn’t understand any of the Russian TV,” he toldthe Telegraph.
“My whole life was just a computer and phone, and that’s not healthy. I don’t know why I didn’t switch the lights on.
“They worked, but I suppose I was feeling low and I was on my own.”
Song’s spell in Russia would get even worse as he was dropped from the first-team and not paid his wages, which eventually totalled R148m.
He faced calls from back in London on how he would pay his mortgage and fund a housing project he had set up in Cameroon.
Song eventually left the Russian Premier League side, before FIFA intervened in his case over the money owed to him – before cancelling his contract.
The veteran midfielder has since moved on to Swiss top-flight outfit FC Sion, where he is beginning to restore his career.
“To have no money coming in made it very difficult. I had all these people working for me and helping me, and I had no income of my own,” he added.
“I basically lost a year of my career in Kazan. Now I am starting games and I am happy again.”