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.