'It would be a lie' - Former PSG attacker Julian Draxler admits he moved to Qatar for the money

  • Draxler left PSG in the summer
  • Joined Al Ahli in Qatar
  • Admits he chose Asia for money

WHAT HAPPENED? The German international chose to leave the French champions in the summer after he understood that his opportunities would be limited under Luis Enrique. Hence after making 190 appearances for PSG, he chose to leave Parc des Princes in favour of a move to Al-Ahli where he ended up signing a two-year contract.

Draxler has now admitted that he chose to leave Europe not only because he is interested to "know a new culture" but was also enticed by the "financial part" of the deal.

WHAT THEY SAID: In a statement put out by the player in his LinkedIn profile he wrote: "First of all, I look back on a wonderful time in Paris: I came in 2017 as a young man and now leave as an adult family man who has seen the world and has learned an incredible amount on and off the pitch over the past six years.

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"For all the memories and experiences, I am extremely grateful to the club and all the people in Paris.

"But, especially in Germany, many are asking: Why Qatar now? Why not the Bundesliga, why not another European league? It was simply not possible to reach an agreement and, to be honest, I lacked the last conviction for a step within Europe.

"I also found the idea of jumping into the deep end far away from Europe at the age of 30 appealing and it was also important to me that I could play football properly again and be on the pitch regularly in competition mode. The alternative at PSG would have been a year without any prospects, which I wanted to avoid at all costs.

"And yes: Of course, the financial aspect also plays an important role for me. I could stand up now and say: After 12 years in Europe, I am only interested in getting to know a new culture, gaining a new international experience, participating in an exciting project in the Arab world - and leaving the issue of money out of the equation.

"Even if these aspects are honestly true, it would still be a lie if the financial part is not also decisive in this case."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Draxler further explained his decision and revealed that he feels the financial aspect is so huge that it gives him and his family more opportunities to work on "projects off the pitch" in the future.

"Of course, I also thought a lot about the pros and cons in advance and dealt very intensively with many questions: Is it now time to leave Europe? Are you ready for a completely new culture? Is it smart to turn down such a contract offer? What does a change mean for the professional future after your career? How do we do this as a family? - to share just a few of my thoughts.

"Ultimately, however, I have come to the conclusion that the new financial framework gives us even more opportunities. Both for the family and for other projects off the pitch.

"Even if you don't like to hear it in this country, football in the Arab world is developing very rapidly, structures are being built up through large financial investments that may well compete with European football in the future. And in the long run, you can certainly make interesting new contacts in Qatar and broaden your personal horizons once again.

"I can certainly understand criticism of the decision, but it's my life. I stand by my decision and am glad that we have finally found this solution."


WHAT NEXT? Draxler will be back in action for Al-Ahli against Muaither in the Qatari Stars Club on Sunday.