ALEX SONG has owned up to being a “waster” during his time at Arsenal – and joining Barcelona purely for the money.
And the Cameroon midfielder, who spent seven seasons with the Gunners, told how he had to get rid of his flash new car as he was spending all his money on petrol.
Song left North London for Barcelona in 2012. He is now a free agent after being sacked by Swiss club Sion in March for refusing to take a pay cut.
The 32-year-old made 215 Arsenal appearances, scoring 10 goals, following his move from Bastia.
Song recalled his spendthrift ways in an Instagram chat with his countryman, Toronto Raptors basketball star Pascal Siakam.
The ex-Gunner said: “Most footballers live beyond their means. I was at Arsenal for eight years but only began to earn a good living in the last four.
“That was because my salary went up a lot – but also because I came to realise what a waster I was.
“When I first joined them I was getting £15,000 a week. I was a young lad, and I was ecstatic.
“I wanted to rub shoulders with the big boys. I could shop wherever I wanted and have crazy nights out.
“I would go to training and see Thierry Henry – the King – turn up in an absolute gem of a car. I told myself I wanted the same car at all costs.
“I went to the dealership, signed the papers and arranged to pay for it by standing order – and just like that I had the same car as The King.
“But I swear that I had to hand the car back inside two months. All my money was going on filling it with petrol.
“I told them: ‘Give me a Toyota – this car’s too much for me.’
“When I next went to training Thierry asked me: ‘Where’s your car, son?’ I told him it’s on a higher level than me.
“During my entire time at Arsenal I couldn’t even save £100,000, while people thought I must be a millionaire.
“When Barcelona offered me a contract, and I saw how much I would earn, I didn’t think twice. I felt my wife and children should have comfortable lives once my career is over.
“I met Barca’s sporting director, and he told me I would not get to play many games.
“But I didn’t give a f*** – I knew that now I would become a millionaire.
“I’ll always say that a 20-year-old who drives a Ferrari is a poor man, as at that age he’s not yet achieved anything.
“But a man of 50 who drives a Bentley is a man to be respected.”
Song, capped 49 times, had spells on loan to Charlton and West Ham and also played for Russians Rubin Kazan.