For Alex Song, the chance to join Barcelona was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity he could not afford to turn down. The Cameroon international moved to Camp Nou from Arsenal last month in a £15m deal, after seven years with the north London club.
The 25-year-old followed a well-trodden path with Marc Overmars, Emmanuel Petit, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Thierry Henry, Alexander Hleb and Cesc Fabregas all having made the switch to Barça during Arsene Wenger’s tenure.
Song admitted Wenger had been a source of great help to him when he arrived at Arsenal as a teenager, but there was no way he could spurn such an opportunity.
He told El Mundo Deportivo: “It was in July. Barça spoke with Arsenal and Arsene Wenger came to tell me. It was hard to convince him and also say goodbye, because he really helped me and my family when I arrived at Arsenal at 17 years old.
“It was hard to convince him and also say goodbye, because he really helped me and my family when I arrived at Arsenal at 17 years old.”
Alex Song on telling Arsene Wenger he was leaving Arsenal
“When a club like Barcelona want you, you can’t say no. A chance like this only happens once in life and you must take it.”
Failing to win any trophies in England has served to increase his appetite for success. He said: “I’m hungry. I’ve never won anything and I have come here to play many games and win it all.”
Song embraces Ronaldo challenge
In little over a week, and if selected, Song will face Cristiano Ronaldo when Barcelona meet Real Madrid on 7 October. Tito Vilanova’s side will be without Carles Puyol, out with a knee injury, while Gerard Pique has a sprained ankle. Such a prospect does not in any way concern Song.
“Clearly, with Puyol and Pique we are stronger, but I am ready and I’ve played against Cristiano in the Premier League. I have not just started playing today. I’ve played over 200 games at Arsenal and I have nothing to be worried about.
“I am not just thinking about stopping Cristiano. What is important is to play and do the job. That is why I have come.”