The Arsenal legend Emmanuel Eboue earned millions in many years at Arsenal and Galatasary. He played in a European Cup Final when Thierry Henry’s Barcelona beat a 10-man Arsenal in 2006 and also helped the Ivory Coast to an Africa Cup of Nations Final 6 years later.
But now the star is destitute and has lost his fortune. He doesn’t even have a car and is set to lose his last property any day now. It seems that suicide is never very far from his mind, according to a report in the Mirror. “I want God to help me,” he says. “Only he can help take these thoughts from my mind.”
He lost ALL his assets which were given to his wife in a rotten divorce settlement, and although she still lives in his mansion, Eboue is living in a smaller house in Enfield, where they lived before moving to the marital home, but he is being forced to hand that over as well, which will make him homeless. He also was forced to hand over all his cars as well as his houses and is now using public transport to get around.
“My own house. I suffered to buy my house but I am now scared.
“I am not going to sell my clothes or sell what I have. I will fight until the end because it is not fair.”
He nearly got himself back on track last year when Sunderland were set to give him a year’s contract, but because of an argument with his old agent, he lost his case and was banned from playing by FIFA, which stopped him from earning one last big pay day.
“I look back and say ‘Emmanuel, you have been naive… why didn’t you think about that before?’ It is hard. “Very, very hard. The money I earned, I sent it to my wife for our children.
“In Turkey I earned eight million euros. I sent seven million back home. Whatever she tells me to sign, I sign.
“She is my wife. The problems with FIFA were because of people advising me. People who are supposed to care. But it was because of them FIFA banned me.”
“When I see Thierry I feel happy for him but ashamed of my own situation.
“When I see friends on TV that I played with or against I say to myself ‘I should still be there’. It’s hard to watch them.”
He has 3 children aged from 9 to 14 with his ex-wife, but has not seen them for six months, which is obviously another heartbreak to add to his troubles. “It hurts me a lot.” Eboue continued. “They used to call me. But now, no contact. It pains me to be alone without them.”
“Every day I wash my jeans, my clothes, everything. My hands are hard. As though I have been working on a farm.”
Eboue is now pleading for work and has called on Arsenal or the PFA to give him a chance to get himself back on his feet after his disastrous run of misfortune. “I would accept help from anywhere but if my previous club wants to help me then I would be very, very happy. Maybe I could help the young players?
“The PFA helped me when I had my problems with my agent. If they gave me a job, even if it wasn’t a big, big job.
“Maybe I’d see some of the people I played with or against and I’d feel embarrassed. But I would cope.”
It mat feel strange to feel sorry for a man that has earned 8 million euros even after he left Arsenal, but we are always to told to feel for the homeless at Christmas. Who would have thought that Eboue would have ended up like that?