Julian Draxler is being praised for refreshingly honest reasoning behind move to Qatari club Al Ahli
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Julian Draxler has admitted that financial reasons played an important role in his summer move to Qatar Stars League side Al Ahli.
The 30-year-old Germany international, who spent the 2022/23 campaign on loan at Benfica, left Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain last month after falling out of favour at the Parc des Princes.
After making more than 190 appearances across six seasons at the French club, he would pen a two-year contract with Doha-based outfit Al Ahli.
In a recent post on his official LinkedIn page, Draxler opened up about his decision to leave Paris for the Middle East.
"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," he wrote.
"For all the memories and experiences, I am extremely grateful to the club and all the people in Paris."
He continued: "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."
Draxler added: "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."
At least *someone* is honest about why they decided to decamp to Qatar for football. "Of course money played a role!" says Julian Draxler. https://t.co/Qfvw6wXkbJ— @[email protected] (@stefanpaetow) October 5, 2023
Draxler went on to detail the questions that went through his head as he considered a move to Qatar.
"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."