Tuesday, 11th September, 2012
New Anzhi Makachkala signing Lassana Diarra insists he has not joined the wealthy Russian Premier League side for money.
Diarra was sold to the Dagestan giants on transfer deadline day by Real Madrid, who then moved to tie up Michael Essien on a season-long loan deal from Chelsea.
In Russia, Diarra has joined a side coached by Guus Hiddink and one which can boast Samuel Eto’o too. Legendary Brazilian Roberto Carlos is also involved with the club.
With Diarra having turned down a move to Tottenham Hotspur last summer, there were eyebrows raised at the Frenchman’s decision to head for Russia – but he has been quick to point out that it is not money which has drawn him east.
"This is a new challenge for me", said the midfielder.
"I think that Anzhi have a shot at participating in the Champions League", he added.
And the former Arsenal player stresses that he has signed for the side for the right reasons.
"What am I doing here? I have played for big European clubs and won enough and earned enough money.
"I have not come to Anzhi for the money.
"Whoever does not believe that should come and see a match to analyse it."