Emmanuel Eboue will always occupy a special place in the hearts of every Arsenal fan.
The former Ivory Coast international spent seven happy years with the Gunners and became a cult hero at the Emirates Stadium thanks to his amusing antics both on and off the pitch.
Eboue wasn’t the most talented player that Arsene Wenger ever coached, but the defender loved Arsenal and always gave 100 per cent every time he pulled on the famous red shirt.
Eboue made 214 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal, scoring 10 goals, before joining Galatasaray in 2011.
He spent five years in Turkey before joining Sunderland but failed to make a single appearance for the club. Just three weeks after joining the Black Cats, Eboue began serving a one-year ban from all football-related activity for failing to pay a former agent.
Eboue reveals his sad situation in honest interview
But now we’ve discovered that Eboue’s life has spiralled since then.
The Mirror have published a lengthy interview with the former Gunner on their website and it makes for heartbreaking reading.
They claim that Eboue has been ‘pushed to the brink of suicide’ as he ’spends his days hiding from bailiffs, sometimes sleeps on the floor of a friend’s home, travels by bus and even cleans his clothes by hand because he has no washing machine.’
“I want God to help me,” Eboue, whose wife Aurelie was awarded all of their assets following a bitter divorce battle, has told the Mirror. “Only he can help take these thoughts from my mind.”
He continues: “I can’t afford the money to continue to have any lawyer or barrister.
"I am in the house but I am scared. Because I don’t know what time the police will come.
“Sometimes I shut off the lights because I don’t want people to know that I am inside. I put everything behind the door.
"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.”
Eboue, who hasn’t seen his three children since June, adds: “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.”
Eboue: It's hard to watch Thierry and co. on TV
Things have got so bad for Eboue that he admits he finds it difficult to watch his former teammates, such as Thierry Henry, on television.
“When I see Thierry I feel happy for him but ashamed of my own situation,” he adds.
"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.”
Arsenal fans are worried for Eboue
Arsenal fans are understandably worried about their former hero and have taken to social media to express their concern…
Eboue: 'I would accept help from anywhere'
“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?” Eboue concludes.
“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.”
Read the interview in full HERE [C/O The Mirror]
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