Mathieu Flamini leading '£20bn industry' with research into oil alternative

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Think of every Arsenal player. Now put them in order of every one you think is making the single greatest contribution to changing humanity. Is Alexis Sanchez at the top of your list too? Thought so.

We're not sure about you, but Mathieu Flamini is near the bottom of ours. The plodding, perfectly acceptable French midfielder is, at the best of times, forgettable.

But forget his interception-per-match rate and tennis-racket tight hamstrings that prevent him from reaching double-digit miles-per-hour and open your mind a bit. Because the 31-year-old could be about to save the planet.

After leaving Arsenal for the first time in 2008 to join AC Milan, the environmentally-aware ace set up a company with business partner and economics graduate Pasquale Granata with the aim of answering the big question; is there an alternative out there to man's thirst for oil?

The company, GF Biochemicals, have now become the first on the planet to mass produce Levulinic Acid (LA), which is said to be able to replace oil in all its forms. The Arsenal man told the Sun: "We are pioneers. We are opening a new market and it's a market potentially worth £20 billion."

He continued: "At the start we wanted the name of the company to be Green Futures. When I moved to Milan in 2008 I met Pasquale, who became a close friend and we always had in mind to do something together.

"I was always close to nature and concerned about environmental issues, climate change and global warming; he was on the same wavelength. We were looking how we could make a contribution to the problem.

"After a while we found out about Levulinic Acid: it's a molecule identified by the US Department of Energy as one of the 12 molecules with the potential to replace petrol in all its forms. Researchers told us LA is the future and by doing research in that field we could come up with a great discovery and success."

The company employs 80 people and Flamini is said to have sunk millions in to the company in his attempts to find an alternative to oil, which can be used in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, plastic and food industries.

Flamini will likely have more time to ponder the future of mankind and the environment; he's in the final year of his contract with Arsenal having returned to north London two years ago, and no offer is forthcoming as it stands. 

Next time he absent-mindedly plays a pass straight into the path of an opponent, now you know why. Because he's got his mind on a bigger prize. You ungrateful little swines.

Which Arsenal player is the most likely to end up as one of Flamini's employees?

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Mathieu Flamini

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