Former Arsenal star Mathieu Flamini, now a billionaire, hints at potentially buying the Gunners.
The defensive midfielder played two stints with the North London side, one from 2004-2008 and another from 2013-2016.
Arsenal fans cheered on Flamini for his work rate, tenacity, and commitment on the pitch — above all, his readiness to make strong tackles. In short, Flamini built up cult-hero status during his time in North London.
The ex-France standout suited up in 153 matches for Arsenal during his initial tenure with the team, securing an FA Cup title and narrowly missing out on winning the 2006 Champions League.
In 2013, he rejoined Wenger's side for a second spell, adding 93 more appearances after spending five years at AC Milan. But it was off the pitch, where he truly made his millions or shall we say, billions.
Flamini played the role of an entrepreneur during his footballing career, establishing GFBiochemicals as a side venture in 2010 while still on the field.
The company pioneered the mass production of levulinic acid – a molecule derived from plant waste with the potential to replace gasoline.
Flamini: The billionaire former footballer with Premier League ambitions
Flamini still holds a 60% share in the Italy-based company and is its CEO.
Forbes says his venture gives him nearly a $14 billion net worth, making the 39-year-old wealthy enough to acquire any club, preferably the Gunners or Les Phocéens.
Flamini was part of Marseille's first team from 2003 to 2004.
“Football is the No.1 sport, it is driving so much attention, the hot issues of this world should also be on the agenda of the governing bodies,” Flamini said in an interview for The Athletic.
“It's a world that I belong to. If there is the right opportunity at the right time and the right discussion, if I meet people who are the same vision and mindset and desire to use football for a purpose, I would love to,” the Frenchman added.
“Obviously those clubs [Marseille, Arsenal and AC Milan] have a special place in my heart. I never forget where I come from. In life, you never know but it's all about the right opportunity. I'm a real believer in the right time, right place, right people.
“If you want something very much, the universe usually brings it to you “Let's see what the universe will bring.”
In 2021, Flamini reportedly contacted the Invincibles trio of Henry, Bergkamp, and Vieira to offer his support for the purchase of Arsenal Football Club. Billionaire Daniel Ek also joined the bid, which would have replaced Arsenal's contentious majority owner Stan Kroenke.
The Gunners have rebounded since, making way for a top-of-the-table finish for the first time in two decades. Never say never with Flamini, who could still one day return to the Emirates as its billionaire owner.