"If I play football with my friends back in France, I can love football," he says. "But if I come to England, where I knew nobody and I didn't speak English … why did I come here? For a job. A career is only 10, 15 years. It's only a job. Yes, it's a good, good job and I don't say that I hate football but it's not my passion.
"I arrive in the morning at the training ground at 10.30 and I start to be professional. I finish at one o'clock and I don't play football afterwards. When I am at work, I do my job 100%. But after, I am like a tourist in London. I have my Oyster card and I take the tube. I eat.
Footballer in rare - speak the truth - shocker. I think the reason Rooney was so latched onto at Everton was because he's not like the above. He treated a Premier League match in the same manner as a kickabout on the street, and clearly just loves playing the game. He's clearly at ease with his teammates. But fans appreciate that because it's rare. For every Rooney (and I'd add others like Tony Hibbert, Leon Osman, Tim Cahill), there are far more players who treat it as a job. It's just refreshing for a player to be so honest, and I actually think fans might respond to that. Landon Donovan came pretty close to expressing part of this argument when he said that for him it was just 10 weeks but for the fans it's life. He fully recognised that it didn't mean as much to him as it did to the fans. No-one chooses a job solely for the money, but we understand that plays a role.
It would be nice for the term "mercenary" to lose it's negative connotations. As long as players are honest to fans, and are *worth the money*, I don't have a problem with it. And genuine mercenaries, professional mercenaries, are likely to do that.