Before arriving in the Premier League as Arsenal's new midfielder in 2008, Samir Nasri had a dramatic, near-death experience that inevitably affected his life.
The 30-year-old Frenchman, who recently joined Turkish outfit Antalyaspor, has opened up about the experience, which happened during his final months at Marseille, in an interview with Canal+ (via GFFN).
He said: "During my last year at Marseille, I was in the hospital for 12 days with meningitis, and I saw the actual side of people. I saw those who were there for me when everything was going well, when I was Marseille's little prince when I had played the season where I became an international."
He continued: "People were behind me then, but when I was sick for 12 days, with meningitis about to die, no one was there. I noticed how things really were."
He added: "Even after leaving Arsenal, I signed for Manchester City, I earned a lot of money, the transfer fee was floating around, I was called a mercenary. When it is me, I am a mercenary, but when it is another player, he is not."
This experience, he argues, taught him a valuable lesson: "I started to notice how things really were, so from then, I changed and decided to become who I am now - frank, unfiltered, saying it as I see it. If you like it, then great, if you do not, too bad".
As he recently started a new chapter in his career in Turkey, he declared himself happy with his choice: "I played 13 seasons at the highest level. But I also needed to cut everything off, and go elsewhere".