Marseille's Lassana Diarra: Lokomotiv Moscow fine will 'shape my future'
Lassana Diarra has told RMC the €10 million fine he has been ordered to pay Lokomotiv Moscow will "shape my future."
Diarra, 31, saw his appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected in May, meaning a FIFA ruling was upheld that he was in breach of contract when he left Lokomotiv in 2014 after just a year of his four-year deal.
That decision also meant a 15-month playing ban, a suspension of his wages and the massive fine, which the former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder says is something that he must now always take into consideration.
"At 31-years-old, when you get a huge fine like that, it's normal that it will shape my future," Diarra, who now plays for French club Marseille, said. "I'm a father, I have children, I've played for big clubs and I've done well for myself. At my age, it's normal to think about it.
"Most people don't know what a fine like that represents. You know, I didn't play for 16 months. I was all alone. I looked after myself and my family. People didn't help me. It's normal that I take the fine into consideration. The context also makes me think about a lot of things.
"I must remind you that this summer, at Marseille, I had a lot of clubs who could have paid the fine and I could have left. When football is finished, you have to look after your family and yourself. You have to be careful about what you do."
He added: "I have been a lot better. That's the truth. It's something I have and with which I live. But it's the whole situation that means it's not easy on a daily basis. You can feel it in my performances. I'm only human. I can't always be smiling. I try to help the team. My worries and concerns off the pitch, I have to put them to one side, because no-one is going to make it easy for me."
A surprise arrival at Marseille in summer 2015, Diarra has since flourished at the Stade Velodrome where he shone last season while many of his teammates underperformed as OM finished mid-table.
His displays earned him a recall to the France side after a five-year absence, and he would have featured at Euro 2016 but for a knee injury that forced him to withdraw just before the tournament started.
"When I hear people say it's not serious ... It's very serious because I'm 31 now," he said. "I don't know if I'll play for France again or if I'll go to the 2018 World Cup. There are stages.
"Last year, I gave a lot to be involved, because I'd been out of the picture for quite a few years. I really held the Euro in France close to my heart," Diarra said, before stating he still hopes to add to his 34 caps.
"No, it's not finished" he said. "I'm French, it's not finished. But you have to be realistic. Right now, I don't deserve to go into the national team. Anyway, Lass doesn't lie to himself so there is no problem."
Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman