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Ivorian football star who lost everything in UK to Belgian ex-wife remarries in home country [Photos]

March 05, 2019 at 09:01 am | Lifestyle

Ismail Akwei

Ismail Akwei | Contributor

March 05, 2019 at 09:01 am | Lifestyle

Ex-Ivorian international footballer Emmanuel Eboue

Former Ivorian international and Arsenal defender, Emmanuel Eboue, who was in the news two years ago for being broke after a bitter divorce, has remarried in his home country Cote d’Ivoire.

Eboue is reported to have married his ex-fiancee, Stephanie Boedé, whom he left behind after moving from local team ASEC Mimosas to Europe and Turkey where he played with top clubs such as Galatasaray, Sunderland, and Arsenal.

Ivorian media report that his new marriage to Boede, who is from the wetsern part of the country, was held privately on March 2, 2019, at the Hotel Communal de Cocody in Abidjan.

Photos shared from the ceremony showed a happy Eboue with his new wife in matching traditional outfits dancing as a couple and also cutting a cake amid family and close friends.

The turn of events was never imagined two years ago when the former English premier league star revealed in an interview with British tabloid newspaper Sunday Mirror in December 2017 that he was so broke he sometimes slept on the floor in a friend’s living room after several years of earning millions of dollars from playing football.

The 34-year-old said the divorce drove him to the brink of suicide after his wife, Aurelie, allegedly took everything he had including their three children, mansion, cars and their first house in North London where he was ordered by a court to surrender ownership.

“I can’t afford the money to continue to have any lawyer or barrister. I am in the house but I am scared. Because I don’t know what time the police will come. Sometimes I shut off the lights because I don’t want people to know that I am inside. I put everything behind the door.

“My own house. I suffered to buy my house but I am now scared. I am not going to sell my clothes or sell what I have. I will fight until the end because it is not fair,” Eboue was quoted by the Sunday Mirror.

He narrated his plight as part of the Sunday Mirror’s Time To Change campaign that seeks to fight the stigma associated with mental illness.

He said he was on the brink of suicide as he hasn’t heard from his children since June, disguises himself to use public transport and uses his hands to wash since he doesn’t even have a washing machine.

He blamed “naivety” for his plight saying he entrusted his finances to his wife and she managed all the contracts he signed which left him vulnerable in her hands.

“I look back and say ­‘Emmanuel, you have been naive… why didn’t you think about that before?’ It is hard. Very, very hard. The money I earned, I sent it to my wife for our children. In Turkey, I earned eight million euros. I sent seven million back home. Whatever she tells me to sign, I sign.

“She is my wife. The problems with FIFA were because of people advising me. People who are supposed to care. But it was because of them FIFA banned me,” Eboue said, referring to his recently served 12-month ban by FIFA for failing to pay a reported €1million owed to his former agent Sebastien Boisseau.

Emmanuel Eboue and his wife pictured in happier times before he joined Arsenal

After the ban, the Ivorian player was signed by Cypriot side Turk Ocagi Limassol where he didn’t go beyond the medicals due to undisclosed “medical problems”.

The once glorious footballer who is known for his impeccable performance with the Ivory Coast national team, Sunderland, Galatasaray and Arsenal cannot do what he knows best – play football – and cannot do another job due to limited education and “shame” of his situation which is driving him to death.

“I want God to help me. Only he can help take these thoughts from my mind. I continue to thank God. I have my life. I didn’t want what has happened. I don’t wish it on anybody,” he said.

“I would accept help from anywhere but if my previous club wants to help me then I would be very, very happy. Maybe I could help the young players? … Maybe I’d see some of the people I played with or against and I’d feel embarrassed. But I would cope,” he hinted.

Days after he shared his story, he was offered a coaching job by his former Turkish club Galatasaray. Manager of Galatasaray Fatish Terim told CNN Turk that he would give Eboue the job of assistant coach of the club’s under-14 team. “We heard news about Eboue in the dressing room, I was informed there, we will do whatever we can to help my friend.”

Here are more videos and photos from Emmanuel Eboue’s marriage ceremony in Abidjan.

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