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Arsenal's Mathieu Flamini still focused on football as biotech company grows

Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini says he remains focused on playing football, even though his long-term vision is centred on reducing the world's oil dependency.

Flamini is out of contract at Arsenal after this season, and has mainly been in the headlines for his business venture lately after revealing last year that he co-founded a biochemical company that produces an oil substitute.

But in an interview with the Financial Times to discuss the venture, the 32-year-old Flamini indicated that he wants to keep playing somewhere next season.

"Business is something I developed on the side of football and will probably be in my life after football. But today I am a football player and I dream about football and I eat football every day," Flamini said.

The Frenchman is one of three Arsenal midfielders leaving the club this summer along with captain Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky. He returned to the Gunners for a second stint in 2013 on a free transfer from AC Milan.

It was during his time in Italy that he founded GF Biochemicals together with business partner Pasquale Granata. The company produces a chemical called levulinic acid, which can be used instead of oil in a number of products, including fuel.

"[Granata and I] were both very concerned by climate change and we wanted to do something about it," Flamini told the FT. "So we started meeting scientists at the Polytechnic University of Milan and started research to develop that technology."

He initially kept the company a secret even to his teammates and family, until he was sure it would become a success. And it has now grown to the point where it is the world's largest producer of levulinic acid.

"When I think about when we started the company, and now see that we have also offices in Holland, America‚ÄČ... ‚ÄČall of that for me is adrenalin," Flamini said. "It is stimulation [that] has pushed me to keep going and to move forward."

And he says his career as a footballer has helped him as a businessman, while working under Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has taught him how to keep a cool head in important moments.

"I took a lot of risk when I started my football career, but I believe there is no successful story if at one point you didn't take any risk," he said. "Arsene is a kind of mentor for me. He is someone who will always keep his calm, and I have learnt from him never to take a decision in the heat of the moment."