Who is Arsenal legend Robert Pires?
Robert Pires was born 29 October 1973 is a French football coach and former professional player.
Frenchman has played for Metz and Marseille before his move to Arsenal, where he has managed to won two FA Cups and two Premier League trophies including the club’s unbeaten 2003–04 season. A former France international midfielder has earned 79 caps between 1996 and 2004 for his national team, including winning both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000. Pires was included in the PFA Team of the Year for the 2001–02, 2002–03 and 2003–04 campaigns, was the Player of the Tournament for the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup, FWA Player of the Year for the 2001–02 season.
Pires played the majority of his career as a winger, however, could also play all across the midfield area.
Frenchman was signed by the Gunners for £6 million in 2000, after stiff competition from Juventus and Real Madrid, replacing Marc Overmars, who had departed for Barcelona for a record £25 million He made his debut as a substitute against English outfits, Sunderland on 19 August 2000. Initially, the French attackers’ form was indifferent and was criticised after his comments that the English game was too physical. However, he slowly returned his best form and become one of the best to have ever played for the Gunners.
He went on to be a vital part of the Gunners quest for the Premier League trophy in the 2003–04 campaign, which they achieved, remaining unbeaten and becoming the first English top-flight team to do so in 115 years. Robert Pires and his Gunners teammate Thierry Henry were instrumental in that year, founding back of the net in a combined 57 times in all competitions.
During the 2005–06 campaign, French midfielder wrangled with Arsenal over a new deal, in the hope of a new two-year contract. In keeping with the Gunners policy regarding players over 30, Pires was only offered a 12-month extension to his deal, which end in June 2006 and Frenchman then signed for La Liga outfits Villarreal.