Former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires announced his retirement from football today.
Pires made 274 appearances in six years at Arsenal, winning two Premier League titles and three FA Cups, and was a key figure in the famous ‘Invincibles’ team of the 2003-04 campaign.
“I’m 42 years old so some time must stop. We must say stop and above all must give way to young,” he said on beIN Sports, according to The Guardian. “My last experience was in India.”
The Frenchman also won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 and had spells with Metz, Marseille, Villarreal, Aston Villa and FC Goa either side of his sparkling career in North London.
But he will always be remembered as an Arsenal legend – he was voted as the Gunners’ sixth greatest ever player by the club’s supporters in a 2008 vote, according to www.arsenal.com.
And here are three of the many reasons why. To celebrate the dazzling winger hanging up his boots, CaughtOffside have picked out his finest three goals for Arsenal. Thank you, Robert!
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3. v Liverpool – May 8, 2005
“Just about the perfect free-kick in every respect,” – Sky Sports commentator Andy Gray says in the above video. Bent beautifully into the top corner. No goalkeeper in the world is saving that.
2. v Southampton – May 7, 2003
The vision, the technique, the audacity! Pires spots Saints goalkeeper Paul Jones off his line and embarrasses him with a sensational lob. What a way to complete his only ever Arsenal hat-trick.
1. v Aston Villa – March 17, 2002
Surely Pires’s best goal in his time at Arsenal was this unbelievable solo effort against Aston Villa. He lifts the ball over the head of George Boateng, and then has the cheek to do the same to a goalkeeper as intimidating as Peter Schmeichel. And again, Andy Gray goes wild in the Sky Sports commentary box!
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