Friday May 24 2013
Pires: I was close to Juventus

Robert Pires has revealed that he turned down a move to Juventus in the summer of 2000 in favour of a switch to Arsenal.

“It’s true, I was very close to joining Juventus,” the now 39-year-old told Calcio News 24. “It was 2000, but in the end I opted to join Arsenal. It was my choice.

“There are decisions that a player must make in the course of his career and this was a very tough choice.

“However, being able to play and be coached by Arsene Wenger, with whom I worked for six seasons winning the Premier League title and FA Cup, was absolutely the best for me.

“We also reached the Champions League Final against Barcelona. It was great.

“Also, do not forget that I had the chance to play alongside the likes of Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and many more.

“In hindsight, I'd say it was a good choice.”

The French midfielder left Marseille for the London club for a fee of around £6m. He subsequently joined Villarreal in 2006.

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