Pires admits even with his family's Spanish background he still chose Arsenal.
He recalled to AS: "It was a difficult moment, I felt that I was privileged, because I was choosing between Real, Juventus and Arsenal. I almost signed a contract with Real, but Arsene Wenger called me a bunch of times, picked my brains, and, in the end, convinced me to make a choice in favour of his team.
"My family really didn't like that I gave up on Real Madrid. My mother is from Spain, from Oviedo.
"When I called her and said that I was going to Arsenal and not to Real, she said: 'You are crazy! You do not know English! With such qualities you must go to Spain'.
"Everyone said that Real was not refused, but I refused."