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Pires: How Wenger convinced me to choose Arsenal

Arsenal hero Robert Pires admits the presence of Arsene Wenger convinced him about a move to London.

The World Cup winner left Marseille for Highbury yesterday 17 years ago.

Pires told arsenal.com: "He called me one day, so I was really surprised.

"It was very impressive to talk with Arsene Wenger because I'd known him since a long, long time and he said 'Robert, I know you since you used to play for Metz and now you play for Olympique Marseille, but next season, I need you'.

"I asked 'why do you need me?' He said because Marc Overmars left to Barcelona with Emmanuel Petit, so I think you can replace Overmars on the left flank and I said 'yes, okay, no problem'.

"For me, at this moment, I think it was a very good chance and a very good opportunity to play in another country, especially in the UK. Of course, Arsenal is a great club in England so for me it was a very good decision.

"In 2000, it was very difficult to take the decision because I spoke with Real Madrid, Juventus and of course, with Arsenal. But I took the decision when Arsene Wenger called me."

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Paul Vegas

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