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France international: This is why I rejected Real Madrid to join Arsenal


Ex-France international Robert Pires says a phone call by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was the reason why he snubbed Real Madrid and Juventus way back in the year 2000.

The 42-year-old went on to become one of the most beloved players to ever wear the Arsenal jersey but admits that he has a "little regret" over not making a move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

He left Highbury in the summer of 2006 after negotiations over a new contract broke down.

"At the time, Real Madrid, Arsenal and Juventus wanted me," Pires told Marca.

"I chose Arsenal because Wenger called me and for a player to be called directly from the coach is a very good sign.

"They told me I was crazy to reject Madrid, it is what all players want, but I also knew that it would be difficult to get minutes.

"I have a little regret but I stayed at Arsenal for six years and won almost everything."

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