With World Cup and European Championship winners’ medals in his collection, Frenchman Robert Pirès moved from Marseille to Arsenal in 2000.
In his first three seasons in London he helped the Gunners reach consecutive FA Cup finals at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.
The first two were disappointing for Pirès, but for different reasons. In 2001 all looked to be going well when Freddie Ljungberg gave a dominant Arsenal a deserved lead against Liverpool.
However, two goals in the last seven minutes from another Star Sixes player, Michael Owen, sent the cup to Merseyside.
A year later, Arsenal were successful as they beat London rivals Chelsea 2-0, but Pirès missed the last few weeks of the campaign, including the final, after injuring knee ligaments in their quarter-final tie with Newcastle United.
So, when the Gunners headed back to south Wales in 2003, Pirès was clearly determined to make up for lost time.
It was his strike, seven minutes before half-time latching onto the loose ball after Ljungberg’s shot was blocked, that was enough to seal victory for Arsenal.
Boys’ Own stuff for the French winger, an FA Cup final-winning goal, and a truly magical moment in the career of Robert Pirès.
Pirès will be back in the hunt for silverware this summer as he leads out France at the inaugural Star Sixes international tournament at The O2 arena in London.