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Robert Pires Biography

Sat 07 August 2021 | 16:30

In this Robert Pires biography, we’ll take a look at the career of one of the best French midfielders of all time and one of the legendary Arsenal Invincibles.

Robert Pires is undoubtedly one of the greatest Arsenal players of all time and among the elite French players in the history of football. born to a Portuguese father and a Spanish mother, Pires started his career with FC Metz but soon gained recognition which led to him being called up to an already talented France squad as well as transferring from Metz to Marseille. Although his move to Marseille didn’t end well, Pires was able to win both the World Cup and Euros with France in a span of 2 years.

The left winger then decided to join Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal where he quickly cemented his place as a club legend and made history by becoming an Invincible. A highly skilled midfielder with a silky touch, Robert Pires was known for his goal scoring prowess, his unbelievable positioning awareness and dribbling ability.  Now with introduction out of the way, let’s take an extensive look at

Robert Pires life story

and career in this

Robert Pires biography

.

Robert Pires Biography

In this brief Robert Pires bio, we take a closer look at how the Frenchman became one of the best players of his generation, starting from his days at Metz academy in the early 1990s to the time he became an Arsenal Invincible and his later career at Villarreal and Aston Villa:

Robert Pires Information

So let’s start Robert Pires bio with a general information about his physical attributes and his position on the pitch:

Robert Pires Bio

  • Full Name: Robert Emmanuel Pires

  • Nickname: Le Canard (the Duck)

  • Profession: former footballer

Robert Pires Physical Stats

  • Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)

  • Eye Color: Brown

  • Hair Color: Black

  • Weight: 80 kg   

Robert Pires Football Information

  • Positon: Winger, attacking midfielder

  • Professional Debut: Sep 24, 1993

  • Jersey Number: 7

Robert Pires Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 29 October 1973

  • Birth Place: Reims, France

  • Nationality: French

Robert Pires Early Life

Born to a Portuguese father and a Spanish mother in the city of Reims, France,

Robert Pires date of birth

is 29 October 1973. He was the eldest of two sons that didn’t exactly have a normal childhood since neither of his parents spoke French with him so as a result, he had an accent in the school.

But thanks to his parents’ love for football, much of

Robert Pires childhood

was surrounded by football. His father supported Benfica and his mother Real Madrid, so Robert took turns wearing both jerseys. Robert’s mom supported his football career from the start and his father, Antonio, was in fact an amateur player himself and played for the local team Les Corpo which prompted Robert to seriously consider becoming a footballer. As a result, Robert Pires dropped out of school at 15 to pursue a 2-year sports degree course at Reims and then proceeded to play at the academy level for the club.

Robert Pires Profile

We will now take a look at Robert Pires’ career as a footballer in the different teams that he played throughout his career in this section of Robert Pires biography and starting with his time in the Metz’ youth academy and reserve teams:

Football Career

First let’s take a look at Robert Pires’ club career as well as his time with the French national team:

FC Metz

After spending 5 seasons at Reims’ academy, Pires joined FC Metz where he would eventually get his

Ligue 1

professional debut in 1993 when manager Joel Muller played the young Frenchman in a 3-0 win against Marseille. The following season Robert became a regular at FC Metz and pretty soon after he showed how prolific he is in front of the goal.

Perhaps Robert Pires’ best season at Metz was the 1995-96 season where he scored 13 goals in all competitions and led FC Metz to a Coupe de la Ligue which was Robert’s first trophy as well. But this was only the start of the big things that were to come for Pires.

Marseille

In the summer of 1998, Robert Pires seemingly got his big move and joined

Marseille

after scoring 47 goals in 195 appearances for FC Metz. Marseille were managed by Rolland Courbis at the time and had the likes of Laurent Blanc, Andreas Kopke and Fabrizio Ravanelli in their squad which made them a formidable team in Ligue 1.

Pires’ first season at the club went on well enough as Marseille lost out the Ligue title to Bordeaux by only a point and were beaten by Parma in the UEFA Cup final. Pires scored 9 goals and was Marseille 3rd best goal scorer that season.

But the following 1999-2000 season ended up being a nightmare for both Marseille and Robert Pires as the club underperformed horribly and managed to escape relegation in the end only because of their better goal difference. Pires himself had a tough time as fans constantly abused him in his second season and to make the matter worse he was a victim of a couple of house burglaries which prompted him to boycott the club at the end of the season and move on.

Arsenal

Hours after lifting the Euro 2000 trophy, Robert Pires joined

Arsenal

to replace the immensely talented Marc Overmars. Arsenal had already a considerable attacking force but Pires seemed to be the icing on the cake. The Frenchman quickly became a fan favorite and propelled Arsenal to a Premier League and FA Cup Double in his second season. the following season he managed to score in the FA Cup final and win his first FA Cup trophy with Arsenal

During the 2003-04 season, Pires played a significant part in Arsenal’s unbeaten run by scoring 19 goals throughout the season. the Gunners became Invincibles and Pires a

legend

of the club. the following seasons saw Pires win his second FA Cup trophy in 2005 and reach the Champions League final in 2006 which coincidentally ended up being his final game for Arsenal.

Sadly, the game didn’t end as Pires wanted it to because the Frenchman was subbed after only 12 minutes since Arsenal’s keeper, Lehman, was sent off because of a foul and had to be replaced. This soured Pires relationship with Arsene Wenger and he decided to leave the club on a free transfer that summer, leaving behind a legacy that wouldn’t be outdone by anyone, anytime soon.

Villarreal 

After enjoying a 6-year spell with the Gunners and becoming a legend for the club, Robert Pires decided to leave on a free transfer to join

Villarreal

whom Pires had met in the semi-finals of the Champions League few months prior. Manuel Pellegrini, Villarreal’s manager at the time, admired Pires ability and thought the Frenchman’s abilities and experience could be a nice addition to his team.

However, an injury in pre-season saw Pires out of action for 7 months and was a huge setback for the now 34-year-old midfielder. But Pires made an excellent comeback in the tale-end of the season and helped Villarreal immensely as they won their last 8 games of the season and went up from 11th position in the league to the 5th position and earned an entry to UEFA Cup.

His second season with the Yellow Submarines was even more successful as Pires became an influential figure at Villarreal and helped them achieve their best ever

La Liga

finish as they placed 2nd behind Real Madrid and above the third-place Barcelona.

The following season saw Pires face his old teammates at Arsenal in the Champions League quarter-finals. Despite Villarreal losing 4-1 on aggregate, Pires was well received by the Arsenal faithful on both home and away games as the Gooners chanted his name in both matches. the season that came after that was Pires’ last at Villarreal as the club were looking to rejuvenate their squad. so the Frenchman left the club having made 131 appearances for them, scoring 18 goals.

Aston Villa and later career

Pires who was now 37 was looking to be at the end of his career but Frenchman still desired to play and after a few clubs showed interest in him, Pires decided to join

Aston Villa

at the start of the 2010-11 season when they were coached by the late Gerard Houllier. Pires was a bit-part player throughout the season and made only 12 appearances and despite his wish to stay at the club, he was released at the end of the season.

As far as Pires’ career at the very top level of European football goes, Pires’s time with Aston Villa was it but the midfielder made a return to football in 2014 when he was 40 years old to help the launch of the Indian Super League with the likes of Alessandro Del Pierro and Luis Garcia. He played a few games with FC Goa before he was released by the club in March of 2015. He announced his retirement from playing football a few months later in February of 2016.

International Career 

Although

Robert Pires nationality

is French and he was born in Reims, France, his father is Portuguese and his mother Spanish. Robert could’ve represented all three countries but chose to represent the country of his birth, France.

Pires made his debut for France in 1993 and was very much part of France’s Golden Generation, playing an influential part in France’s 1998 World Cup win and their Euro 2000 victory. He set up two very important Golden Time goals in both tournaments, once in the round of 16 of the 1998 World Cup and the other being the winning goal of the Euro 2000 final against Italy.

He also shined in 2 Confederations Cups in 2001 and 2003, both of which France won. He excelled in 2001 Confederations Cup, especially where he won the best player award and the top goalscorer award. However, an injury kept him out of the 2002 World Cup and a spat with France’s manager Raymond Domenech after the Euro 2004 meant his days at the national team had come to an end. Robert Pires managed to score 14 goals in the 79 caps he made for France.

Style of Play 

A player of unbelievable talent and technique, Robert Pires could play anywhere across the midfield or in a support striker role but he was mainly used as a

left winger

. Although at his best, Robert Pires had pace but he was never considered a physical player. Instead he used his considerable technique and his genius positioning to get around defenders and put himself in dangerous areas.

He was also a great finisher who could score almost as much as a lone striker. The season that Arsenal became Invincible for example, Robert Pires managed to score 19 goals in all competition which is a great number even for a striker let alone a midfielder. Arsene Wenger utilized Pires’ finishing ability to its full extent as he had Pires and Henry changing positions with each other constantly, which led to Pires’ high number of goals at Arsenal.

Reception

Robert Pires is lauded as one of the best midfielders of his generation and the former Gunner has the accolades to prove it. Even early in his career, Robert Pires’ talent was recognized as he picked up the Young Player of the season during the 1995-96 Ligue 1 season. then after winning the World Cup and Euros with France, Pires joined Arsenal where he was named Player of the season only in his second season at the club.

Pires was also 3 times consecutively between 2001 and 2004 included in the Premier League Team of the Season. he is also a hugely popular figure amongst Arsenal fans and was voted as their 6th best player of all time. Pires is also one of the players that are depicted on Emirates Stadium’s wall as one of the

legends of the club

 

Goal Celebration

Perhaps Pires most common celebration was the one that he ran over to the fans after scoring and wagged his fingers. The celebration may not be anything special but Pires’ unique run, which is the source of his nickname (“the Duck”), made the celebration special.

Robert Pires Outside Football

Since his retirement Pires has been involved with many media outlets either as a pundit or a guest as well as having a job as a first team coach with Arsenal for several years. he leads a rather quiet personal life and loves to be connected to football as much as he can, which is why he makes so many guest appearances either on the pitch or in media.

Robert Pires Personal Life

Our Robert Pires biography wouldn’t be a complete without mentioning his personal life. So read on as we take a look at Robert Pires life story, relationships and philanthropy in this

Robert Pires bio

.

Family, Children and Relationships

Robert Pires has not had a turbulent personal life like so many footballers. Pires has been married twice to Nathalie, whom she met in 1992 when he was at FC Metz and divorced in 2003, and Jessica Lemarie whom she dated after his divorce from his first wife and has been together since.

In an interview with Daily Mirror, Pires claimed that the divorce from his first wife was particularly hard and led to him having anger issues at the time which was probably the reason behind his spat with France manager at the time, Raymond Domenech.

But a short time after that he met his current wife Jessica Lemarie, a French model, through mutual friends and the couple has been together since. Their first child, Naia, was born on 10 August 2005 and their second child, Theo, on 11 July 2007.

As far as other parts of Pires’ personal life goes, it’s important to note that

Robert Pires religion

is believed to be Christianity but he doesn’t particularly seem to be the religious type. 

Philanthropy

Like many footballers, Robert has been involved with many charitable causes over the years. Pires seems to be always present when there is a charity match like whenever the Arsenal Legends team plays another team in Europe or other FIFA-associated charity matches.

He has also been involved with the Grassroots Football foundation since 2012 which uses the power of football to raise awareness about HIV and helps to stop the spread of the virus.

Legal Issues

As we mentioned above, Robert Pires had quite a few problems in his time with Marseille. The Frenchman was getting abused by the fans quite regularly and was even twice the victim of a house burglary. Fortunately, though he decided to leave the club soon after and hasn’t had any sort of legal problems since.

Robert Pires Career Statistics

It’s time to review some statistics in this section of Robert Pires biography, both for the clubs he played at and the French national team:

Club

Robert Pires biography

isn’t complete without his general statistics in the clubs that he played, starting with his days at FC Metz where he was part of the youth setup and later joined the first team. Soon after his debut for the club in 1993, Pires became a regular and ended up playing 195 matches for the club, scoring 47 goals.

His time at FC Metz saw Pires win his first trophy which was a Coupe de la Ligue but he decided to leave the club to join a bigger team in France which was Marseille. He stayed at Marseille for two seasons representing the club in 95 matches and scoring 14 goals for them. However, his time at the club didn’t have a happy ending so he decided to join Arsenal in 2000.

At Arsenal Robert Pires hit his best and became part of the Invincibles. He enjoyed six great seasons at the club scoring 87 goals and assisting 58 more in the 287 matches he played for the club. he then moved on to Villarreal in Spain, where he stayed for 4 seasons, appearing 131 times and scoring 18 goals for the club.

Pires left Villarreal in 2010 at the end of his contract and decided to spend the next season at Aston Villa, which would be his final season at the top levels of European football. He left Aston Villa after 12 appearances and 1 goal at the end of the season. he came out of retirement 3 years later at the age of 40 to help launch the Indian Super League with FC Goa. However, after 8 appearances and 1 goal, that seemed to be the end of Robert Pires’ illustrious career. He went into management a year later in 2016.

International

Robert Pires made his debut for France in 1993 and he went on to become a regular in France’s greatest generation of footballers. He represented his country 79 times and scored 14 goals for Les Bleus, helping them 4 major trophies.

Managerial

Although Robert Pires went into management soon after his retirement, he has always filled more of a supporting role and not a head coach. Most of his managerial experience has come at Arsenal, especially at the time of Arsene Wenger.

Robert Pires Honors

In the final section of Robert Pires biography, we take a brief look at his achievements, either team or individual achievements, in a career that span from France to India:

Robert Piress made his debut for FC Metz during the 1992-93 season. the next season saw the 20-year-old get featured heavily in the first team and he became a regular after that, scoring 10+ goals a season constantly and helping FC Metz to a rare piece of silverware during the 1995-96 season where the club won the Coupe de la Ligue.

Pires then went on to join Marseille after winning the 1998 World Cup with France and proceeded to spend to season at the club. his debut season proved to be vastly different than his second season as Marseille were battling to win the league and a European trophy in the first and fighting to avoid relegation in the next. Suffice it to say that Pires was unhappy at Marseille which led to him moving to Arsenal hours after he won the Euro 2000 with France.

At Arsenal, Pires became part of a deadly attacking force of Henry, Bergkamp and Ljungberg and the four absolutely took the Premier League by storm. Pires managed to win 2 FA Cups and 2 Premier League titles with Arsenal, one of which came at the end of the 2002-03 season where they went the whole season unbeaten, a feat that none have been able to do in modern English football. he also reached the Champions League final with arsenal which proved to be his last match for the club and a huge disappointment since he was substituted after only 12 minutes because of Arsenal’s keeper being sent off.

Pires then joined Villarreal in Spain and stayed with the Yellow Submarines for 4 seasons, helping them to their best ever La Liga finish as they were placed in 2nd in the 2007-08 season. a season-long spell at Aston Villa in the 2010-11 season followed after which Pires retired from football. he did however come back for a year to play for FC Goa in India but he retired for good after a few games.

Apart from winning 2 Confederations Cup, 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 with France, Robert Pires has been named Knight of the Legion of Honour for his services for the French national team. He was named FWA Footballer of the Year in 2001 and featured in the Premier League Team of the Season three consecutive times between 2001 and 2004. Pires also won the Golden Ball and Golden Shoe of the 2001 Confederations Cup.

This was Sportmob’s version of

Robert Pires biography

, one of the best ever Arsenal and France players of all time and among the best midfielders of his generation. we hope that you enjoyed reading it and for more articles like this just check out the links below!

 

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