Gilberto is the definition of an unsung hero and we could see the perfect illustration at El Madrigal tonight
Arsenal take a narrow but important 1-0 lead to Villarreal in the Champions League Semi-Final Second Leg. The Spaniards will be relying heavily on Juan Roman Riquelme, their midfield 'quarterback', to guide them to success. It is Gilberto's job to stop him. It is unglamourous, uncredited graft and perhaps even goes against the grain for a Brazilian footballer. But the 29-year-old does not mind.
"For me it is not a problem," he said. "I just try to help the team and do not mind if after the game no-one says anything about me. If we get the result that is the most important thing for me."
Riquelme was a peripheral figure in the first leg; a testament to Gilberto's performance at Highbury. Wenger shunned the accepted logic of deploying a man-marker that night and he'll stick with that plan this evening.
"We do not have to change," said Gilberto. "We were not asked to man-mark Riquelme.When we have the ball we will just play the game naturally. But if we lose our focus then we will be in trouble. It will be a hard game but the team is ready. This is a big opportunity to get to the final.
"Villarreal have a small stadium and the supporters will be very close. In Spain they do not stop singing. There will be great pressure but we are very confident because we know the importance of this game."
Copyright 2015 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 25 Apr 2006