Arsenal will travel to the French capital, Paris, for this week's Champions League Final. Arsenal.com's Owen Pinch takes a look at the links between the Club and this famous old city.
Paris has played host to just two competitive games involving Arsenal.
Our first visit was in March 1994 against Paris Saint Germain, and the Parc des Princes was the venue for this European Cup Winners Cup Semi-Final first-leg tie. Ian Wright opened the scoring for Arsenal before David Ginola grabbed an equaliser for PSG. The match finished 1-1, and in the second leg Kevin Campbell scored the only goal to take us through to the Final.
Our second and last trip came almost exactly a year later in the Final of the 1995 European Cup Winners Cup. Again the Parc des Princes was the venue but this time the opposition were Spanish. Real Zaragoza broke Arsenal hearts with a last minute winner in a 2-1 victory.
Thierry Henry and David Grondin were born in, or in the suburbs around, Paris. Henry was born and brought up in the Parisien suburb of Les Ulis. This area is approximately 14 miles south-west of the centre of Paris. Grondin, a defender, played just four times for the Club between 1998 and 2003.
The venue for this season's Champions League Final, the Stade de France, will have fond memories for two former Gunners. Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Vieira played there for France in the 1998 World Cup Final. Not only that but the two combined for Petit to score the third goal in a 3-0 victory for the hosts over Brazil.
Both Alexandre Song and Abou Diaby also have strong connections with the venue for the 2006 Champions League Final. They both grew up just a stone's throw from the Stade de France itself.
Looking even further back, however, an association with a Paris club which was to span 30 years can be found. On November 11, 1930, Racing Club de Paris, the French capital's No 1 team hosted Arsenal for a friendly.
The Gunners, aided by four Jack Lambert goals, won 7-2. Despite the debilitating scoreline, RCP invited Arsenal back exactly one year later where the London club repeated their victory but in less emphatic fashion, managing only a 3-2 win. A special relationship had been formed.
Racing, though now faded into semi-obscurity and playing under the name of Racing Club de France 92, were one of France's oldest and most prestigious clubs. The encounters were originally conceived by Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman and his French counterpart, Jean Bernard-Levy, as a means of raising money for veterans of World War One, and the matches were therefore played on, or as near to, Armistice Day on November 11.
The fixtures brought Chapman's team a certain degree of celebrity status on the other side of the Channel, with several of the leading players being accorded French nicknames in the local sporting press. Cliff Bastin became Le Feu d'Artifice (The Firework) for his dazzling displays down the flank and his goalscoring prowess, Joe Hulme was L'Anguille (The Eel), while the wizardry of Alex James earned him the title La Miracle (The Miracle).
In all the teams met 26 times (Arsenal won 21 of the encounters), with the only interruption coming between 1939-45 due to World War II. From 1948 onwards the two teams competed for the Jean Bernard-Levy Cup.
Arsenal v Racing Club de Paris:
1930 Racing Club 2 - 7 Arsenal
1931 Racing Club 2 - 3 Arsenal
1932 Racing Club 2 - 5 Arsenal
1932 Arsenal 3 - 0 Racing Club
1933 Racing Club 0 - 1 Arsenal
1934 Racing Club 0 - 3 Arsenal
1935 Racing Club 2 - 2 Arsenal
1936 Racing Club 0 - 5 Arsenal
1937 Racing Club 0 - 2 Arsenal
1938 Racing Club 1 - 1 Arsenal
1939-45 no matches
1946 Racing Club 1 - 2 Arsenal
1947 Racing Club 3 - 4 Arsenal
1948 Racing Club 3 - 3 Arsenal
1949 Racing Club 1 - 2 Arsenal
1950 Racing Club 1 - 5 Arsenal
1951 Racing Club 0 - 5 Arsenal
1952 Racing Club 2 - 0 Arsenal
1953 Arsenal 4 - 0 Racing Club
1953 Racing Club 2 - 4 Arsenal
1954 Racing Club 1 - 3 Arsenal
1955 Racing Club 3 - 4 Arsenal
1956 Racing Club 3 - 4 Arsenal
1957 Racing Club 1 - 1 Arsenal
1958 Racing Club 0 - 1 Arsenal
1959 Racing Club 4 - 3 Arsenal
1960 Racing Club 1 - 4 Arsenal
1962 Racing Club 0 - 3 Arsenal
With thanks to Dan Brennan and Svein CloustonCopyright 2014 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 15 May 2006