Perhaps the most memorable image of Robert Pires in an Arsenal shirt was taken on the final day of the 2001/02 campaign.

The Frenchman had been recently crowned as Footballer of the Year after a stellar campaign for the Gunners. However, he missed the final two months of the season after suffering knee ligament damage in an FA Cup tie against Newcastle at Highbury.

When Pires, aided by crutches, hobbled up to the podium to receive his Premier League winner's medal and lift the trophy, the rest of the first-team squad knelt down in homage to their team-mate.

Wenger was reminded of that magical moment as he prepared to face Pires and Villarreal in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

"That picture tells you more than any speech of mine," said the Arsenal manager.

"I believe that before he got his first cruciate [injury], he was the best player in the world in that position. You could just give him the ball and he would do the rest."

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7 Apr 2009