Arsenal legend and 'Invincible' Robert Pires recently flew out to Lagos, Nigeria as a Club ambassador for a series of events hosted by Club Partner Airtel.
On September 22 Robert attended the final day's play, and closing ceremony, of Airtel’s Africa Championship - the final tournament of Airtel’s annual grassroots talent search, Rising Stars.
Both the boys' and girls' finals were close encounters as Tanzania emerged victorious in the girls' competition, with a single first-half goal proving decisive against their neighbours Kenya. The boys’ final saw even more drama as Niger went a goal down against Zambia, before hitting a late equaliser and going on to win 7-6 on penalties.
After the games Robert presented medals to both winning teams before having dinner with selected Airtel customers and Arsenal fans at a restaurant in Lagos.
There he took part in a Q&A session covering the many highlights of his illustrious career with the Gunners, before all were treated to a special performance by the winner of Nigeria’s Got Talent - nine-year-old dance sensation, Amarachi.
Robert also took time out to visit Oremeji Primary School, a local school in one of Lagos' poorer districts. This is one of six such schools Airtel has helped to build and maintain this year, paying for the construction of new classrooms and providing books and other materials to the children.
After a tour of the school and a kickaround with the children, Robert later visited Airtel's headquarters to meet staff and CEO Segun Ogunsanya, before moving onto a specially-arranged reception at the residence of the British High Commission.
While there he presented personalised home shirts to both the high commissioner, Andrew Pocock, and his deputy.
On his final day in Lagos, Robert rounded off his trip with appearances on the ‘Channels’ TV news network and three of Lagos’ biggest radio stations - Nigeria Info, Cool FM and Wazobia FM.
There he met even more excited fans and was taught some of the local dialect before flying back to the UK, bringing a jam-packed and memorable trip to a close.