Interview

'I opened my heart to learn the Arsenal way'

Edu and Gilberto embrace

Moving to a new club always requires a degree of acclimatisation, but moving continents in order to do so can significantly prolong the period of adaption.

When Gilberto signed for us from Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro in 2003, he was faced with no shortage of challenges. But thanks to the help of compatriot Edu, plus his own drive and determination, the World Cup winner was soon right at home in north London.

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“When I arrived at the club for me it was something new and I knew that I was coming to a very good club with very good players,” Gilberto told Arsenal Player. “It was nice to arrive at the club and see Edu and have him at the club, knowing how the club works to help me. 

“Edu’s role in my adaptation was very important because he as a Brazilian made it easy to explain things and help me as well. One thing that I have in my mind that was very clear was that I want to adapt, I want to fit into the team and I want to enjoy playing for a new club and I want to face a new challenge.

“Struggling with the language was quite hard but for me it was just another challenge that I had to face and get over it. But I opened my heart to learn. 

“This was very important because it doesn’t matter what I had before, I came to the club as a World Cup winner, so maybe I could say I have nothing to learn here, but I opened my heart to learn the culture, learn the language, learn the process of the club, learn the way Arsenal and Arsène wanted me to play. This was the most important process.”