David Seaman has played in World Cups and title deciders - but he’ll still have a few nerves when he pulls on the gloves for Arsenal Legends.
The man who won three championships with us in a glittering career will be back between the posts against Real Madrid Legends in the Bernabeu on Sunday. And although the prospect of a 70,000 crowd doesn’t faze Seaman, his lack of game time does.
“Yeah I will be nervous, because it’s been such a long time since I played,” he told Arsenal.com. “So you’re always wondering and a bit doubtful whether your body can cope with it.
“The 70,000 doesn’t matter because it’s what I used to do. I remember I played in Soccer Aid a few years ago with Robbie Williams, he was in front of me and we were going out at Old Trafford in front of 60,000. He was jumping around saying ‘Oh my God, oh my God,’ and he looked at me and I’m [calm], and he said ‘Are you not nervous?’.
“I said, ‘No, this is what I used to do as a living and now there’s no pressure,’ but it shows you how it can get you. Robbie was proper nervous but I would be if I was doing his job in front of 10 people!
“It’s great to come back and re-live what you used to do, because you don’t get many chances,” Seaman went on.
“It had been 10 years since I’d seen people like Anders Limpar. There’s instant understanding and instant respect as well because as footballers you know what you have to go through, all the downtime around hotels and travelling and training. The playing is the most pleasurable part of it.
“There’s a lot [of talent] in the Madrid squad. When you look at the stars that they’ve got, it’s amazing. They’ve got people like Figo and Ronaldo.
“I played against Ronaldo in the World Cup in 2002 actually, I have seen him since but never had the chance to play against him again. It’ll be great because they’ve got some mega-names there, but we’ve got some pretty decent players too.”
Sunday’s match will be played in aid of Real Madrid’s Foundation, with the return match in September being played in aid of The Arsenal Foundation. Our inaugural legends match against AC Milan Glorie in 2016 helped to raise £1million to build football pitches around north London and internationally.
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