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Still got it: Arsenal legends, player by player

Julio Baptista in action against Real Madrid Legends

From Nigel Winterburn at the grand old age of 54 to relative spring chicken Jeremie Aliadiere at ‘just’ 34, our legends squad spans two decades of Arsenal talent.

But irrespective of the date on their birth certificates, everyone played their part at the Bernabeu in aid of The Real Madrid Foundation.

Here’s a rundown of the former Gunners in action against Madrid on Sunday - and their best moments.

DAVID SEAMAN

‘Safe Hands’ was at it as early as the 35th second, climbing to claim a cross from Arbeloa. He could do nothing about the goals but stuck out a hand to drop Raul going past him later in the first half.

MANUEL ALMUNIA

Played the second half and was straight into the action with a fine stop to push Raul’s free-kick away from the top corner. An even better stop followed from Seedorf’s volley and a late save from Morientes capped a sharp display.

NIGEL WINTERBURN

A titanic display. He put in the work to get fit for Madrid and needed every last ounce of energy to deal with Figo’s surges and Arbeloa’s raids from right-back. Closed down tigerishly and kept Madrid with a succession of blocks. 

MATTHEW UPSON

Made his presence felt with a hard challenge on Figo shortly after Guti had got past him to score Madrid’s second goal. Was up against it while Madrid dominated early on but grew into the game before picking up a knock on the half-hour.

PASCAL CYGAN

Came on for Campbell in the fourth minute and made a string of vital clearances to keep Madrid at arm’s length. A crucial intervention stopped Raul from picking out Baptista and he was dominant in the air.

SOL CAMPBELL

OK, so Sol didn’t make it beyond the fourth minute. But before he was forced to limp off with an injury he did clear a dangerous cross from Roberto Carlos.

LAUREN

Another injury victim, Lauren couldn’t come out for the second half and made way for Aliadiere. Nonetheless he was part of our rearguard action in the first half and denied Madrid a clear chance with a timely far-post header.

EMMANUEL EBOUE

Came on late in the first half at centre back but somehow managed to be one of our main attacking threats. A storming run upfield set the tone before the break and two more surges won free-kicks deep in Madrid territory in the second half. Also produced a great sliding tackle in a fine all-round display.

EMMANUEL PETIT

Given a thankless task of stemming a Madrid midfield that boasted Guti and recent Champions League finalist Xabi Alonso, Manu worked himself into the ground before making way for fresh legs. He can still pick a pass too and a sumptuous reverse ball to Limpar was his highlight.

RAY PARLOUR

Made a fleeting appearance against Milan in 2016 but completed the full 90 minutes here and stuck manfully to his task against a star-studded Madrid engine room. This was classic Parlour - crunching challenges, solid passing and, before fatigue set in, some storming runs forward.

GILLES GRIMANDI

Injuries and absentees meant Gilles had to put in a longer shift but he coped admirably. His best moment was a brave stooping header from a corner that set up a half-chance for Anelka.

ANDERS LIMPAR

The original ‘Super Swede’ didn’t get forward as much as he did in his pomp, but his silky touch was still evident. One cushioned chest-down on the edge of his own box caught the eye, and he got away from Figo with a neat touch.

ROBERT PIRES

A class act as ever. Set up our goal with a perfect through-ball and should really have scored himself. A thumping first-time shot whistled inches over the bar in the second half, and a free-kick was headed off the line near the end.

LUIS BOA MORTE

Scored our goal with a well-timed run and a confident finish, and generally gave Madrid problems with his pace, trickery and tenacity. Almost set up a goal for Anelka and even got in the way of a typically fearsome Roberto Carlos free-kick.

NICOLAS ANELKA

His first 90 minutes for two years but still has the pace to worry defences. Went close with a half-chance from Grimandi’s header and finished the game strongly by testing Contreras and then shooting over from Pires’ pass. 

JEREMIE ALIADIERE

Brought on as an auxiliary right-back, Jeremie did his defensive work but bombed on brilliantly whenever he got the chance. Quick and skilful, he set up chances for Pires and Anelka as we pushed for a second equaliser.

JULIO BAPTISTA

‘The Beast’ represented both clubs and he changed sides at half-time, swapping the white of Madrid for the red of Arsenal. His arrival helped us swing the tide in terms of pressure and possession, and his capacity to get out of tight spaces caught the eye.

Interview

The shock player in Figo's Arsenal 5-a-side team

When Luis Figo was asked for his ultimate Arsenal five-a-side team, he picked the same players that most of us would - apart from one surprise name.
 

The former Portuguese international named his compatriot, Luis Boa Morte, after his starring role in scoring for Arsenal Legends at the Bernabeu.

"I would choose Patrick Vieira, Henry, Pires, and I will choose Boa Morte… he’s very fit, strong and I think he’s a great guy, a great player. I’m very pleased I could meet him again. 

"I need a goalkeeper too… Seaman. He is one legend of the club, and football too and he has to be very happy with his career."

Click here to buy your tickets for the Arsenal Legends v Real Madrid game at Emirates Stadium

Ticket News

Arsenal Legends v Real Madrid Legends - Tickets

The Arsenal Legends Foundation Match 
Arsenal Legends v Real Madrid Legends
Emirates Stadium
Saturday, September 8, 2018
Kick-Off: 14:00

Our Legends will take on a team of Real Madrid greats home and away this year, in aid of both Clubs’ charitable Foundations.

We travel to the Santiago Bernabéu for the first game on Sunday 3 June. The two teams then come to north London for a second match at Emirates Stadium on Saturday 8 September, kick-off 2pm.

Robert Pires travelled to Madrid to make the announcement of this double header charity event and is expected to play alongside fellow Invincibles Freddie Ljungberg, Gilberto Silva, Ray Parlour, Sol Campbell and Lauren. Tomas Rosicky is also set to take part in both legs, together with a host of other star names.

The match in Spain will be played in aid of Real Madrid’s Foundation, with the return match 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. This double header against Real Madrid will help us use football and the Arsenal name to reach more young people around the world.

Ticket Information
Tickets are now on General sale for this fixture. (Booking fees apply)

Paper tickets purchased via the Friends and Family service or on General sale after 10am on Thursday, May 17, 2018 will be dispatched to the lead member’s registered address from July 2018 unless stated otherwise.

Important Safety Policy Information
There are a number of new safety policies in place at Emirates Stadium concerning children under 14 years of age attending fixtures.  Please ensure you have read through this information before purchasing your tickets. For further details please click here. Children who are under 14 years of age need to be accompanied by an adult who is 18 or over when attending fixtures at Emirates Stadium.

Children aged between 0-3 are not permitted to sit in the following rows when attending fixtures at Emirates stadium:

Lower Tier - Rows 1-20
Club Level -  Row 1
Upper Tier -  Row 1

Prices
Upper Tier Adult U16/OAP
Centre Upper £35 £17.50
Centre Upper Back £25 £12.50
Next to Centre Upper £35 £17.50
Next to Centre Upper Back £25 £12.50
Wing Upper £30 £15
Wing Upper Back £25 £12.50
Corner Upper £30 £15
Corner Upper Back £25 £12.50
Goal Upper £30 £15
Goal Upper Back £25 £12.50
     
Lower Tier Adult U16 / OAP
Centre Lower £25 £12.50
Wing Lower £25 £12.50
Corner Lower £20 £10
Goal Lower £20 £10
     
Club Level Adult U16 / OAP
Halfway Line £50 £25
Midfield £50 £25
Behind Goal £45 £22.50
Corner £45 £22.50

We aim to donate at least £600,000* to The Arsenal Foundation as a result of ticket sales and other income generated from the two matches against Real Madrid Legends.  The Arsenal Foundation supports young people in North London and across the globe. (*please note this net figure is based on historical Arsenal Legends games once associated match day costs have been deducted).

Please click here to purchase seats for the home fixture online(Booking fees apply)

You will need to quote the following information (If you need to update your details, please do so prior to booking as no amendments can be made once a booking is completed):

• Valid password
• Valid email address
• Membership number (if applicable)
• Credit/debit card details

Members who purchase tickets before 10am on Thursday, May 17, 2018 will have their Membership card(s) activated (unless otherwise stated) & will be sent a confirmation email including the seat details.

Members/Non Members who purchase tickets after 10am on Thursday, May 17, 2018 will be sent paper tickets from July 2018 onwards.

Hospitality
A range of matchday hospitality packages for this fixture are available here or by calling on 0345 262 0001 and selecting Option 2.

Disabled Supporters
Season ticket holders and Purple members please call on 0207 619 5000 (option 1) to purchase tickets via the Friend and Family service or click here for a booking form. (Subject to availability).

The phone lines are open Monday-Friday 9:30am-5pm.

Disabled Supporters Prices
General Admittance Adult Concession
Corner Upper £15 £7.50
Upper Behind Goal £15 £7.50
Lower Centre £12.50 £6.25
Lower Wing £12.50 £6.25
Lower Corner £10 £5
Lower Behind Goal £10 £5
     
Club Level Adult Concession
Corner / Behind Goal £22.50 £11.25
Post-Match Report

Report: Real Madrid Legends 2-1 Arsenal Legends

Luis Figo and Robert Pires vie for possession

WHAT HAPPENED

Legends from two great clubs put on a show for the Corazon Classic Match 2018 - with Real Madrid just about coming out on top.

Luis Boa Morte scored for us but his neat finish was sandwiched by goals from Raul and Guti, and the home side held on despite some late pressure from our former stars.

Most importantly, The Real Madrid Foundation has raised a sizeable sum for good causes. And these teams will do it all again at Emirates Stadium in September for The Arsenal Foundation.

We kept a clean sheet the last time an Arsenal side visited the Bernabeu - Thierry Henry scoring the only goal in a famous Champions League win in 2006.

But it took Madrid only six minutes to find a way through this time, Luis Figo dazzling with his footwork and picking out Roberto Carlos for a cross that Raul headed beyond David Seaman.

That’s pretty much what most of the 68,274 were here to see - three absolute legends rolling back the years.

With Madrid bossing possession, our legends looked to play on the break and utilise the pace of Nicolas Anelka and Boa More in behind.

And that’s how we equalised. Robert Pires, captaining the side, played a perfect pass inside the full-back for Boa More to run onto. The angle got narrower but the Portuguese managed to clip the ball over Jerzy Dudek.

Guti decided to intervene. Another Madrid attack reached him on the edge of the box and he tiptoed past two challenges to prod past Seaman.

Sol Campbell was an early casualty of this game, limping off after four minutes, and Matthew Upson followed him after picking up a knock as he stretched to block a cross.

Suddenly our numbers looked a bit thin and at one point we only had four players to bring on.

But the likes of Ray Parlour and Nigel Winterburn knuckled down for longer shifts, with Winterburn - our oldest outfield player - putting in a titanic performance at left back against the majesty of Figo et al.

Julio Baptista swapped sides at half-time to ease the burden and we went close to a second equaliser when Emmanuel Eboue stormed through to draw a foul on the edge of the box. Boa More fizzed it goalwards but Contreras held on.

At the other end, Manuel Almunia brilliantly pushed away a free-kick from Raul and a volley from Clarence Seedorf, and Nicolas Anelka tested Contreras again as the chances flowed.

Pires walloped a first-time effort just over and had a free-kick headed off the line. That was as close as we got to snatching a draw - but the scoreline was secondary.

THE REMATCH 

The return match in September will be played in aid of The Arsenal Foundation, and tickets are available here.

Our inaugural legends match against AC Milan Glorie in 2016 helped to raise £1 million to build football pitches around north London and internationally.

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