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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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