Robert Pires is looking forward to getting the chance to say a proper goodbye to the Arsenal fans when he takes on his old club in the quarter-finals of the Champions League night.
The 35-year-old spent six successful seasons at Highbury, and made his last appearance for the Gunners in the 2006 Champions League final when he was substituted in an early tactical change following the sending off of goalkeeper Jens Lehmann.
"I have always had a tremendous relationship with the Arsenal fans and these games will be the occasion for me to say goodbye to them," Pires told www.setanta.com. "Not having been able to say goodbye to them is a pain to me."
Such an exit was not the way Pires wanted to bring the curtain down on an Arsenal career which had seen him help guide Arsene Wenger's side through an unbeaten Premier League campaign in 2003/2004.
He added: "I wanted to have the chance to thank the Highbury public for their support, but I could not do it because my last game was the Champions League final with Barcelona.
"Then I announced my departure to Villarreal three days later and did not see them again. Sincerely, this draw is emotional to me, and fills me with nostalgia as well, that is for sure."
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