Kolo Toure: I thought my dream was over after taking out Arsene Wenger on Arsenal trial

Arsenal Training

Kolo Toure became a cult hero during his seven years with Arsenal.

Signed from ASEC Mimosas in 2002 for just £150,000, the Ivorian quickly established himself as a tough-tackling centre-back that took no prisoners.

His finest season came in 2003/04 when, alongside Sol Campbell, he helped Arsenal go the whole season unbeaten in the Premier League to win the title.

From that moment Toure became an 'Invincible' and he spent a further five years in north London before joining Manchester City in 2009.

Four years later he moved to Liverpool before playing a season at Celtic, where he retired in 2017 having added the Scottish Premier League to his two Premier League titles.

Toure was an entertaining player to watch throughout his career and one of his most famous stories involves his trial at Arsenal.

Not only did the Ivorian take out star players Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp, but he sent manager Arsene Wenger flying with a two-footed challenge.

Toure thought his dream was over but Wenger, who ended up with an ice pack on his ankle, admired his tenacity and signed him up.

Arsenal's Kolo Toure (C) gives a thumbs

That was 17 years ago and now Toure has opened up on how scared he was that he had ruined his chances of joining Arsenal by clamping the manager.

"It’s true, absolutely," he said in an exclusive interview with the Telegraph. "Did I think my dream was over? Well of course you're always scared if you tackle the manager of the club.

"I haven't done it on purpose, but that kind of thing can happen."

Before long Toure was signed up and training full-time with Arsenal, and he claims the sessions were "really intense" because of how much everyone wanted to win.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looks dejected as he leaves the field with Kolo Toure of Arsenal

"Training was really intense - sometimes more so than matches," he added. "It was really, really challenging.

"Everybody wanted to win every game and occasionally there would be fights between the players. The team was full of spirit and winners.

"Martin Keown was really competitive but Henry was similar, he wanted to win every game. He was fuming when he was losing games at training."

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