'Football is the best job in the world'

Dribbling on

'Football is the best job in the world'

The heartthrob of millions, football legend Robert Pires charms one with his infectious smile and endearing ways. With a style that is unique in the world of football, he won the World Cup with France in 2006 and also made a mark during his six-year stay at Arsenal.
He now trains young men to fulfil their love for the sport.

Robert, who was in the city recently for the Premiere League Fanpark event, takes
time off to chat with Nina C George about football, his love for India and more.

Was becoming a footballer your childhood dream?
I started playing football when I was seven years old. In fact, my father played amateur football, so it was natural for me to take to the game. When you are in France you have the liberty to take forward both academics and sports with equal ease. But there came a moment in my life where I had to choose between football and academics and I chose the former.

How does it feel to return to India?
I am happy to return to India because I get to spend a lot of time with true blue football fans. This is my first visit to Bengaluru and I find this to be a great city with very warm and friendly people. Unfortunately, I have a tight schedule, with little time to explore the places.

How important is it for you to stay in touch with your fans?
I retired from active football four years ago. But I think it is important to meet fans and interact with them on a regular basis. Whenever I am travelling, I make it a point to spend some time with my fans. They give you some interesting insights

Your best goal so far?
The best goal I hit was when I played for the French national team. The goal and the honourwas important because I was playing for my country and fighting for the French flag.

What is your strength?
I am glad that I have managed to maintain a certain consistency in my career. That is my strength.

Ever lost your cool on the football field during a match?
I never get angry but football can be stressful at times. Football is not as easy as people think it is. The sport builds a lot of pressure on your shoulder. But having said that, I think that football is the best job in the world.

Could you name one Indian cricketer you admire?
I really like the style and stance of Virat Kohli. I met him at an event in Goa in 2013. The two of us then tested our football skills together.

How active are you on social media?
I think social media is for the new generation. But I get on it once in a while and Tweet for my fans because I know that it is the best way to stay in touch with them.

We hear you love Indian food...
I can never imagine leaving India without eating spicy Indian food and relishing the sweets here.

What do you want to take back with you from India?
The love from my fans.

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