• Analysis

Arsenal’s Invincibles: Where are they now?

Arsenal's Invincibles: Where are they now?
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Freddie Ljungberg

Freddie Ljungberg
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After impressing at Swedish club Halmstads BK, Ljungberg joined Arsenal in 1998 and scored in a 3-0 debut win over Manchester United. It doesn’t get much better than that, right?

Ljungberg made a further 324 appearances in a Gunners jersey while winning two Premier League titles, three FA Cups and one Charity Shield. He left for West Ham in 2007 for a single season.

The Swede retired in 2011 following spells in the United States, Scotland and Japan. Although he briefly came out of retirement three years later to play for Indian club Mumbai City.

Ljungberg returned to Arsenal in 2018 as an U-23 coach before becoming a first-team assistant a year later.

Following Unai Emery’s dismissal in November 2019, Ljungberg took charge of the senior team on an interim basis until Mikel Arteta’s appointment.

Patrick Vieira

Patrick Vieira
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The skipper on the iconic Invincibles squad was vital on all fronts for Arsenal during his eight-year stay.

Vieira was the first piece of the jigsaw to Arsene Wenger’s revolution in Highbury and didn’t look back. The way he bossed the midfield was something we haven’t seen since in north London.

And when Tony Adams retired in 2002, Vieira was the obvious choice to succeed the legendary centre-back as captain.

He repaid Wenger for his faith by leading the mighty ‘Invincibles’ to an unbeaten Premier League campaign in 2003/04, which they won.

Nine trophies (3x league, 3x FA Cup, 3x Community Shield) in nine years sums up Vieira’s splendid spell.

After spells with Juventus, Inter Milan and Manchester City, Vieira retired in 2011 to become a coach. He’s now the manager of Ligue 1 OGC Nice.

Gilberto Silva

2017 FIFA Confederations Cup Media Opportunity
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After an impressive 2002 World Cup campaign, Gilberto joined Arsenal and got a debut goal against Liverpool in the Community Shield.

The Brazilian was superb in cutting out opposition attacks while going unnoticed, with fans in homeland labelling him ‘The Invisible Wall’.

Gilberto made 244 appearances during a six-year stay at Arsenal before joining Greek side Panathinaikos in 2008. He retired five years following spells with Gremio and Atletico Mineiro.

The 43-year-old currently works as a consultant for club and players.

Robert Pires

Robert Pires
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Considered as one of Arsenal’s greatest wingers, Pires enjoyed a stellar six-year spell starring in London.

The Frenchman managed 85 goals and 41 assists in 283 appearances for Arsenal, on route to winning two Premier League titles and three FA Cups. He left for Villarreal at the end of 2005/06 season.

Although Pires returned to England in November 2010 to join Aston Villa for a short stay. After a forgettable comeback in India, he became part of Arsene Wenger’s coaching staff in 2016.