This is a man who still looks like he could effortlessly curl a shot into the top corner in the Premier League and celebrate with his trademark finger wag.
And he nearly did last weekend as he captained an Arsenal Legends XI against Real Madrid galacticos like Luis Figo, Raul and Clarence Seedorf.
With Arsenal trailing 2-1, Pires had a chance to equalise late on but his goal-bound free kick was cleared off the line by a portly Santiago Solari.
Pires was probably the fittest man on the pitch at the Bernabeu owing to the fact he is a regular face at the Arsenal training ground.
Despite leaving the club in slightly acrimonious circumstances in 2006, the door at Arsenal has always been open for him to train and be around without ever having an official role.
Robert Pires wants to be a part of Unai Emery’s set-up
If I’m on the staff I can help the manager and I can give some advice [about] the players
With Arsene Wenger no longer at Arsenal, things will almost certainly change under new manager Unai Emery.
Training regularly with this current Arsenal squad means Pires has valuable knowledge of what the players are like and he feels he can be an asset to Emery.
He said: “If I’m on the staff I can help the manager and I can give some advice [about] the players.
“I played at a high level so I think I can be a bridge between the manager and the players.
“But I don’t want to be a manager because I don’t have the badges.”
Unsurprisingly Pires has a close relationship with the French contingent at Arsenal.
But for the first time since before Wenger became Arsenal manager, there are no French players in a France squad heading for a major tournament.
Laurent Koscielny would have almost certainly have gone to the World Cup in Russia if he wasn’t cruelly ruled out by a serious Achilles injury suffered in April.
And despite scoring 17 goals in his debut season for the Gunners, Alexandre Lacazette was unable to seal place amongst the wealth of attacking options at Didier Deschamps’ disposal.
Alexandre Lacazette was left out of the France squad
Being left out can have a damaging impact on the confidence of a player but Pires is confident Lacazette will respond to this setback.
“He’s a professional of course [but] he’s very upset,” Pires said.
“When you play for a team like Arsenal, your objective is to always play for your country. Especially this season because of the World Cup.
“Of course he was upset but he respects Deschamps’ decision.
“But now for him it is very important to forget this, to take a very good break with the family and kids and be ready for next season.
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“I think Lacazette is very important for the squad. I believe in Alex.”
Emery will have some knowledge about what Lacazette is capable of having come up against him in Ligue 1 and the Arsenal manager will need to quickly decide whether the former Lyon striker can work with fellow front man Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
And there were signs towards the end of last season of the pair gelling well despite the rigidity of Wenger’s tactics.
Aubameyang and Lacazette should be available for the first day of pre-season and Pires feels there is room for both of them at the club.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette struck up a partnership on the pitch
“I think they both can play together because they have a very good feeling and communication on the field, as we saw at the end of last season,” he said.
“They are both totally different but I think this is a good thing and they can play together, no problem.”
With a shortened window to make transfers and a limited budget, the team of Emery, head of recruitment Sven Mislintat and head of football relations Raul Sanllehi will need to move quickly to strengthen the squad.
But one of the more intriguing signings Arsenal may make this summer could be the arrival of Yacine Adli from Paris Saint Germain.
The 17-year-old was given his PSG debut by Emery in the final game of the season and appears to be on the verge of linking up again with the Spaniard at Arsenal.
Yacine Adli is a transfer target for Arsenal
And Pires feels Adli has all the attributes to thrive at the club.
He said: “He’s a talented player. He has very good qualities, very fast with the ball and he can score.
“I know Unai Emery likes this player. I don’t know what’s happened the last two days, but if he joins Arsenal, I think he will be a good player for the new squad. France and England is not really the same football, I know.
“Everything is new and you need to adapt. So for him, if he joins, at the beginning it’s very important to learn and watch what happens on the field because you need to learn every day.
“He’s young and it’s very difficult to leave your family, your country and find new players, new football and a new philosophy. It’s very difficult, very tough, that adaption. But I know Arsenal is like a family, so if he wants, he can make a success of his career at Arsenal if he signs.”
Read more here: Daily Express :: Sport Feedhappy wheels
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