WATCH: As Robert Pires retires, remind yourself of his outstanding Arsenal heyday

World Cup winner was one of the best on the planet at his peak

Robert Pires, Arsenal

Picture by: Matthew Ashton / EMPICS Sport

Arsenal legend Robert Pires has been playing professional football for over 20 years which goes to show his longevity.

But the French 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000-winning attacking midfielder finally called it a day this afternoon, telling beIN Sports: "I’m 42 years old so some time must stop. We must say stop and above all must give way to young".

He last played for FC Goa in the Indian Super League last year, having left the Premier League for a second time in 2011 after a spell at Aston Villa, who he had joined from Villarreal.

But it is at Arsenal that the Premier League and FA Cup winner will be best remembered. Having signed from Marseille in 2000, the 79-time France cap shone on the left of Arsene Wenger's midfield four and went on to win the Football Writer's Footballer of the Year in the 2001-02 double-winning season.

Dovetailing beautifully with Thierry Henry who liked to drift to the left wing as Pires wove his way inside, it helped form a fluid Arsenal attack.

It was even more remarkable that he won that award as he missed the run-in and the 2002 World Cup after suffering a cruciate ligament injury.

But the weeks and months before that were truly glorious...