NouDiari / The world champion with the French National Team in 1998 enters the Municipal de Santa Eulària every afternoon, goes down to the changing rooms, puts on the coaching staff’s kit and goes out to the field with the team.
This routine has been repeated since October. Shortly after Robert Pirès moved to Ibiza with his family and decided to get involved ‘Ad honorem’ with the club.
Pirès, known above all for his career at Arsenal (2000), Villarreal (2006) and the French National Team (world champion in 1998 and Eurocup in 2000) has joined the Peña coaching staff, among Other things, as a readapter, working with injured players until they can rejoin the team, a job he was doing at Arsenal until shortly before moving to Ibiza in August last year with his family.
The relationship between Pirès and the Peña Deportiva began last summer, when the Frenchman’s two sons, Alessio, 9, and Theo, 13, joined the club’s base to play football.
“My wife, my three children and I decided in August to leave London and move to Ibiza because Brexit and the COVID changed life in England a lot,” Pirès explains. We rented a house in Santa Eulalia and we have all adapted very well to the island ”.
It was in September when one afternoon, while the first team stretched on the field, the player Raúl Gómez thought he saw one of his soccer idols, Robert Pirès, in the distance.
Gómez says that “I followed him since he played for Olympique de Marseille. And when he signed for Arsenal I became a fan of the English team. Then we agreed at Villarreal, I in the subsidiary and he in the first team, but we had never spoken. And suddenly I see him at La Peña. At first I doubted it was him, but I yelled ‘Robert?’… And he turned around. We started talking and he told me that he would love to get involved in the club, so I introduced him to Raúl Casañ ”.
The coach adds that Pirès asked him if there was any possibility that he could collaborate with the team. “You have the doors of the club open for whatever you want,” he replied. So it was. The world champion began to join as a member of the coaching staff. “Having a person in the team with the record and the experience of Pirès is very good for everyone. He creates a very good atmosphere, he is a happy and humble person who always adds. We are very happy that he is with us ”.
“Not long ago I was working as a retractor with Özil or Arteta … and now with us,” jokes Gómez.
Pirès, who does not miss any training or the games that the Peña plays at home, assures that he is “very excited” at the club. “His mere presence already helps us,” says Casañ.
The Arsenal player, who loves to get into the team’s training rounds, explains that his role in the team is “to help in whatever they ask of me.” Sometimes players ask him technical questions, and sometimes more personal ones. “Sometimes they have asked me how they can handle the pressure they have because they score few goals, or what it feels like to win a World Cup and the European Championship.”
Regarding his opinion of the team, Robert Pirès points out: “I think Casañ has managed to set up a good team and they will start to improve. Obviously the current situation in qualifying is a bit dangerous, but I think nothing is wrong. We saw it in the game against Hercules. I really liked the attitude of the players and if every Sunday everyone has that same spirit, they will improve the classification. And you have to be very clear that in a team that scores few goals, as is happening to La Peña, you can’t just focus on the forwards. It is true that their work focuses on scoring, but if they don’t, nothing happens, then they have to help the rest of their teammates, and that is what happened against Hercules. I spoke with Antonio López at the end of the match and explained to him that if he did not score the goal, nothing happens, the important thing is that he helped the team to make another do it. That is the attitude of a forward ”.
In addition to his altruistic collaboration with the Peña Deportiva, Robert Pirès is a sports commentator on televisions such as Canal Plus or M6 in France. A month ago he traveled to Paris every week to work, but since the island has been closed perimeter to avoid the increase in covid infections, he has decided to carry out his work telematically from his home in Ibiza to avoid transfers.