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Mikel Arteta includes controversial former Arsenal star in dream 5-a-side lineup

Mikel Arteta has included a highly controversial former Arsenal player in his 5-a-side lineup, a choice that could spark debates about the coach

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta
Image credit: Getty Images

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta recently unveiled his dream five-a-side team, handpicking iconic figures from his illustrious playing career, including legendary Arsenal striker Thierry Henry. 

The Spaniard, who has shared the pitch with some of football’s modern greats, reflected on his time at various clubs and the talented individuals who left a lasting impression on him.

Arteta’s journey began in Barcelona’s renowned La Masia academy, where he played alongside the likes of Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez. His footballing odyssey continued at PSG, featuring in a star-studded lineup that included Ronaldinho, Jay-Jay Okocha, Nicolas Anelka, and current Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino. Additionally, Arteta crossed paths with Frank de Boer during his stint at Rangers.

Former Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie

Former Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie (Image credit: Getty Images)

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Upon joining Everton, Arteta played alongside Premier League stalwarts such as Phil Jagielka and Leighton Baines before making a big move to Arsenal in 2011. At the Emirates Stadium, he shared the field with iconic figures from the Arsene Wenger era, including Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, and Alexis Sanchez.

In a recent interview with Stadium Astro, Arteta was asked to compile his dream five-a-side team from his former teammates. The distinguished lineup features Brazilian maestro Ronaldinho, Spanish midfield maestro Andres Iniesta, and renowned goalkeeper Pepe Reina. Notably, Arteta included Arsenal’s all-time leading goalscorer Thierry Henry and former Dutch forward Robin van Persie in his dream squad.

While Henry’s inclusion is an obvious nod to his legendary status at Arsenal, Van Persie’s presence adds a surprising twist. Despite spending eight years at Arsenal, the Dutch striker truly flourished in his final two seasons,scoring 37 goals in 48 games during the 2011/12 campaign. 

He joined bitter rivals Manchester United in 2012 and was seen as a traitor around the red half of north London. Although Van Persie’s move to Manchester United left a bitter taste for some Arsenal fans, his impact on the pitch remains an undeniable part of the club’s history.

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