Villarreal’s Pires: Champions League final was my low point

He told L’Equipe: “I was in seventh heaven when I knew I would be in the starting XI for the CL final.

“During the match when I saw the referee showing number seven, frankly I thought it was a joke.

“I could never imagine Arsene would replace me. Honestly, I would have named another player, with good reasons.

“I’ll never say who. That event remains the worst moment of my career.

“It’s worse than my fall-out with Raymond Domenech. Worse than my first damaged ligaments in 2002 and worse than my second four years later.

“2006, what an awful year! I even imagined giving up everything.”