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Gilberto Silva speaks about homelife and winning the World Cup.

By Tony Attwood

Gilberto Silva  – what a player.

He played for us between 2002 and 2008, and became captain of Brazil.   He’s recently given an interview in relation to the upcoming world cup.  He said, among other things…

“It’s still hard to believe that I won the World Cup for my country,  I was one of the younger players at the time and didn’t really think about the responsibility. It was only when we returned to Brazil with the trophy that I understood what it meant to the people. For them football has always been a source of joy and hope.

“The World Cup is only a few weeks away now and I can tell you that everyone in Brazil is so excited. This is a country that lives for football. Take a walk anywhere in Brazil and you will see kids playing in the streets.”

Gilberto worked in a factory as a child, and talked about this in the interview…

“Like many children growing up here I had quite a tough upbringing. My father had to work very hard to support me and my three sisters and every time I took to the field for Brazil I thought about my village, my parents and the streets where I came from because of how hard it had been to get there.

Gilberto was known as The Invisible Wall.  His specialism was the short pass and the mopping up.

And on 1 June 2007, Gilberto captained Brazil against England at the first senior international match at the new Wembley Stadium. I remember sitting in a hotel bar watching the game just thinking over and over, “an Arsenal man is captain of Brazil”. 

I also remember the shock of the news of his injury, the sadness of his leaving and the reports of the dispute with the club.

He was not everyone’s favourite at Arsenal but he was so missed during the long absence with the back injury that after that fans seemed to love him more and more – I still remember the cheer of when he came back from the long lay off.  And quite right too.

He came to Arsenal for £4.5 million.  How could the fee be so low?  It took a while to make a guess, as we realised the issues with his former club.

And after that he was an Invincible winning the 2003/4 League.  On 19 August 2006 he scored the first league goal at the Emirates.  He also won the cup twice.

Seasons Club Games Goals
1997–2000 América Mineiro 20 1
2000–2002 Atlético Mineiro 62 4
2002–2008 Arsenal 170 17
2008–2011 Panathinaikos 78 6
2011–2012 Grêmio 47 1
2013– Atlético Mineiro 0 0

And yet none of this with Arsenal might have happened, because Atlético Mineiro had not paid their players, they were banned from transfer deals, and there were problems getting the work permit.

But he did get the work permit, and the transfer was arranged, and it was Minerio’s problems with money that probably took the fee right down.

Gilberto played his first game for Arsenal on 11 August 2002 as a sub in the Community Shield, and he scored the winner.  Not a bad start.

But we also had Edu and at first it was unsure who would be the top man in midfield.  Eventually Gilberto won, Edu moved on.

Meanwhile he was suing Atlético Mineiro for his past wages, while also getting his first medal in the Cup Final win against Southampton.

He played 32 of the 38 unbeaten games as an Invincible but it was at the start of the next season that things started to go wrong… the things ultimately diagnosed as a fractured back.   It looked like he would never play again.

By September 2005 Gilberto, having fully recovered from his injury which affected him for 18 months said he wanted to stay at Arsenal for the rest of his career and despite problems earlier in the season he then played in the Champions League final.

Privately he has been a patron of The Street League, which organises football matches for homeless people, refugees and asylum seekers.   It is a patronage which, it seems to me, reflects his own humble beginnings.    And he’s a mandolin player and a guitarist – he is reported to have played in his local pub while playing for Arsenal.

And as you may have guessed from the tone of this little piece, he is perhaps the Arsenal player I would most like to meet, the Arsenal player I admire hugely, and the Arsenal player I was so sorry to see leave.

Nice to hear from him again

.

The books

44 comments to Gilberto Silva speaks about homelife and winning the World Cup.

  • Gareth

    One of my favourite Arsenal players truly missed. How we could do with the invisible wall right now. Thanks is raised for Gilberto.

  • Jax

    Nice piece Tony. Yes great player who was criminally overlooked for Arsenal’s captaincy.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    He will be remembered as a true Arsenal legend not only for giving it his all when here ,but also for his positive comments after leaving .
    A true Gunner and an outstanding AKB !

  • Mandy Dodd

    Great player and seemingly a great human being. We let him go too early

  • Pat

    Lovely article Tony. Thanks for this. It’s great to hear from our past heroes.

  • Jax

    At the time of his signing for us the media made a lot of the fact that he was completely off the radar (even though he had been in the WC) and how did Arsene manage to pull off such a scoop ahead of all the worlds great clubs. Would that he (Arsene) still had those skills.
    I remember reading somewhere that he was considered the alternative club captain to the extent that Mrs G used to organise functions for players & families. Do we have that sort of family spirit in the squad now?

  • Jax

    ………and scorer of the fastest CL goal. Does that still stand?

  • Pat

    @Jax

    I think we do have that family spirit. It looked like it at the parade of appreciation after the last home match. Also, Arsene Wenger has praised the team togetherness and there have been reports of our players socialising together, which it seems was not the case for a while.

  • Mandy Dodd

    Think we do have a good spirit within the squad these days, the days of the…alleged….French Spanish based player cliques are over. We have the life and soul Germans now! Just been looking at pics from their recent charity ball…..they at least seem to get on, they certainly work hard for each other on the pitch
    Heard RVPs missus did a lot of organising of events as well

  • Jax,

    I am as nostalgic about Gilberto as you are but I don’t get the “criminally overlooked for Arsenal’s captaincy” part of your comment. I can still recall the amount of abuse that Gilberto got from some Arsenal fans as his time with us drew to a close. He was not getting an Ozil type adulation from the fans for sure. While I wouldn’t have objected to him being made captain then, in the light of circumstances at the time, I have little objection to the choice made by the manager and I consider it to be anything but ‘criminal’.

    Gilberto was a great player for us and has been a great ambassador for the club since he left. I wish him only the best in all he does.

  • Jax

    Bootoomee
    Alright, maybe “criminally” is a bit OTT, unfairly would be more appropriate as I always assumed he would succeed Vieira, but for political reasons Henry got the position and then inexplicably Gallas. Gil kept a dignified quiet all through though. I must have my rose coloureds on as I don’t remember the abuse. Loved your hell freezes comment earlier.

  • Shard

    Jax

    You aren’t the only one who feels that way. I think everyone expected Gilberto to be made captain when Henry left. Gallas, in hindsight, proved a horrible choice. I can only think that keeping Gilberto wasn’t an option because he was presumably on higher wages.

    What made his absence worse was that after he left, we lost Diarra and Flamini in the space of a season. And we didn’t have the cash to get a proper replacement.

    The DM has become almost a mythical need for Arsenal fans since then, although I think Denilson did fairly well there for a couple of seasons, and then Song. None of them meet the destroyer mould, but I don’t see many top clubs playing with a destroyer in that position.

    I think the spirit in the squad is really good now. We’ve moved on from the post Invincibles team, and these guys don’t bear the burden of succeeding the Invincibles like the previous bunch did. Also, I think we’ve now managed to get the balance between experience and youth right.

  • dan

    Ive always said it Gilberto Silva was the best Defensive midfielder.

  • jambug

    Jax

    “how did Arsene manage to pull off such a scoop ahead of all the worlds great clubs. Would that he (Arsene) still had those skills.”

    Cant help yourself can you ?

  • Jax

    Jambug
    Not sure what you’re inferring, but yes I wish Arsene was still able to steal in ahead of everyone else and pull out an ace like Gilberto at bargain basement prices.

  • omgarsenal

    Jax….Wenger hasn’t ¨lost¨any skills, including finding diamonds in the rough and hidden gems like Gilberto. what has happened, if you’d been listening to the news over the last 4-5 years is that, as soon as Arsenal identify a potential target, the oil and Ruski clubs come in and outbid us (a la Juan Mata and Hazard)and we cannot nor will we compete in a bidding war. If you want the Arsenal to become just another big spender for success, then we must agree to disagree.
    Wenger still finds the gems BUT he has become far more discrete and careful in playing his hand because of the oiler and cheatski clubs. That is why he is always very circumspect in any of his dealings. What surprises me is that we got Oxil without being outbid by the oilers and cheatskis.

  • Notoverthehill

    Jax, have you overlooked the countless references, to every decent player now appears on Youtube! Every decent player, now has an agent, at 14 years of age!

    As regards Gilberto and the Arsenal captaincy, Gilberto was always “sloping off” to play for Brazil in friendlies.

  • Jax

    omgarsenal Notoverthehill

    Exactly. The market has become inflated,oilers, agents etc., but I still wish Arsene was able to pull one or two of those deals off still. No harm in wishing is there? Or is that AAA?

  • jambug

    @omgarsenal

    Thank you my friend for saving me the bother.

    Jax

    If you understood why things had changed why the inference that it’s a skill that Wenger has ‘lost’

  • menace

    The man was a genius. He showed humility and played with precise simplicity. He looked like he was doing nothing, yet he’d win the ball and slip it sideways to a teammate. He is a silent legend.

  • Jax

    jambug & OMG
    This was a touching tribute (to Gil) by Tony and followed by mostly positive comments, but some of you just have to pontificate over my text and read some negativity into it. Why can’t you just leave it. I’m a big Arsene fan and do not seriously criticise him, but if push comes to shove I would say the he has lost his touch in that respect because the current transfer market prevents him from making those types of deals anymore. Now pick the bones out of that.

  • jambug

    Jax

    If you don’t want to be taken to task for criticising Wenger of ‘losing his touch in the transfer market’ in a touching tribute to ‘Gil’, then don’t criticise Wenger for ‘losing his touch in the transfer market’ in a touching tribute to ‘Gil’. Simple really.

  • Jax

    Jesus H Christ Jambug, you really are one sad fuck aren’t you! Will you just read what you’ve written. Get back to the dogging sessions with your untold mates.

  • jambug

    Jax

    Chill 🙂

  • jambug

    jax

    “how did Arsene manage to pull off such a scoop ahead of all the worlds great clubs. Would that he (Arsene) still had those skills.”

    If you don’t mean it don’t say it.

    pointless getting all uppity with me because you spout shit you don’t mean.

  • Jax

    jambug
    I meant every word of it you fool. I’ll repeat for imbeciles like you. “Would that he (Arsene) still had those skills”. I’ve made it clear, there’s nothing subliminal or anti Arsene, he’s unable to do those magical deals anymore. It was an innocent remark (in an early post I made) that shouldn’t really have required qualification, but you and the other pontificating prat demand an explanation. If it’s that important to you then you need help.
    Now that’s it as far as I’m concerned, but I’m sure you’ll want to have the last word.

  • jambug

    Jax

    You, my friend need help.

  • bjtgooner

    Jax

    Your own anger management needs some attention, maybe Brickfields could recommend a “fix” for you!

    Your statement – “if push comes to shove I would say the he has lost his touch in that respect because the current transfer market prevents him from making those types of deals anymore.” – seems to be the source of the difference between you and others.

    To say – “he has lost his touch” – implies that AW can now longer use skills he once had due to some sort of self-deterioration.

    The qualification – “current transfer market prevents him from making those types of deals anymore” – attributes the blame to the market – not to a self-deterioration.

    In other words your statement is not logical – and you are getting all steamed up when your contradictory meanings are questioned.

    In practice, AW did manage to bring Kos from obscurity – now one of the best defenders in the EPL – a gem?

    So your whole statement is without logic or accuracy. Chill it!

  • jambug

    Jax

    “how did Arsene manage to pull off such a scoop ahead of all the worlds great clubs. Would that he (Arsene) still had those skills.”

    “I’m a big Arsene fan and do not seriously criticise him, but if push comes to shove I would say the he has lost his touch”

    “I meant every word of it you fool.”

    All your quotes.

    Need I say more?

  • Jax

    And yet another of the Untold Doggers shows up.

  • bjtgooner

    @Jax

    The point is not who shows up, rather it is that your earlier comment was rubbish & you got irate when challenged – so take the advice & chill it!

    PS your latest comment could be described as gormless trivia ….if I was being polite.

  • Mick

    Jax, sorry but on this occasion, as far as I can see, you stand guilty as charged and deserve to be called out.

  • Jax

    Mick
    “same as it ever was”

  • TommieGun

    Jax just plead guilty, you are an honest member of the community, I’m sure your first offence (like FFP) will result in a warning or maybe a small fine.

    [#1984]

    BTW for the record I think you are wrong and Wenger hasn’t lost anything – it’s a combination of (a) other clubs’ scouting systems catching up to Arsenal’s amazing scouting operation of mid 90s and early 2000s (b) financial doping/hijacking by other clubs.

  • Jax

    Tommie
    Agreed, but on here (untold) if you don’t subscribe to Arsene being the second coming of Jesus the stalkers are all over you.
    Loved your late libel post. Goat fuckers indeed! We may have a few of those on here.

  • TommieGun

    No goat fuckers here, I wish that everybody would just RELAX the fuck up, and concentrate on the positives:

    (a) Man United look like fuckin shit, and will be shit next season as well. And will have a lot less money because they don’t play CL football.

    (b) Spuds spent 100 million pounds and look like something just a little bit better than fuckin shit (6 place vs. United’s 7th). Maybe it’s just freaky shit.

    (c) Mourinho will win nothing, making him a master of failure with a 360 million pound worth of footballers, while playing anti-football, alienating himself with his ONLY great player.

    (d) Wenger is staying.

    (e) Loserpool will win nothing, too. Suarez will be upset. Hopefully he will go away to Real and we won’t have to hear about those bloody radio thieves for another 10 years or so.

    COYG.

  • jambug

    @Jax @ 11:30 PM

    “how did Arsene manage to pull off such a scoop ahead of all the worlds great clubs. Would that he (Arsene) still had those skills”

    Tommiegun @ 9:42 AM

    “BTW for the record I think you are wrong and Wenger hasn’t lost anything – it’s a combination of (a) other clubs’ scouting systems catching up to Arsenal’s amazing scouting operation of mid 90s and early 2000s (b) financial doping/hijacking by other clubs.”

    Jax @ 10:08 AM

    “Agreed, but on here (untold) if you don’t subscribe to Arsene being the second coming of Jesus the stalkers are all over you.”

    At 11:30 PM you accuse Wenger of having lost his touch in the transfer market.

    At 10:08 AM you agree with Tommie that he hasn’t.

    Before you throw your toys out of the pram I suggest you figure out what you actually mean in the first place.

  • Jax wrote:

    “Agreed, but on here (untold) if you don’t subscribe to Arsene being the second coming of Jesus the stalkers are all over you.”

    I decided to stay out of this thread because I didn’t want to be accused of piling on but it is statements like the above that gets to me.

    While I am one of the Untold gang, I disagree with other regulars quite frequently. There is nothing wrong with holding a contrary view as long as they are not disingenuous or expresses maliciously against the manager, the players or the club. I have written articles about how Ozil is being over-hyped or given more credit than he hasn’t earned. But despite Untold being a den of Ozil lovers, there was little pushback.

    If you post a comment that people disagree with, they will express their disagreement. To be fair to Jax, I have disagreed with him several times in the past and he has always been measured (more measured than me) in his responses. But the statement quoted above is an unfair and libelous one. Being asked to back up a comment that you have later conceded to be inaccurate does not warrant the “second coming” line. And it is such statements that brings bad blood unto threads.

    Having said this, may I plead with the others to bury the hatchet on this matter and move on.

  • more credit than he HAS earned

  • Black Hei

    Jax started out ok. His criticisms were fair. If he thinks that Wenger has lost some of his mojo, it is opinion. He didn’t abuse or use vulgarities or seriously question his competence. Just a passing remark.

    Look why pick on a guy like Jax. If you want a fight, go over to the Grove or Online Gooner where they not only abuse Wenger. They question his integrity. That is something really nasty.

    I like the more positive tone of this blog and come back here because of that. But be careful that you do not become the mirror image of the “WO” bloc. They want Wenger out. That is their right of opinion. But they have to be absolutely nasty, cynical and “piers morgan/myles palmer” about the whole thing. Sometimes it is better to use names for adjectives.

  • Black Hei,

    I am proudly a mirror image of the “WO” bloc. No shame in that for me. We, who comment here, don’t go to ‘fight’ at Le Grove because despite them being our polar opposites, it would be dickish to do so. Let sleeping dogs lie and don’t be an irritant, even if you are a justifiable one.

    Jax was called out for a statement that he has agreed to be inaccurate so I see no reason for: “Agreed, but on here (untold) if you don’t subscribe to Arsene being the second coming of Jesus the stalkers are all over you.” Do you consider that a compliment to his adversary or a spiteful statement? Ironically, that is the type of statement that you would see on Le Grove!

  • bjtgooner

    @Black Hei

    Your comment about Jax: –

    “He didn’t abuse or use vulgarities”

    Jax @ 10.19 pm 10th May: –

    “And yet another of the Untold Doggers shows up.”

    Looks like you are talking rubbish.

    As for Le Groan – in general they do not publish comments supporting our manager, team board etc – they only want to defame, damage and destroy.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    bjtgooner May 10, 2014 at 9:02 pm – I only do jokes ( and an occassionally prayer )for those of unshakable faith in the Lord Wenger .
    For all others ….for lost causes and such …….

    http://www.prayers-for-special-help.com/st-jude-prayer.html
    The Prayer to St Jude

    O most holy apostle, Saint Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honoureth and invoketh thee universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, and of things almost despaired of.

    Pray for me, who am so miserable. Make use, I implore thee, of that particular privilege accorded to thee, to bring visible and speedy help where help was almost despaired of.

    Come to mine assistance in this great need, that I may receive the consolation and succor of Heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly (here make your request) and that I may praise God with thee and all the elect throughout eternity.

    I promise thee, O blessed Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favour, to always honour thee as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to thee.

    Amen.

  • bjtgooner

    @Brickfields

    Thanks for that, the prayer for a lost cause may well be appropriate!

    I don’t think Jax twigged, but in my 9.02 post I used the word “fix” deliberately – as there had been a lively and slightly acrimonious debate involving Jax about “fixes” on the same day on an earlier thread. Too subtle!