He came. He saw. He conquered!! It gives us Gooners great happiness and a sense of pride when one of “our own” achieves something big. Whether it is a title win or an individual honour, or somewhere far away a small achievement earned. Anyone who is or was associated with the club, a loyal member of the family always gets our recognition for it. Though the player I am going to talk about did not win a long list of titles at the Emirates, his contribution through our rebuilding phase has been unforgettable. He signed for Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund on the 23rd May 2006 and the stadium was opened on the 22nd of July, that very year, which signifies his special connection with the club. The youngest and oldest player ever to brace the Euros with his presence and that is just the icing on the cake. Tomas Rosicky!!
Still remember the 19 emotional minutes that he played last season, as he replaced Nigerian international Alex Iwobi in the 2-1 win over Burnley in the FA Cup back in February. The 35 year old had said he was lost for words when talking to the club’s official website.
“It was unbelievable, something I didn’t expect. Since the moment I started to warm up on the sidelines, it was exceptional. Honestly, I had tears in my eyes after being such a long time out.”
Rosicky came on the pitch with cheers all around, getting the respect that he deserved for his dedication and loyalty to the club. It was a proud moment as we stood up to salute the man, who had given us so many memories over the years.
After a knee injury took away seven months of his career, the player fought hard to make an appearance, one last time. One last moment, the rush of adrenaline as he walked on to the pitch to play in a “RED AND WHITE”.
Injuries and Arsenal have had an intense romance in the last decade or so, yet not many have remained in north London to fight for a place in the team over the years.
When he moved to England, Rosicky was one of the best in the continent and everyone wanted to sign him. Franz Beckenbauer urged Bayern Munich to sign him, while Pavel Nedved, wanted him at Juventus alongside Emerson and Patrick Vieira. With Atletico Madrid not considering him good enough and Dortmund a small club, his one-way ticket to Spain was eventually canceled.
The Czech Republic coach in 2004, Karel Bruckner had suggested, “There have been about 70 clubs interested.” Such was the “charisma” of the man they called “THE LITTLE MOZART”, for his unique ability to “orchestrate” the midfield.
That season Wenger had won the double with Arsenal back then, while Rosicky was collecting back-to-back Footballer of the Year honours, along with the Czech Golden Ball in 2002. With Dortmund winning the Bundesliga for the sixth time in nearly half a century along with the UEFA Cup runners-up place, a union in the future was in place.
When the 20 year midfielder initially moved to Germany from Sparta Prague at the start of 2001, the club had to pay €23.3m(£18m), which was a huge amount at that time. He started off with a bang in his debut season at his new club, scoring twice and creating three more, as his team won five in a row in August.
Though there were many ups and downs in the days to come, the player helped the German outfit achieve what not many had thought was possible, prior to his exit from the club, making history everywhere he went.
We were just so lucky to witness such a magician play for us, represent us at the top level. He came to us at his best, stayed with us through our tough times and grew into a respected veteran. Though, he had his issues with injuries, he was a pillar that held the club together when Arsenal needed it the most.
Anyone who played with him would say that Rosicky was and will always be one of the best they could have played with, which he showcased with the effort that he put in the Euros as well, prior to his injury. The man gave it his all every single time he went on to the pitch and he shall forever remain in our hearts!!