The former Arsenal midfielder has sought help from Uefa’s career transition expert, to navigate the world outside the dressing room

Robert Pires will never forget what it was like coming to terms with being a retired footballer. “You don’t want to say stop because I had been playing for 19 seasons and football meant everything to me,” says one of the stars of Arsenal’s Invincibles, who was part of the France team that won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. “Even now, football is my life and it’s in my blood, so that’s why when I said it was game over, it was very difficult to accept.”

Luckily for Pires, help was at hand. He first met Stéphane Ehrhart – a former player who is now Uefa’s career transition expert – in 2009 while playing for Villarreal, when the decision to hang up his boots had barely even crossed his mind.

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