KARACHI - Robert Pires, the French attacking midfielder and the winner of 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship, has joined the galaxy of stars coming to Pakistan this summer for an exhibition match in Karachi.

The 43-year old French footballer will join Brazilian star Ronaldinho, countryman Nicolas Anelka, Netherlands’ Goerge Boateng and England’s David James for an exhibition seven-a-side match in July between Pakistan Stars vs Rest of World stars in Pakistan. Pires, the former Arsenal and two times EPL winner, said that he was looking forward to visit Pakistan.

“I am excited about the trip to Pakistan and very impressed with the efforts of the organisers of Leisure Leagues for the growth of football in the country. It will definitely be a great experience for me and I hope I can play my part in making the game grow,” Pires said in a statement released to the media by the organisers of the event.

Pires played for French clubs Metz and Marseille prior to his time with Arsenal, where he won three FA Cups and two Premier League titles including the club's unbeaten season of 2003–04. A former France international, Pires earned 79 caps between 1996 and 2004 for his country, including winning both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000.

He has been included in the PFA Team of the Year for 2001–02, 2002–03 and 2003–04 seasons, was the Player of the Tournament for the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup, FWA Player of the Year for the 2001–02 season, Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year for the 1995–96 season, and was included in the FIFA 100 by Pele. He was also voted by Arsenal fans as the 6th greatest player in the club's history. Pires played the majority of his career as a left winger, but could also play all across the midfield or in a position to support the forward line.



Last year, he started career in football coaching with Arsenal. Ishaq Shah of Leisure Leagues said that Pires is a big name in Football and his arrival in Pakistan will help them achieve the goal of football growth in the country.

“Robert Pires is a true legend of the game and I am sure that with his experience of playing at the top level and winning almost everything in football, he is going to play an immense role in helping us achieve our dream,” said Ishaq Shah