Former Arsenal midfielder Edu says that Arsene Wenger treated him like one of the family when he first arrived at the club.
The Brazilian went through a traumatic period at the time, losing his sister just before arriving, and there were issues with his passport that delayed the move.
All of which made his life difficult, but he says the way he was treated by the Arsenal manager helped him settle in and become a key part of title winning sides.
Speaking to ESPN, he said, “The beginning was difficult, it wasn’t easy to adapt. I went through a very difficult personal issue before I arrived in England. I lost my sister a week before I arrived.
“I received a lot of support from Arsene, the period of adaptation was not easy. The weather wasn’t easy either, because I arrived when it was winter in England and summer in Brazil.
“I learned a lot from Arsene Wenger and I carry with me what he taught me until today. He treated me like a son when I lost my sister, he was a guy that embraced not only me but my entire family.”
And he looks back fondly on his time in London, and the players he played alongside.
“The period at Arsenal when I had the opportunity to play alongside Bergkamp, Henry, Pires, Vieira, Ljungberg, Ashley Cole and Lehmann that was a huge team,” he said.
“Thierry Henry really impressed me, he was by far in the best period of his career and one of the best in the world.
“Bergkamp is elegance personified and he is a great person, playing alongside him was incredible.
“In his position Patrick Vieira was one of the best I’ve ever seen and that I have ever played with. He was a complete midfielder and a very nice guy too.”
Edu is now the director of selection for the Brazil national team, and his star as one of the game’s administrators there is rising.
Thanks to @Stillberto for the translation