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Gilberto`s loyalty is rewarded

Gilberto`s loyalty is rewarded

Arsenal have formally confirmed that Gilberto Silva has sealed his move to Panathanaikos ending 6 years at the club having joined in August of 2002 as a member of Brazil`s winning World Cup team.

A dignified and quite man with great depth of character he is known as the 'invisible wall` to his Brazilian colleagues. It`s a phrase that also gives some clue to his often underestimated contribution to the Arsenal team as some fans failed to see what his game was about. Gilberto`s value to the team had as much to do with what he did when he didn`t have the ball as what he did with it. Not that he was a slouch with the ball as his pass completion rate often demonstrated but his calm assurance didn`t catch the eye as often as someone making desperate last ditch tackles might. His 213 starts and 31 substitute appearances yielded 24 goals. At one time including the fastest goal in the champions league at 10.7 seconds until Roy Makaay notched up one a half second faster five years later. But of more note he also has the distinction of being the first ever Arsenal player to score in a top flight competitive match at the Emirates with a late equaliser against Villa in the stadiums opening premier league encounter. How appropriate it is that the mark the quiet man should make in the history books is one as indelible as that!

In his transfer I think Arsenal did right by him, recognising the value of his loyalty and his support. Gilberto apparently becomes Greek footballs highest paid player. The defensive midfielder, less than 3 months short of his 32nd birthday, can complete his career on a secure 3-year agreement. In not holding out for top dollar the club can take some satisfaction in its pragmatic approach to helping Gilberto get the best deal for himself.

Acting managing director Ken Friar had confirmed: "We had other offers but we respected Gilberto's desire to sign for Panathinaikos."

In today`s transfer market the transfer fee reported to be £1.25m is little more than a nominal sum but a sum that ensures that what will in all probability be Gilberto`s last major career contract is one on the terms that he wanted. I`d like to think that loyalty has its reward sometimes.

Fare thee well Gilberto - and thanks.

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Date:Thursday July 17 2008
Time: 4:40PM


It's refreshing for a change to see a player leave with heart-felt best wishes from the players,management and fans alike. Good luck to you Bert !!!
17/07/2008 16:46:00
There goes a player I have a lot of respect for, I wish him the best. I always thought he should have been captain over Gallas but I guess Flamini took his position.
17/07/2008 16:47:00
Great pro, unsung hero. Good luck and thanks Gilberto!
17/07/2008 16:47:00
I'm really sad to see him go, he's such a good man. I was shocked when Henry left, couldn't care less what Hleb does, but this really affects me. Big up to the club for being as decent as the player. Good luck, Gilberto, see you back at the Arsenal for your testimonial in a few years.
17/07/2008 16:54:00
He deserves all the praise he could ever get. Never has a player been so proffesional, down-to-earth, humble and dedicated as Gilberto. I hope we can still get to give him a testimonial some time.
17/07/2008 16:55:00
Gilberto had very humble beginnings. Supporting his family he worked himself out of poverty and I cannot help but feel that in doing so he gained both a strong work ethic and an admirable humility. At all times during his tenure at Arsenal he conducted himself in a quiet, highly professional manner, something which some of the Flash Harry's (are you listening David Bentley?) of the premier league could pay serious attention to. There is no need to wax lyrical using phrases like "loyal servant", for they are over used clichès and in fact do not do the man justice. Gilberto was never a servant, but an inspiration.
17/07/2008 16:56:00
Now that Bert along with Flamini & Diarra in january have left, who do you think will play in that holding position. Bierhoff, Diaby, Denilson, Djourou, Toure converted to DM, Ramsey... or a signing of Barry, Alonso, Yaya, Veloso or other? I hope we bring a defensive minded player with a good engine who can distribute the ball well. I think Denilson could also do the job, but is it a step to far for him next season.
17/07/2008 16:56:00
somewhere in Portsmouth, Diarra is sitting at his computer, reading this news and wondering what could have been, realizing that he would now be our number 1 defensive midfielder. And finally, just at that moment, he knows what all of us have known since christmas: He's an idiot!
17/07/2008 16:57:00
I agree afri, Diarra's lack of patience is all the more stark when you compare it to Gilberto's attitude. And bear in mind one of these two has a world cup winners medal, so who should have the big head? Au contraire!
17/07/2008 17:02:00
All because Diarra wanted to make the France squad for the Euros ha ha good move! Maybe Arsene will give Song a go???
17/07/2008 17:06:00
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