Pires eager to return
By Laurent Picard & Francisco Acedo
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Villarreal midfielder Robert Pires is eager to return to action in the near future.
Villarreal midfielder Robert Pires is eager to return to action after undergoing surgery to repair damaged knee ligaments.
The former Metz and Marseille man, who joined the Spanish club on a free transfer from Arsenal in the summer, has yet to appear for The Yellow Submarines this season.
The 33-year-old damaged the cruciate ligament in his left knee during a friendly game with Cadiz back in August, with the France international not expected back until the latter stages of the current campaign.
"Unfortunately, I am used to being injured," Pires told Football365.
"I know there is still a long way, but I have to be patient. I have been operated on three months ago, so I am at half of the way.
"That is annoying for the club's chairman, who has invested a lot on me and who still believes in me. That is why I am disappointed.
"But injuries are part of the footballer's life.
"It is very frustrating because I haven't been able to start in the league. I am close to the end, so I wanted to show that I could impose myself in another league because I have proved my worth in both the French and English leagues.
"I know the critics said my transfer to Villarreal was a sunny pre-retirement.
"If I wanted to pre-retire, I would have stayed with my Arsenal comfort. It would have been easier.
"I came to a new club, a new life, a new league. It is true that I can't wait to come-back, but the medical staff are here to calm me.
"There are steps to respect in order not to be injured again. I am patient and impatient at the same time.
"I am not a fatalist but I can't do anything against my bad luck in 2006. It is high time for me that 2006 ends."
Despite the injury setback, Pires has enjoyed his time at El Madrigal and appreciates the quality there is in the squad.
"Villarreal have great players - Riquelme, Forlan, Tacchinardi, Nihat - high level players!" he added.
"They are skilled players and I want to win titles with them. I am so motivated!
"You can't compare Arsenal to Villarreal. Here, there is great sunshine, it is extraordinary!
"The main difference is the quality of the life: sea, sun, paella. Villarreal is like a neighbourhood of London!"
Meanwhile, Villarreal's Argentine defender Rodolfo Arruabarrena is unsure if he will receive a new contract from the club.
The former Boca Juniors player's current deal expires in June 2007, and the 31-year-old has not spoken with Villarreal's directors regarding his future.
The South American believes it is too soon to know if he has a future at El Madrigal, and is just concentrating on his football.
"My agent is in Spain and has spoken with the directors but there is no fresh news," Arruabarrena said. "The club is concerned with other matters (at the moment).
"My objective is to work and play. After that, the time will arrive to have talks.
"Logically, I am happy in Villarreal and I want it to continue."