Arsenal full-back Cedric Soares has confessed he has dreamed of succeeding at the Emirates after playing as the Gunners on Football Manager.
Cedric first moved to Arsenal on loan in January 2020 before sealing a free transfer to the club later that year, but he has struggled for minutes this season and has sat on the bench for Arsenal's last seven Premier League games.
In his place, summer signing Takehiro Tomiyasu has been impressing for Mikel Arteta's side.
"I used to play Football Manager a lot with Arsenal," he said. "I knew all the players at the time, when they were champions with [Robert] Pires, [Thierry] Henry and this fantastic team. So, there was always this feeling for Arsenal.
"Once I came to England, I had a chat with my agent [Kia Joorabchian]. I remember I said to him in the first season at Southampton, 'You know where I want to finish? I want to go there [to Arsenal]'.
"He always tells me: 'This is what you want. You are here now. Enjoy.' And it's true. I was able to achieve this, the team I wanted to play for."
Now 30, Cedric admitted that he understands his situation at Arsenal but vowed to continue trying to impress manager Arteta and to be ready whenever he is called upon.
"We haven't had this chat yet this season," he said. "But there are some things you don't need to talk about. With age, you learn how to understand things.
"Last year, I fought a lot to come in the team. Not just one training, two training sessions. No, I was every week -- and you can ask the manager as well -- very consistent. He knows, and that's why I ended up winning a space in the team. This season we haven't qualified for European football, which is frustrating because we have a big squad, everyone wants to play and this affects me as well.
"I'm there fighting. Every week, every day, I will be there knocking [on the door], making him a problem - in a good way - that he needs to think who to put on the pitch. Of course, it is his decision. I respect that and he knows that. But I will not make it easier. Never. This is how I grow up in my career: fight and win. And also [the Portugal] national team, it wasn't straightforward to play but I ended up winning my space. It is like this.
"Some players just have it a little bit easier. With me, I know I always had to fight a little bit extra to get it and in the end I was there."
Source : 90min