Speaking exclusively to SFR, former Arsenal director David Dein explained the camaraderie between members of the club’s Invincibles team with an incredible story.
“For 2014 for the World Cup I was in Brazil, as were you, in Brazil and I hosted a dinner one evening for three of our former Brazilian players. Gilberto Silva, Edu and Sylvinho. And of course both Gilberto and Edu were in that squad. And over the course of the dinner, to your very point. I said to Gilberto tell me about the Invincibles, give me a sense of what it was really like to play for that team. He thought about it, he was very pensive, and then he said: ‘Mr Dein, I will give you an example. He said when we were in the tunnel waiting to go out to the game we were just in the tunnel waiting and the game is about to start and the referees and the assistants are just about to come in, he said we would all be in a line and we had to be in a line for this. (Dein stands up to demonstrate) We would be in the tunnel waiting just before the kick-off, waiting to go out into the stadium, we would always be in the same line. So we would have Patrick Vieira as captain in front, then there would be Thierry, then Jens Lehmann, then myself then Dennis (Bergkamp) then Lauren. And then Sol Campbell. And then he said just before we went on the pitch, Patrick Vieira would turn to Henry and go (nods), with a knowing nod as if to say we were going to do it today. Thierry passed that nod to me, I’d pass it to Jens and it would be going down choreographed all the guys one after the other as if they gave themselves strength before the game. Then they would look over to the opposition, they could see them lining up and they sensed that there was literally fear in their eyes. We knew we could beat them, and he said we gave each other strength. It is a wonderful story.”