Former Arsenal forward Gervinho says his time with the Gunners was one of the best moments of his life.

The Ivorian moved to the London club in 2011, a move that made the striker shed tears of joy.

Gervinho played 66 times scoring only 11 goals in his two years at the Emirates.

The 31-year-old however blames Arsene Wenger for his failure at the club, having been played out of position by the Frenchman.

But the Parma striker still think very highly of his short stink in the English capital, where he achieved a childhood dream.

“Arsenal are the team that have left the biggest mark on me, without a doubt. I lived a dream. Any kid who starts playing can’t help but to dream to play at a club like Arsenal.

“The day I signed I cried. I remember it like it was today: it was in 2011. I told all my family and was jumping for joy. It was a source of great pride to sign with a club like that.

“I didn’t lose my smile from the first to the last match at Arsenal. I remember when I left I wanted to thank everyone, even the dressing-room staff.”

Gervinho had to fight his way to the top leagues of European having started his career as a youth player for ASEC Mimosas in 1998.

He moved to Europe in 2005 when he joined Belgian side Beveren from Ivorian club side, Toumodi. He has since played for Le Mans, Lille, Arsenal, Roma and Hebei China Fortune before joiing his current club, Parma.

The forward lifted the lid on his time playing youth football in his homeland.

“You must never forget where you came from. I was born in a tiny place in Ivory Coast, so being a protagonist in this life is a dream. I started playing football in Abidjan, my African town, without even having shoes on my feet.

“I was lucky to go on to have a good life, thanks to my passion. I played in the club of my dreams, Arsenal. I won a league title and a French Cup.

“I brought the Africa Cup to the people of my country and felt like a hero. I had great champions as teammates and I think I have many years in my career ahead of me.

“I have no regrets, I just want to enjoy every moment, every action, every shot on goal, because all of a sudden one day it will all end and without football life is sad.

“When I grew up I had to play without boots. In Ivory Coast it’s very hard to have normal shoes, so just imagine football boots – they were considered a true luxury.

“In the academy where I grew up there were only players with no shoes like me and when I went back a few years ago I played with no shoes next to them.

“But in that academy, it became a philosophy. They tell the kids: ‘You play with no shoes on, so you learn how to better control the ball. When you have shoes it will be much easier and you’ll become champions.’

“And after many years, after reaching some milestones, you finally get those boots. Joy after suffering, always with a smile. Unforgettable.”

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