AC Milan legend Alessandro Costacurta has revealed that he snubbed a move to Tottenham Hotspur in the past because of his love for Arsenal.
The 50-year-old Italian won seven Serie A titles and five UEFA Champions League in his 21-year spell at Sansiro. He is seen as one of the finest defenders of the game of all-time.
Costacurta who is scheduled to play in the AC Milan vs Arsenal legends match at the Emirates on Saturday said that Spur manage Gerry Francis back in 1996 was desperate to sign him for the North London club but he declined because of his love for Arsenal.
‘The idea of living in London was very exciting,’ Costacurta told Arsenal.com.
‘But I finally refused and you know why? Because I couldn’t betray my English love. The truth is that I’ve been a keen Arsenal fan since my childhood, and playing for ‘our’ bitter rivals would have been high treason.
‘When I was younger I liked the Arsenal shirt, the stadium, and some of the players from the 1980s such as Liam Brady.
‘And I’ve always gone against the tide. All my friends were Manchester United or Liverpool fans, so I picked Arsenal and I’ve never changed my mind.’
Costacurta won 24 major trophies during his time with Milan but he counts playing at Highbury in the 1995 Cup Winners’ Cup as one of the highlights of his trophy-laden career.
‘The first game is possibly one of the favourite matches of my entire career,’ said Costacurta.
‘Not so much because of the game itself, which was very intense but perhaps not very exciting as the final score was a 0-0 and the only time we were really under threat was at set pieces.
‘It was more for the setting of Highbury. [The] Emirates is wonderful and over time it will gain its own mythical aura, but Highbury was unique.’