The Frenchman, who was one of the most sought-after players in Europe for many years, started out at FC Metz and his career took off in France, earning him a lucrative move to the Premier League. He signed for Arsenal FC in 2000 and played a pivotal role in the London club's two most recent title-winning teams, including the famous Invincibles season of 2003/04.
His four-year stint at Villarreal CF began in 2006. Despite picking up a serious knee injury soon after signing for the club, Pires recovered and became one of the most important players in the side that impressively finished second in LaLiga in 2007/08. His final season of professional football was for Indian Super League outfit FC Goa in 2014.