Eduardo da Silva has admitted he was overcome by emotion when he returned to face Arsenal for the first time, and he still follows the team’s results to this day.
Eduardo played for Arsenal for three years between 2007 and 2010, but his time with the club was cut short by the effects of a horrible leg injury in his first season.
The striker broke his left fibula and dislocated his ankle following a tackle from Birmingham City’s Martin Taylor, and despite scoring 12 goals in just over half a season before that, he only managed ten more in the following two campaigns before leaving.
There was a happy ending of sorts though, as Eduardo returned to the Emirates the following season with Shakhtar Donetsk, playing and scoring against Arsenal. His goal was a late consolation and was applauded by the home support like a goal for their own team. Eduardo says the event made him feel like he never should’ve left.
“I felt like I should have never left Arsenal and I felt very emotional in that game,” he told Arsenal Player. “I was nearly crying when I came back, so I had to try to fight with my emotions inside because it was a very nice reception from the fans. That day was unbelievable.
“Time has gone by very quickly, so I have the same feeling now as I did on my first day. I spent three seasons here and had a great time with great moments.”
Since then, Eduardo has played for Flamengo, Shakhtar Donetsk again, Atletico Paranaense and Legia Warsaw, but he says he still follows Arsenal matches and results.
“When I left in 2010, I understood that the Premier League is the best league in the world and I was missing playing in the Premier League a lot. I watched a lot of games that Arsenal played in the Premier League and Champions League, the League Cup too. It’s the best league in the world and the dream of any player to play in it.
“I still check Arsenal results because it was the best day of my life when I arrived here for the first time. I will never forget my first game. I’m very happy to come back here whenever I can.”
We’ll leave you with some fan footage of the moment Eduardo scored that goal against Arsenal: