Samir Nasri: 'Arsène Wenger was a role model'

Samir Nasri talks through his UEFA Champions League journey; his "role model" Arsène Wenger, adapting in Manchester and rekindling his first love at Sevilla.

Samir Nasri with Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger
Samir Nasri with Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger ©Getty Images

On Marseille ...
I was very determined, I had a lot of desire and I was very ambitious. I had talent, of course – that's why the academy signed me and why Olympique de Marseille wanted me at only nine years old. But I also had that desire to be the best – to do more than everyone else – and that's what allowed me to become a professional footballer at only 17 years of age.

On Arsenal ...
Arsenal were a team I already really liked because Arsène Wenger was their manager and there were always a lot of French players. In 2004, when I started out, they had their 'Invincibles' team, with Henry, Pirès and Vieira, and in France we used to watch that team a lot. When I met Arsène Wenger, he was a role model and it was a great opportunity to work with him. I didn't hesitate for a second.

Nasri spent five seasons in Manchester
Nasri spent five seasons in Manchester©AFP/Getty Images

On Manchester City ...
It gave me the chance to win trophies: the Premier League, the League Cup and the Community Shield. We didn't really have much success in the Champions League apart from last season when we got to the semi-finals. As a player I progressed in a lot of ways because I was playing in a side with a lot of big-name players. I had to be able to adapt. I had to work for the team. I've got very fond memories because of two very good seasons; there were others that weren't so good but that helped me to become tougher mentally.

On Sevilla ...
I needed to rediscover my love for the game, for playing. Last season I was injured for six months so I missed playing football. Sevilla have won three Europa Leagues in a row, and now they're playing in the Champions League. They're competing to get into the top four in the Liga, so on a sporting level it was a very interesting challenge. I also really enjoy the lifestyle and the climate.

Highlights: Sevilla 4-0 Dinamo Zagreb
Highlights: Sevilla 4-0 Dinamo Zagreb