Referee Martin Atkinson has named Tomas Rosicky as his favourite player to officiate and he says he got along well with the former Arsenal man.
Rosicky was at Arsenal for ten years and endured an injury-hit spell at the Emirates.
He was one of the fans’ favourites at the club and seemed to have a very likeable personality about him.
The Gunners enjoyed his talents, but they are not the only ones who enjoyed his personality.
It is rare that players have a bond of any type with a referee, but Rosicky enjoyed one with Atkinson, with the Premier League official admitting recently that he was his favourite player to officiate.
He said somehow he and the former midfielder always got on and he enjoyed refereeing games he played.
A few years down the line, Rosicky chose him to officiate his testimonial in the Czech Republic.
Atkinson, 50, said via Sun Sports: “I’ve been lucky that I’ve got on with the vast majority of players but one that stands out is Tomas Rosicky.
“I always got on really well with him. We just pleasantly got on, not best mates or owt like that but he was always really respectful.
“And when he left Arsenal, when he retired eventually, an unknown email came through and it was from Sparta Prague asking if I will go out and referee his retirement game.
“You just never expect that and it was just a nice thing.”
Although he played less than he would have loved to play, Rosicky won two FA Cups and one Community Shield with the Gunners.