Kolo Toure claims that he gave it his all on trial with Arsenal, so much-so that he slide-tackled Arsene Wenger, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry.
The defender enjoyed seven years of first-team football with the Gunners, with his name going down in history as one our famous Invincibles of 03-04.
Toure believes that it was his hard tackling which earned him his contract in North London however, claiming that he dived in with a two-footed tackle on then-Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger which the manager took as a positive.
“I think that slide-tackle changed my career. It showed the manager just how much I wanted to be successful, and how much I wanted to become a professional footballer. That’s how he took it, anyway,” Toure claimed in an exclusive with FourFourTwo.
“All the players were laughing and I was in shock! I thought they were going to get rid of me there and then.
“But Arsene is an intelligent guy: he only saw a young African boy who was keen to impress him, and gave me that opportunity to express myself and show what I was capable of doing.”
Toure added that he had no idea that he had made a good impression with his audition, stating: “I had no idea. I was a young player at the club and it was a huge step up, but I took my chance.
“I was playing every match like it was the last one for me, giving everything. To play for Arsenal at this time was a big, big thing, and I wanted to show that I was capable of coping with the challenge.
“The older guys were incredible with me. I’ve played in many teams and at many clubs, but I’ll always remember that Arsenal team: big-game players, but great guys as well. I’ll never forget that.
“I’ve found that the players who have achieved the most in their careers are actually some of the most humble.
“My big brothers, I call them. Someone like Dennis Bergkamp: what a guy – so dedicated, and such a great role model every day to be the best you can be.”
Kolo is currently enjoying a key role under Brendan Rodgers as one of Leicester City’s assistant managers, where he has spent the last two years.
Toure will forever be remembered for his time amongst our famous Invincibles, as Wenger will be, but it just goes to show that hard work can go a long way.