We caught up with France Football’s Philippe Auclair to talk about playing 5 aside at Highbury, the 1970 Peru shirt with a sash and that Raul goal for Real Madrid against Manchester United.
What was your first football shirt?
Finding club shirts was impossible in France until quite recently (make that reasonably recently), otherwise I guess I’d have got the 1976 green St Etienne one, like everybody else.
I had to wait until I came to England. Even then, I didn’t buy into the idea of wearing a jersey I could never dream of putting on by right. I finally relented in 2006, yes, that late, to play five-a-side at Highbury just before the bulldozers moved in. It had to be an Arsenal shirt, and it was that season’s so-called ‘cherry’ home kit.
What is your favourite football shirt?
Easy. The 1970 World Cup Peru strip. I have a thing about the sash thing. Red and white, classic, classy. Not a bad team either.
What is your favourite goal?
In terms of raw emotion, Henry’s bulldozing run through half of Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in the 2005-06 Champions League and Clint Dempsey’s tie-decider for Fulham against Juve in the Europa League. In both cases, I forgot press-box etiquette and celebrated wildly.
In terms of sheer beauty, Raul’s goal to make it 3-0 in the 3-2 win by Real Madrid at Old Trafford in April 2000. What I regret is that clips of this goal never include the first telling pass in that move, a lovely scoop by Steve McManaman to send Redondo – one of my all-time favourite players – racing on the left flank. The rest, the ‘forward back-heel’ past Henning Berg, the measured cross, Raul’s perfect run and ‘easy’ finish, everyone knows about.