Mathieu Flamini holding the FA Cup. [Getty]
France international Mathieu Flamini says Arsenal greats Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp made him understand the importance of hard work when he first arrived at the club.
Flamini, who moved from Ligue 1 side Marseille to north London in 2004 - when the Invincibles were dominating the Premier League, recently explained how he took his game to the next level after taking advice from Henry and Bergkamp when he was 20-years-old.
“With Bergkamp and Henry there, there was a lot of class and so much quality,” he told Arsenal Player.
“It was impressive to play next to them and pleasurable. Just looking at them playing was a great lesson in football.
“I learnt to work. Work is very important and they were giving everything in training. Every little game was a fight, every little game was important to win and since then I have felt the same. Every game has to be won. The winning mentality is something that I remember well.
“I was very impressed because they were already top players and it was a chance to be with them every day, play with them and learn from them. I was feeling lucky but I wanted to be part of that group.
“I believed I was good enough to play with them but of course you have to work hard and raise your level to their level. You want to be able to play next to them and satisfy them, especially when you play in a little game. You have to give everything and make sure you’re at their level.”