Robert Pires refutes Danny Mills' claims about diving

Pires Henry Penalty Discussion

Former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires hits back at accusations made by former Leeds United full-back Danny Mills regarding diving in English football.

Former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires has told The Times that he "never intentionally disrespected anyone" during his time in the Premier League.

Pires was speaking in response to comments made by former Leeds United defender Danny Mills, who says that the winger brought diving to English football when he arrived in North London in 2000.

The former French international was known for his directness and trickery on either flank, and developed a reputation for earning the Gunners a number of set pieces in each match.

Pires has acknowledged that he used to "look for a foul" during his six-year stint with the Gunners, but he has refuted claims made by Mills, who was often involved in tussles with Pires during his time at Elland Road, which continued when he transferred to Middlesbrough and Manchester City respectively.

The 42-year-old said: "I didn’t bring diving to England. There was one controversy against Portsmouth, but there was contact.

“When you run fast with the ball and dribble, a slight touch from a defender or even movement towards you can unbalance you.

“I looked for a foul sometimes, I provoked the defender for sure and most of the time I dribbled past, but I never dived and have never intentionally disrespected anyone.”

Pires scored a total of 84 goals in 284 appearances in all competitions during his time in North London, before making the switch to Villarreal in 2006.

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