Gallas: My favourite London club? I felt like the King of England at one of them

Former Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham defender William Gallas has told FourFourTwo that the 'most special time' of his career in London came while at Stamford Bridge.

The Frenchman won two Premier League titles and the League Cup with the Blues, for whom he made more than 200 outings after joining from Marseille in 2001.

Gallas featured in 101 Premier League games for Arsenal before switching to arch rivals Tottenham in 2010, skippering Spurs to a famous 3-2 victory at the Emirates.

But the 39-year-old says that being able to lift the league title with Chelsea, and becoming a regular starter for France as a result, rank among his best memories.

Speaking exclusively in the September 2017 issue of FourFourTwo magazine, Gallas says: “I liked all three, but maybe Chelsea was the most special time for me. It was my first club abroad and I had a great time there, winning a few trophies as well.

I liked all three, but maybe Chelsea was the most special time for me. It was my first club abroad and I had a great time there, winning a few trophies

“And it was there that I first started my international career as well. When you are playing for a big club you expect to lift trophies. When I won the Premier League with Chelsea I felt like the King of England [Laughs]. You want to keep experiencing that.”

Portraits: Richard Cannon

Gallas left Spurs in 2013 and called time on his playing career a year later following a stint in Australia at Perth Glory. But the stopper says he could have added to his collection of London clubs, with West Ham and Crystal Palace potential suitors.

“I think my agent actually did talk with [West Ham], but I am not 100 per cent sure,” he reveals. “What I clearly recall, though, is that I had a meeting with Crystal Palace in the summer of 2013. Ian Holloway was manager at the time and we met at the training ground to discuss a deal, but it didn’t come off in the end.

I had a meeting with Crystal Palace in the summer of 2013. Ian Holloway was the manager at the time and we met at the training ground to discuss a deal, but it didn’t come off in the end

“During the same summer I tried to go back to Marseille, to offer them my experience, but they didn’t offer me a deal despite me saying that I would halve my salary. I also spoke to Claudio Ranieri, who was the manager of Monaco. He seemed happy to sign me but later explained that the board had ruled it out. In the end I signed for Perth Glory.”

Read more from William Gallas in the September 2017 issue of FourFourTwo.

Accompanied by our 100-page Season Preview, the magazine features the 99 things we want from the new campaign, including interviews with Ilkay Gundogan, David Alaba and Christian Eriksen. Plus, we hit the Lake District to watch Football League players go through a gruelling pre-season boot camp, reflect on Brighton’s 20-year rise from the brink of non-league to the top flight, remember the gaffes, garish kits and cheerleaders from the Premier League’s inaugural season and ask 'Where have all the goalmouth scrambles gone?' Order your copy today here and then subscribe!