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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 September 2005, 12:48 GMT 13:48 UK
Gilberto signs Arsenal extension
Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva
Brazilian midfielder Gilberto Silva has signed a new contract with Arsenal which keeps him at the club until 2009.

The 28-year-old joined Arsenal from Atletico Mineiro in July 2002, shortly after playing in every minute of his Brazil's victorious World Cup campaign.

And he is a hugely important figure in Arsenal's team, particularly after the summer departure of Patrick Vieira.

Already he has amassed 120 appearances, winning the Premiership in 2004 and the FA Cup in 2003 and 2005.

Gilberto is now the senior member of Arsenal's midfield - with youngsters Matthieu Flamini and Cesc Fabregas looking to benefit from his experience.

It is not a situation that worries Gilberto, even though he also saw his compatriot Edu leave Highbury in the close season.

He added: "There is much more responsibility for me but I'm very confident I can do my best for the team.

"I am the oldest in my position but it doesn't matter who I play with because they are good players.

"Cesc and Mathieu are young but they have shown how good they are and that's why the boss has confidence in them.

"Of course we have missed Patrick and Edu because they are fantastic players and fantastic people.

"If anyone was down in the dressing room then Patrick would help them. But we need to continue."


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