World of Sport

Farah: Fans must stand by Arsenal

Double Olympic champion Mo Farah is one of Arsenal's most famous fans and we caught up with him to discuss their hopes of Champions League glory ahead of Tuesday's big game against Bayern Munich.

Farah, who made a nation rejoice with his twin triumphs at the London Games last summer, started supporting the Gunners after growing up in the capital.

He was even made a special pair of Arsenal spikes in 2011 to show his love for the club, who face a stern test when the Bundesliga leaders come to town.

Farah discussed Arsenal's hopes of silverware, his relationship with the club and his dream to represent them with Inga Radel from our German office.

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Why did you become an Arsenal fan?

When I was younger I just loved football and watched it all the time. I played in the playground like all boys, one day dreaming I could be a professional. I did play for my local club and I thought I was good but soon found I was a better runner. The key Arsenal moment for me was the 1993 FA Cup final. Arsenal beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 in a replay and Ian Wright scored in both games.

How close are you to the club and the players?

Living in America now I am not as close as I would like to be. Therefore, no I am not a season ticket holder. After the Olympics I went to a few games and was a guest of the club at one so I got to go on the pitch. I have met a lot of the players and stay in touch with a few of them via text and wishing each other good luck.

On Twitter you once posted a picture of Arsenal team manager Arsene Wenger lifting your daughter Aisha, one of your baby twins. How did that happen?

That was the day I was invited to the game and got so well looked after. I was like a little kid, totally starstruck. I saw Arsene in the tunnel and we have met before so we just started chatting. This was not long after my twin girls were born and so I had to get a photo of him with them.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson promised Usain Bolt he could play in an exhibition game at Old Trafford this year. Have you begged Arsene Wenger yet to play at the Emirates?

I have trained with the team before and so he has seen me play. If the opportunity came up to play I would have to seriously consider it.

What is your opinion on the new German star Lukas Podolski? Before the season, 'Fever Pitch' author Nick Hornby predicted he would become "the biggest star at Arsenal and in the capital – and our hero"...

I think it is taking him a bit of time to settle in. The English game is very different from anywhere else, much faster. I can see him developing in the same way Dennis Bergkamp did at Arsenal and so we will start to see the best of him next season and he will be a great player for us.

Another famous Arsenal fan - film director Spike Lee - recently criticised the Gunners saying: "They gotta spend some money and get some players.“ How do you explain Arsenal's struggles lately? It has been seven-and-a-half years without a trophy now.

You know we would all love to win a trophy every year but that can’t happen. We have gone seven years without one but some clubs have gone 70. As a supporter you have to stand by your club and hope it will come good. We have just signed a lot of young players to long term contracts and if they can all develop together we have the makings of a very good team.

Bayern Munich sensationally signed Pep Guardiola as their new coach for next summer. What is your opinion on Bayern as a club? Are there any Munich players you admire?

Many people in England do not realise how big Bayern Munich are. I heard reports that there were a million fans in Munich for the final last year… that’s a lot of fans! Their whole team is full of great players but I will be looking out for Franck Ribery and particularly Arjen Robben. Robben has caused us problems before and so we need to try and cut down his space. Arsenal are capable of beating anyone on their day but we need to be positive and start well. Too often lately we are only playing when we are a goal or two down.

What is your exact prediction for the result?

My guess would be 2-1 to Arsenal at the Emirates and then 1-1 in the away leg so Arsenal go through 3-2 on aggregate. Theo Walcott scores in Munich to put us through.