‘10 Russian supermodels were waiting’: Ex-Arsenal defender claims Lokomotiv Moscow set up HONEY TRAP before Champions League clash
It is a tactic usually reserved for secret services around the world, but ex-Arsenal defender Pascal Cygan claims Lokomotiv Moscow attempted to deploy a honey trap to ensnare Gunners players ahead of a UEFA Champions League game.
Cygan claims the Russian team arranged for a bevy of beauties to meet the Arsenal players at their hotel in the build-up to a Champions League group stage clash in September of 2003.
Recalling the scene to a French news outlet, Pascal said: "When we entered our hotel in Moscow there were 10 Russian top models waiting for us.
"They were seated in front of the bar. We were later told that they had been there to tire us out during the night before the match.”
He added: "We didn't lose, and as far as I remember none of our players was stupid enough to fall into the trap.
“That was just as well, given the situation at that time. Stories about players' private lives used to appear regularly in the papers.”
The Frenchman started on the bench for the game in the Russian capital, which ended in a 0-0 draw.
Arsenal won the return game 2-0 in London and ended up topping the group on 10 points, while Lokomotiv progressed in second, two points behind.
The Russians went out to eventual finalists Monaco on away goals in the next round, while the Gunners fell to Premier League rivals Chelsea in the quarterfinals.
Cygan, 45, made 98 appearances for the Gunners after joining from Lille in 2002. He was largely restricted to a squad role, but helped the North Londoners to the Premier League title in 2003/04 as part of the famous ‘Invincibles’ side featuring the likes of Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp.
He moved on to Villarreal in Spain for a fee of £2 million in the summer of 2006.
Whether or not his Moscow honey trap claims are true, or whether it just happened to be a particularly eye-catching line-up at the hotel bar that night, will likely remain a mystery.