Thierry Henry: I almost quit international football after handball incident

Ollie Irish

23rd, November 2009



A Stoke fan holds up an anti-Henry banner during the Prem match against Portsmouth on Sunday

Thierry Henry has admitted he thought about retiring from international football in the wake of Handballgate.

He told French sports daily L’Equipe:

“Friday, when it all went too far, I was very worked up… It’s not the first time (that I thought about retiring). After the 2006 World Cup, I thought about it, but it was too early. After Euro 2008, too, but it wasn’t the right moment. There was a generation that needed me.

“Despite everything that has just happened and the fact that I felt let down, I will not let my country down.”

Henry also said he regretted the way he had celebrated William Gallas’s decisive goal in Paris:

“I shouldn’t have done that but, frankly, it was uncontrollable, after all we had been through.

“The day after the match, and the day after that, I felt alone, really alone.

“It was only after I issued my statement that the people from the French Federation got in touch.”

Slightly hollow words from Henry there. Something about accepting the consequences of your own actions comes instantly to mind. Anyway, that’s more than enough on this topic, but I found these quotes interesting enough to share them. To paraphrase Terry, there was a generation of Pies readers that needed me. Ahem.

Posted in International football, World Cup

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  1. Dan says:

    I’m bracing myself for the inevitable post about the Spurs game…I still haven’t brought myself to watch Match of the Day…please be kind to Wigan Ollie we’ll be hurting for a long time yet!

  2. arseblogger says:

    I know we differ in opinion on this greatly and maybe I’m viewing a touch through Gooner tinted glasses but the vitriol aimed at Henry for this incident is absolutely hysterical.

    If the French Federation didn’t contact him till Friday that’s a sad reflection on them. Don’t you think the FAI would have rallied around Robbie Keane if he’d done it? Or the FA if it were Rooney? While he deserved criticism for the cheating there was no call for the kind of witch hunt that went on.

    Are you actually Irish, btw?

  3. Philando Torres says:

    Yes, what a bastard Henry is. Thank God for the likes of Marlon King, Joey Barton and Lee Bowyer.

  4. Ollie says:

    Careful, Arseblogger – your repeated defence of Henry is beginning to look a tad hysterical too. Methinks the Gooner doth protest too much.

    Look, I agree that the reaction to Henry has been way over the top, and for what it’s worth, I don’t think I’ve been anywhere near the front of the pitchfork-wielding mob. Nowhere near.

    For the record and since you asked, I’m English and stated before the World Cup playoffs that I had no preference for France or Ireland:

  5. arseblogger says:

    I didn’t suggest you were part of the pitchfork mob!

    Anyway, I’m done with this one although I’m not sure how keeping a sense of perspective is hysterical.

  6. Mac says:

    As a Gooner myself we don’t and never have condoned his cheating but purely defending the guys reputation. The guy’s still a legend to me and always will be.

  7. eamogomez says:

    the fact it wasnt a normal game ios d worst. ireland played france off d pitch

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