William Gallas is taking his passive aggression into retirement

So farewell, William Gallas. Thanks for sharing your maverick talent with us, and most of all, for bringing your distinctively French passive-aggressive attitude across the English Channel.

The 37-year-old Perth Glory defender told L’Equipe that he’s retiring after a career that began in his native land with Caen in 1995, progressed chez Marseille and – unusually – encompassed cross-London spells at the capital’s biggest clubs. From 2001 to 2013, he went from Chelsea to Arsenal to Tottenham.

An Arsenal captain joining Tottenham is not the move of a man who wants a quiet life, but the beauty of Gallas is that he just didn’t seem to give a crap about what people thought.

After one of the most traumatic games in Arsenal’s recent history — the 2008 road draw with Birmingham City (2-2) that saw Eduardo suffer a horrific broken leg before stoppage-time penalty essentially derailed the team’s title chances — Gallas, then captain, infamously tried to storm off the field then staged a sit-down protest on the pitch.

Then, in November that year, Arsène Wenger stripped Gallas of the captaincy after he gave an interview suggesting his teammates lacked bravery. This came a month after he was pictured driving away from a nightclub with a cigarette hanging from his mouth, looking like some sort of lounge lizard.

A year, later he scored the crucial goal that put France into the 2010 World Cup at Ireland’s expense – the goal made possible by Thierry Henry’s NBA maneuver in the build-up.

Just before he joined Arsenal, back in the summer of 2006, Gallas wanted to leave Chelsea. The club – the club! – issued a statement claiming he not only refused to play in the opening game of the season but threatened to score an own goal or get a red carded if José Mourinho picked him.

Again: the club said this! “His claims he wanted a new challenge were just a smokescreen to cover up the fact he was hawking himself to the highest bidder,” the very long, very pissed-off Chelsea statement added.

Gallas strongly refuted the allegations. Still, it was the kind of bizarre drama that seemed to fit his personality. He was a player so histrionic that a highlights video was posted to YouTube with a Christina Aguilera song as its soundtrack.

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