Emmanuel Petit calls France ‘arrogant, smug, lying and hypocritical’ for its treatment of Thierry Henry

As you may have heard: Red Bull New York, Arsenal and France legend Thierry Henry’s career is in a bit of a transitional period. Naturally, when a player of his stature walks away from something, reporters ask everyone who’s ever seen him kick a ball for their retrospective tales.

Usually, these are rose-tinted affairs, full of platitudes and congratulatory gestures, but if we’re lucky someone will drop truth bombs. If we’re extremely lucky, someone will drop their own bizarre, angry, warped, “I’ve been holding this in for years” version of truth bombs, like that one emotional friend of yours after their third Fireball shot.

MORE: Infographic: Remembering Thierry Henry as he leaves New York

Former Arsenal and France international Emmanuel Petit is just that man. In an interview with French outfit Sports.fr, Petit unleashed the fury on his countrymen. In what must have been on his mind for long time, he went off about what he believes to be unfair criticism Henry has received from French media. He went as far as to say France may have been better off had Germany won World War II.

Heated and irrational ranting like this is why microphones were invented:

“In England, they’ve built a statue of Thierry. That means a lot. He is revered there. This bad image [in the French press] of Thierry Henry, it annoys me.”

“What can we reproach Henry for? His handball against Ireland? He helped France qualify for the World Cup in South Africa. He has done nothing.”

“France is hypocritical and cowardly. Sometimes I think that if we’d been overrun by the Germans, we’d be better run.”

Usually, we cherry-pick quotes for the best stuff, like grabbing the good songs from an album off iTunes, but Petit dropped nothing but singles here.

“Wayne Rooney is not hated in England, even though he was not always right in his boots on the field and off. Thierry Henry never had a bad move on the pitch and there were no stories in his private life. He’s not hated but he’s certainly not loved. [Henry] got screwed by the French press after his handball and has since not spoken to the French media.”

Angry diatribes are always better when you drag innocent bystanders into your rage. Happens to the best of us. You’re sitting at a table for dinner before a night out, two of your friends who are dating start a fight. Next thing you know, one of them as pointing at you and bringing your name up as an example of how things could be better or worse. It’s hilarious when it’s someone else; terrifying when it’s you.

More from Petit:

“In France, he has no collusion with the press, so what? Perhaps because he was not smiling when he scored for Les Bleus! Well, that’s what I hate in this country.

“I have great difficulty with the French, I have never seen such arrogant, smug, lying and hypocritical people.”

Go out with a haymaker, Emmanuel! If you’re going to burn the house down, take out the garage, the shed, and poison the well on the way out. Like a boss.


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