Thierry Henry, the sad news


By: Manu Tournoux

World champion with the Blues in 1998, Thierry Henry hoped to compete in the Sydney Games two years later. The elimination of France was particularly painful for the former Monegasque.

Thierry Henry will not lack work in the coming weeks. Because the French coach of the Bleuets will have to arm himself with all his powers of persuasion to convince the clubs to release their players for the Olympic Games. The task promises to be immense and the former striker is preparing for numerous refusals.

“The Olympics are not FIFA dates, it’s incomprehensible. So, we try to come and chat, to say a 'please' », he whispered in the columns of the Parisianadding: “I don’t think it will come from French clubs this time, well I hope so. But foreign clubs will tell me that they like our country, that it's nice, but that if the player gets injured, what do they do? »

“I cried about not making the Sydney Olympics”

Thierry Henry assures him, as a coach, he would never have prevented one of his players from competing in the Olympic Games. “But when you are the coach of a club, you follow its rules”he nevertheless conceded before insisting on what the Games represent in his eyes: “The Olympics are the only time when everyone wonders who won a medal. No matter the sport, on this day, we all love it. Knowing who won a medal is the question of the day, and it brings all sports together. At the Games, you are on a team that is part of a bigger team. For me, it's just extraordinary! »

The elimination of the French hopeful team in November 1999 despite the presence of Thierry Henry, who returned to the Espoirs after the Blues' coronation at the World Cup, but also Willy Sagnol, William Gallas and Mickaël Landreau, is a heartbreak. “The Games at home are once every hundred years. I still remember that I cried when, in qualifying in November 1999, we were eliminated by Italy of Gattuso and Pirlo. I didn't shed a tear when I won the World Cup, but I cried not to make the Sydney Olympics. That shows how important this competition is to me,” he said.

Forced to a draw in the first leg in Créteil (1-1), the French junior team was beaten 2-1 after extra time on the return leg in Taranto. Thierry Henry opened the scoring in the first minutes of the match but in the process, Christian Bassila was sent off.

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