Henry hails retiring Zidane
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Arsenal star Thierry Henry has paid a glowing tribute to Zinedine Zidane.
Arsenal star Thierry Henry has paid a glowing tribute to retiring France star Zinedine Zidane.
Zidane's career drew to a close amid shameful scenes in Berlin on Sunday, as he was sent off in the World Cup final having felled Marco Materazzi with a headbutt.
The incident is threatening to cast a shadow not only over a great career but also the fact that he was named the best player at the tournament after landing the Golden Ball award.
Henry claims he has yet to talk to Zidane about the incident, but feels the world should remember the great footballer rather than focus on the red card in Berlin.
"The only thing I can say to him (Zidane) is thank-you," Henry said on Sky Sports News.
"I think everyone should say the same thing because if we had won they would have said what a penalty to take in the final of the World Cup," Henry added in reference to Zidane's audacious early spot kick which put France ahead.
"I think the world should say thank-you to Zidane.
"Everyone should say thank-you as not only was he a great player, he was a great man and not only France but the rest of the world will miss him."
Although in the dark over the chain of events which led to Zidane's wild attack on Materazzi, Henry feels the Italian defender must have provoked his fellow countryman.
"I don't really know what happened between Materazzi and Zizou," he said. "It is something we did not want to mention in the dressing room.
"I don't know what Materazzi said to Zizou. But he must have said something."
Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre is sad that Zidane's career ended on such a low note.
"It is a sad way to end his career," stated the France defender. "But he will be remembered as a great player, a great human being and as one of the best."
Commenting on the incident, Silvestre added: "He was really disappointed with himself.
"He knows he should have done better, but sometimes you can't control your reaction."