In open rebellion against their manager, France’s 2010 squad self-destructed as Thierry Henry watched impassively
Thierry Henry had more pressing matters to attend to before he could lose himself in his New York dreamscape [he was joining New York Red Bulls from Barcelona in the summer 2010], starting with his uneasy position within the French national team. How uneasy it was was demonstrated in the lead-up to the South African World Cup, when Raymond Domenech chose to play Henry from the bench in France’s warm-up games against Costa Rica and Tunisia, in which the hitherto “captain for life” was a mere passenger.
In the first of these two encounters, in which Les Bleus actually showed a surprising degree of enterprise and imagination, the armband had been given to Patrice Evra – who’d kept it on when Thierry entered the fray in the second half. Domenech poo-poohed the idea that this was proof of Henry’s declining status within the squad. But more people would’ve been inclined to take the manager at his word if a French TV network hadn’t found out that he’d visited Thierry in Barcelona shortly before this game, in order to strike a deal that would preserve both men’s self-regard and ambitions.