Deschamps: For this game, Henry is ‘the enemy’
Arsenal and France legend Thierry Henry finds himself in an awkward position this week.
Currently serving as an assistant coach to Belgium, Henry now sits on the opposite side of the field from his native France, which faces Belgium in a highly-anticipated World Cup semifinal Tuesday afternoon.
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Despite his stature across both teams, Henry’s former teammate and France manager Didier Deschamps has set out to ensure his team knows which side Henry is on, at least for now.
“When you go to a club abroad and play against one from your own country, you are part of the enemy,” Deschamps said at the pre-match press conference. “This time, in an international match, it is much higher. He is facing his home nation. From the time he became an assistant to Roberto Martinez, he did know that can happen. It is a difficult situation – bizarre – it is not easy for him.”
Also on Monday, Belgium star Kevin de Bruyne said it wouldn’t be strange for the team to hear Henry belting out France’s La Marseillaise, the national anthem, because of his history with the team and his home nation.
But it certainly makes for an awkward, if not interesting situation. Henry will surely be doing his best to help Belgium make the World Cup final, but perhaps he won’t feel too bad should France win. By the end of the game, he won’t be an “enemy” anymore.