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Arsenal legend Henry felt like outsider inside France camp

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry says he felt "isolated" while with France at the World Cup.

The France squad flew back from South Africa yesterday following a dismal performance where they mustered a solitary point from three games and gained notoriety for a training ground boycott in protest at the decision by the French Football Federation (FFF) to send home Nicolas Anelka following a bust-up with the coach, Raymond Domenech.

"I could have been the older brother but I wasn't any more," Henry told Canal+. "I felt isolated, it doesn't matter who by. They didn't talk to me as they used to. Before they talked to me more. But when you don't have credibility in a group any more it becomes difficult.

"I felt isolated and at a certain point your pride takes a hit."

Henry believes the Anelka controversy was not the reason behind France's exit but rather the rot had already set in. However, the Barcelona striker claims the squad were always united.

"I don't know whether the Anelka matter was the triggering factor," said Henry. "There was certainly a sickness. But I don't think you can talk of clans. I can tell you that I never saw any fights, I didn't see anyone put any pressure on whoever.

"Decisions were group ones. The main reason for this fiasco is that we didn't play well. Unfortunately we entered into debates, invented stories...

"But we shouldn't look the other way. We weren't good enough. When a team wins, everything can happen; when there are defeats, doubt comes in and stories start getting invented."

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Tribal Football Staff

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