England legend confronted by Chelsea and Arsenal icon and told 'I hate you' – Football News

England legend confronted by Chelsea and Arsenal icon and told 'I hate you'

Stuart Pearce wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea back in the day (Image: Getty)

Stuart Pearce says Emmanuel Petit told him he hated him when they crossed paths recently. The former England defender, 62, wasn’t one for taking prisoners back in his heyday and earned the charming nickname ‘Psycho’ thanks to his unforgiving playing style.

He’s mellowed a fair bit since retirement, but that didn’t stop former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder Petit reminding him how unbearable he used to be. Speaking to Rio Ferdinand on his FIVE podcast, Pearce said Petit told him that everyone in France’s team despised him thanks to his antics during a match against England back in the early 90s.

“I bumped into Emmanuel Petit a couple of weeks ago,” Pearce revealed. “He came up to me and went, ‘… I hate you’, and I said, ‘We’ve never met before’.

“He said, ‘When I played for France at Euro 92 you were screaming at the bench and all us French people hate you’, and I said, ‘Good, I’ve done something right then’ [laughs].”

Pearce started each of England’s three games at the tournament, which was held in Sweden, but the Three Lions ended up crashing out at the first hurdle. They finished rock bottom of a group featuring France, Sweden and eventual winners Denmark, registering two 0-0 draws and one defeat before being sent packing.

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Emmanuel Petit told Stuart Pearce he “hated” him (Image: Getty)

Petit, 53, was an unnused sub in each of France’s three group matches at the tournament, so could only watch from the bench as his country, like England, failed to make the knockout rounds of the competition they’d won eight years before. The soon-to-be ponytailed maestro was playing for Monaco at the time under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger.

When ‘Le Professeur’ moved to Arsenal, Petit followed shortly after, and quickly established himself as one of the finest centre midfielders in the Premier League, forming a formidable partnership with compatriot Patrick Vieira. Fortunately for the Frenchman, meetings with Pearce, who was playing for Newcastle at the time, were few and far between.

The pair only shared the pitch three times before Petit joined Barcelona in 2000. He returned to England a year later after signing for Chelsea, but form and fitness problems prevented him from making a notable impact at Stamford Bridge.


Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1917490/England-Chelsea-Arsenal-Stuart-Pearce-Emmanuel-Petit