Petit admits regret over Arsenal exit & Wenger phone call

Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit admits he regrets the way he left the club in 2000.

The Frenchman departed the Gunners for Barcelona in a move that did not pan out as he expected.

Petit spoke with then Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger soon after France won the Euros in the summer of 2000 and stated his desire to leave if a big enough offer arrived.

He said to Ladbrokes, per the Daily Mirror: “I fell in love with Arsenal and the supporters very quickly, and it was a big mistake when I left the club.

“I look back now and I know I left the club simply because of my ego.

“When I won the Euros with France in 2000, I had two weeks off and I remember being in France with my ex-wife.

“She was driving and my phone rang, I could see it was Arsene so I answered and he told me Barcelona wanted to sign me.

“I asked Arsene what he thought and he said ‘if you want to go, good luck’.

“So I didn’t feel like Arsenal wanted to keep me. Because of that feeling I got, I started to think that maybe my future was elsewhere.

“So in my mind it was clear after that conversation that Arsenal had made their decision. I needed to speak with Barcelona to agree personal terms and that’s what I did.

“But I regret that move because I didn’t really want to go to Barcelona. I think I followed my ex-wife’s decision in that move.

“She was tired of living in London and she was born under the sun in a country where she had so much sun, so she wanted to return to that.”

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