Thierry Henry is one of this generation’s legends of European soccer. The 32-year-old striker has been a member of the French national team since 1997 and has scored over 50 goals for Les Bleux - to say nothing of his nearly 230 goals in club play. He was one of the faces of Gillette shaving products stateside and has also been featured in innumerable soccer advertisements here and overseas. He’s also, as FOX SPORTS notes, guilty of one of the most flagrant uncalled handballs in the history of international play; step aside, Maradona.
(Yeah, you’re really, really not allowed to do that.)
What made this play especially egregious is that it happened with 13 minutes gone in extra time of a World Cup qualifying playoff between France and plucky Ireland. Though Ireland led the match at the time, the aggregate score was 1-1, and it was essentially a “next goal wins the World Cup berth” situation. Stage set? All right.
So with time winding down in the first overtime and a ball about to sail past Henry, the Frenchman stuck his hand out, knocked the ball down (which, we might remind you, is about as legal as playing atop a motorcycle), kicked it to teammate William Gallas, and watched as Gallas headed the ball home to give France the bid to South Africa in 2010. Oh, and just for good measure, he admitted he did it on purpose.
Video (with bonus uncalled offsides!) is after the break.