Euro 2016: France’s Dimitri Payet was hurt by World Cup exclusion, says Thierry Henry
After a thrilling game at their inaugural Euro 2016 opener against Romania, Frenchman Dimitri Payet stole the limelight as he was the determining factor in France’s 2-1 win. Impressed by his performance on the pitch, former France international Thierry Henry congratulated him and said that this was his sweet revenge for the 2014 World Cup snub in Brazil. He said that Payet was “hurt” by the rejection and had come to Euro 2016 to prove himself.
Speaking to BBC after the match, Thierry Henry said that the emotion Payet displayed on Friday proved how hurt he was by the World Cup exclusion. "He thought that he was going to go the World Cup in Brazil. He was involved in every single qualification game. They didn't pick him. You saw a man that was hurt on the pitch today,” Henry said while congratulating the 29-year-old.
The French veteran also congratulated the national team and said that the team played well to ensure their victory. Following their win, social media also went wild as congratulations started streaming in for Dimitri Payet.
Though he was the backbone of the French squad that went into the qualification rounds for the World Cup two years back, Payet was later dropped from the final squad. He was very emotional after the match and said that it was sheer hard work that had brought him to this point of success.
"At the start of the season, a lot of people would have found it hard to believe I would be here," the West Ham United player said. He also had a successful season in the EPL scoring 12 goals for his club in the 2015/16 season.
French boss Didier Deschamps was also in high spirits after Payet’s performance and said that it had ‘made all the difference’ in the match. He said that Payet had improved considerably over a short period of time and clearly gave all he had at the match for his home crowd.
When asked about how he plans to go forward in the tournament, Deschamps said that for the time being he was just going to make sure Payet rests well to ensure that the West Ham star is in top form for their next match. The France coach also mentioned that he was quite relieved that they won the match despite not playing well.