Bukayo Saka reveals Arsenal legend Thierry Henry’s support after Euro 2020 final penalty heartbreak


Bukayo Saka reveals Thierry Henry called him after his Euro 2020 final penalty shootout and now approaches him after most Arsenal games as he admits he regrets not meeting the ‘former boss Arsene Wenger.

Bukayo Saka has revealed Thierry Henry called him to offer support after his penalty miss in the Euro 2020 final, with the Arsenal legend continuing to mentor the England winger.

Saka missed England’s fifth and final penalty against Italy at Wembley last summer as Gareth Southgate’s side failed to be crowned European champions.

The 21-year-old suffered racist abuse on social media after the final, along with fellow strikers Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, who also missed their respective kicks.

Bukayo Saka, center left, revealed he had been supported by Thierry Henry, left

Saka, who scored three goals at the World Cup in Qatar, was asked this week about his progress since Euro 2020 and the forward declared that he “has matured and progressed since then”.

He also opened up about the support received from Arsenal’s record goalscorer Henry, who contacted Saka after the final to offer his support and guidance.

“It meant everything,” Saka said at a news conference in England. “He showed a lot of character to get my number and contact me.

‘It’s not just from that moment. He contacted me after most Arsenal games and is still very passionate about the club.

“He’s an amazing person.”

Henry contacted Saka after his missed penalty in England's Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy.

Henry contacted Saka after his missed penalty in England’s Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy.

Saka reflected on the influence of Henry and Robert Pires on Arsenal ahead of England’s World Cup quarter-final meeting with France on Saturday.

Henry and Pires were part of France’s World Cup-winning squad in 1998 before becoming vital players for Arsenal under Arsenal Wenger.

The pair were instrumental in the club winning two Premier League titles and two FA Cups.

Saka, who joined Arsenal’s academy aged seven, said he had been mentored by Henry and Pires, who have spent time training at the club.

Saka reflected on the guidance given to him by Arsenal greats Henry and Robert Pires, left

Saka reflected on the guidance given to him by Arsenal greats Henry and Robert Pires, left

Saka admitted he regretted not yet meeting former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

Saka admitted he regretted not yet meeting former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

The 21-year-old admitted he “regretted” not meeting Wenger until now, as he was not yet involved in first-team training in the Frenchman’s final years at the club.

“One of the things I didn’t get to do was meet Arsene Wenger, I know how much my dad loves him, how everyone at the club loves him and I know what he did for the club, of course,” Saka said.

“Then of course we have a lot of other French players, you know, Thierry and Robert Pires who have been around the club and talked to me and helped me.

“They both still support me to this day so I’m grateful to them and of course on the pitch they were magnificent and delivered silverware for Arsenal.

“Without a doubt, they will always be legends.”

Saka is expected to start England's World Cup quarter-final against France on Saturday

Saka is expected to start England’s World Cup quarter-final against France on Saturday

Saka had earlier laughed off comparisons with superstar Kylian Mbappe, who has been billed as France’s biggest threat ahead of Saturday’s quarter-final tie.

He was also asked about other players in the current France squad that he admires ahead of the clash, one of the biggest games in England’s history.

“I like William Saliba from the French team,” said Saka, referring to his Arsenal teammate.

‘No, they have so many players, of course, if I have to mention some, I like Ousmane Dembele, because I think he is very good.

“They have a lot of quality players and we have to be ready for all of them in their own way.”


Source: Bukayo Saka reveals Arsenal legend Thierry Henry’s support after Euro 2020 final penalty heartbreak

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