Former Arsenal player, Emmanuel Petit, has admitted that he regrets leaving the club due to the wishes of his wife, Agatha de la Fontaine.
Speaking to the Daily Star about his exit from the North London club, Petit admitted there were other sporting reasons he left the Gunners, but stressed his wife’s desire to live “in the sun” made him leave England.
The 52-year-old advised younger players never to make the same mistake he did.
He said, “I was very happy at Arsenal, with the fans and my teammates. I played well and we won the double. But I could feel that Arsene [Wenger] was thinking of selling me.
“Maybe he wanted to sign other players, and he got it right in the end because they were invincible in the Premier League. But the main reason I decided to leave was my wife.
“Sure, there were sporting reasons—I wanted to win the Champions League – but my wife was tired of the rain and wanted to live in the sun, so I listened to her.”
The former French international cautioned, “If I have any advice for players now, it’s: ‘Don’t let your wife decide where you go.’”
Petit made 115 appearances for Arsenal between 1997 and 2000.
He eventually left Arsenal in the 2000/2001 season to join Barcelona, playing just a season and getting sold to Chelsea in the winter.
He and his wife divorced in 2002 after about two years and a son together.