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Emmanuel Petit blasts modern football: 'Players are just focused on what they're earning'

The Frenchman has also revealed he was close to joining Manchester United after his successful spell at Arsenal.

Image: Tom Honan/EMPICS Sport

FORMER ARSENAL AND Barcelona midfielder Emmanuel Petit has ridiculed the modern game, saying players care little about results and that their only concern is money.

Speaking to the BBC, the ex-French international – who was part of the victorious Les Bleus World Cup and European Championship-winning sides of 1998 and 2000, bemoaned how success has little influence on what players now earn – in contrast to what went before.

Back in the days before earning a lot of money you had to prove your value year after year. You had to win titles. This is the big difference with nowadays. Footballers nowadays are just focused on what they are earning. There will always be people who don’t care about the club, result, if they win a trophy or if the fans are happy.”

Petit also revealed that he regretted spending a season with Barcelona and was close to signing for Manchester United before eventually returning to the Premier League with Chelsea in 2001.

Soccer - Amsterdam Tournament - Barcelona v Arsenal Petit spent one season with Barcelona but didn't enjoy his time with the Catalan side, almost joining Manchester United afterwards. Source: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

According to the 45-year-old, Sir Alex Ferguson contacted him and inquired as to whether he was interested in joining.

“Maybe I should have gone to Manchester United and had a chance to play at Old Trafford with Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and co. Another mistake from myself.”

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Soccer - FA Barclaycard Premiership - Aston Villa v Chelsea Petit spent three years with Chelsea but is worried about what his former club are going through currently. Source: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Petit went on to spend three years with Chelsea before retiring in 2004.

Speaking about the current goings-on at Stamford Bridge, the Frenchman said his former club have ‘lost their desire’.

“They didn’t lose their talent, their potential. It’s in their mind, in their heart something has changed. In some way, they have lost their anger.

John Terry was in the best XI of the Premier League last year, he was the captain of the champions. Then all of sudden everything changed in the space of a few weeks. That showed me that something has been broken during that time.”

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