Zinedine Zidane has leapt to Thierry Henry's defence as the row about the handball assist that helped put France through to the World Cup finals continued to rumble.
The former Real Madrid star believes that his compatriot would not deliberately seek to gain an unfair advantage amid the controversy surrounding Ireland's aggregate defeat in Paris on Wednesday.
Henry appeared to control the ball twice with his forearm and hand before flicking it across the face of the goal for William Gallas to score a priceless late winner for the French, but Zidane does not think it was malicious.
"He is not a cheat, I know him well," the former France playmaker, who was sent off for headbutting Italy defender Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final, told BFMTV while reflecting on his red card in the 2006 World Cup Final.
"He will get over this. He made a mistake, like I made a mistake, even if I'm not making any comparisons. We all make mistakes.
"The fact he said there was a handball means he has apologised. I'm not saying it was nothing but it was handball, that's it.
"I don't think he should take more blame. It's a fact of the game that's certainly difficult to accept for the Irish but something that happens very often on the football field.
"I just want to say that's a lot for Henry to take."
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