Over two decades after the two legends crossed parts in Europe, French World Cup winner and former Arsenal forward Thierry Henry is yet to get over the treatment he received from retired Super Eagles centre-back Taribo West.
Taribo remains Henry’s worst nightmare, and over the weekend, the Frenchman confronted retired Guy Roux, Taribo’s former manager at Auxerre, over the hard tackles he received from the Nigerian.
Henry and Taribo faced off during their time in the French Ligue 1 and Italian Serie A. The World Cup winner was with Monaco when he came up against Taribo, who was with Auxerre in Ligue 1.
Both players will have their paths crossed again in the Italian topflight, with Taribo at Inter Milan and Henry at Juventus.
While they may not have played against each other in so many games, former defender Taribo now turned pastor left a lasting impression on the former Barcelona forward.
On his part, Roux, after playing for Auxerre for over a decade, took charge of the club for more than 40 years as a manager, leading them to national and global prominence.
Roux is credited with discovering and developing top talents in the mould of Eric Cantona, Basile Boli, Djibril Cissé, and Philippe Mexès.
Taribo, during his four years under the retired coach in the 90s, was dreaded by many forwards for his ruggedness and doggedness as narrated by Henry, who in 2021 named Taribo the most difficult opponent he ever faced in his career.
“I’ll go back in the days, Taribo West,” Henry said, when asked about the player he least liked playing against.
“Because they were man-marking, he was following you everywhere, even in the dressing room.”
On Saturday, Henry met 83-year-old Roux – who unleashed Taribo to such devastating effect – at Abbé-Deschamps, when Auxerre faced Olympique Marseille.
According to BFM TV, Henry used the opportunity to jokingly ask Roux about his decision to have him man-mark by Taribo.
“Why did you always put Taribo West on my back? You are not nice,” he said
In his response, Roux told Henry he wasn’t the only one who dreaded the Nigerian.
“He (Taribo) was always designated to tackle the biggest players of the opposing team,” he said.
“(PSG’s) Raí once said that if he hadn’t been a great professional, he would have had a sore throat every game night because I had him shackled by Taribo West.”