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Petit: "Cliquiness made Barça dressing room toxic to the core"

In his autobiography, the former Azulgrana laments that his time at Camp Nou was fraught and he wishes he had never left Arsenal for Spain in 2000.

El exjugador francés del Barcelona, Emmanuel Petit, con Lorenzo Serra Ferrer.

Emmanuel Petit joined Barcelona on the insistence of newly-appointed president Joan Gaspart in the summer of 2000. The France international arrived as a star signing along with Arsenal team mate Marc Overmars but his time at Camp Nou didn't turn out quite as happily as he had expected.

Petit presented at Camp Nou, July 2000.
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Petit presented at Camp Nou, July 2000.RAMON MARCANODIARIO AS

Nightmare in Barcelona

Petit has documented the time in a new book in a chapter tituled: "Barcelona, misfortune" and writes that in hindsight, maybe it was a mistake to leave London, aged 30, to further his career in Spain: "The only thing I regret in my life was leaving Arsenal to join Barcelona".

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Inauspicious start

It's long been known that Petit didn't get off to the best of starts at Barça - on his first day at the club, coach Lorenzo Serra Ferrer turned to goalkeeper Richard Dutruel, and Petit's translator, to ask which position he played in...

If that wasn't bad enough, the player added that he found it hard to settle in with his new team mates because the dressing room was "rotten to the core" - a toxic atmosphere due to the various different factions and cliques. "When I first entered the dressing room to greet my new colleagues, most of them didn't pay any attention or even say hello. Soon, I realized that there were three clans: the Catalans, the Dutch and everyone else. So much for unity!" Petit left after just one season, returning to England and to London - this time to join Chelsea, where he would end his career three seasons later.

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