Emmanuel Petit reveals how the death of his brother forced him to "act like a man" at the Monaco academy

The former French international defender spoke to Off The Ball about his personal tragedy

BY Cian Roche 17:38 Tuesday 22 March 2016, 17:38 22 Mar 2016

The loss of a loved one is always a difficult period in anyone's life, but for Emmanuel Petit, the death of his brother Olivier was a particularly poignant tragedy.

The French World Cup winner spoke to Off The Ball about how he coped with losing a sibling and having to deal with it as a teenager in the Monaco academy.

"I used to keep a diary" he began. "That's what I used to do because I lost my brother on the pitch. I lost my grandfather and my best friend in the space of two years when I was at the academy.

"When you are at this age, at 14 or 15 years of age and you know that you are playing for your own future, you are in a man's world but you are still a teenager, a kid.

Emmanuel Petit playing for Monaco in 1991. Image: Neal Simpson / EMPICS Sport

"You have to pretend and act like you are a man when you are confronting death or bad things. You have to take it and deal with it, it's as simple as that. I had to live at that age like a man, but I was not. It hurt me a lot in my private life as well."

The former Arsenal defender explained the tragic circumstances surrounding his brother's passing.

"It was just a couple of weeks before I signed a professional contract. He received a ball on the head and fell down a couple of minutes later and he died. And my other brother, he was playing on the pitch with him. 

Former French international, Emmanuel Petit, was in Dublin today to launch the campaign, all part of Carlsberg’s commitment to ‘do it better for the fans’. The former World Cup and European Championship winner brought with him the Henri Delaunay European trophy that he lifted at Euro 2000 and urged the green army of Irish fans to join him in France in the summer.

"My brother was supposed to be married a couple of weeks after that. His girlfriend was watching the game as well.

"It was a terrible moment for my family. My parents were with me at Monaco at that time, that was the first and last time I saw my father smacking his head against the wall. 

"But that's life. I don't mean to be so brutal about it. A lot of family tragedies happen every day but we have to stay positive about it.

"We have to keep on going for them and for their memories because life is a fight."

You can listen to the full interview on tonight's Off The Ball.

Carlsberg ambassador, Emmanuel Petit, was in Dublin with the Euro 2016 Trophy to announce Carlsberg’s Probably the biggest Euro ticket giveaway in Ireland with over 1,100 Ireland match tickets up for grabs. To enter go to Facebook.com/Carlsberg or visit participating outlets over the next 6 weeks.


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