David Beckham claims Thierry Henry did not deliberate handle the ball and has leapt to the defence of the France striker after claiming he is not a cheat.
Henry has found himself at the centre of a storm following his actions in Wednesday's World Cup play-off second leg against the Republic of Ireland.
The Irish authorities have called for the game to be replayed after Henry admitted to handling the ball before crossing for William Gallas to head home an extra-time equaliser as France overcame the Republic via a 2-1 aggregate scoreline to book their place in next summer's finals.
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But despite Irish anger and calls for the game to be replayed, Beckham claims Henry is not a cheat.
"I honestly didn't think Thierry meant it," said the former Manchester United midfielder, who played alongside Henry in the Premier League during his time at Arsenal.
"I know him as a player and a person. He's a good person and a great player. It's a shame to see Ireland go out because they have such great fans but these things happen in football.
"I really don't think he meant it.
"I've had a few headlines in the past which have not been nice but I don't think he is a cheat."