Legendary French footballer Thierry Henry has decided to call time on an illustrious career which spanned over 20 years and saw him play well over 700 professional football matches, scoring more than 400 goals in the process. We take a look back at a career full of dazzling achievements and chronicle some of his very best moments:
The Monaco Double of 1997
In 1992 a certain Arsene Wenger, who was managing AS Monaco FC at the time, sent one of his scouts to watch a 13 year old named Thierry Henry with a view to possibly signing the teenager. Henry scored all six goals in his team’s 6-0 win that day. Suffice to say, Wenger immediately signed the French forward. As a rising star of the French Ligue 1, Henry was made Young Player of the Year in 1997, playing for a dominant Monaco side which won both the league and the Trhophée des Champions (the French version of the Community Shield).
The following year, Henry helped Monaco get to the semi final of the UEFA Champions League, scoring seven goals in the process which was, at the time, the most Champions League goals ever to be scored by a French player in a single campaign. Henry’s fantastic European form garnered him many admirers across the continent, perhaps most notably those at Italian Serie A side Juventus, who signed Henry the following season in a transfer valued at upward of £10 million.
France’s 1998 World Cup Triumph
Despite his relative inexperience, France national team manager Aimé Jacquet named Thierry Henry in his World Cup squad. While the decision surprised many pundits at the time, no one was questioning Jacquet’s squad selection by tournament’s end when France went on to lift the World Cup trophy. Henry himself was France’s leading scorer for the tournament with a three goal tally. His World Cup experience was somewhat marred in that he didn’t get to play in the final itself (a 3-0 win over Brazil). He had been due to come on as a substitute, but when midfielder Marcel Desailly was red carded Jacquet was forced to make a defensive substitution instead. Despite not playing in the final, Henry was made a Chevalier of the Légion d’honnuer, the French equivalent of a knighthood and the highest honor that an be bestowed upon a citizen, for his efforts.
The Invincibles of 2003/4
The 2003/4 Premier League season was arguably the greatest season in Thierry Henry’s career. Henry was the standout performer in an Arsenal side which included many world class footballers including Patrick Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp and Freddie Ljungberg. The team went on to win the English Premier League at a canter, winning 26 of their 38 matches and suffering no losses in the process. This feat has led the side to be referred to as “The Invincibles”.
On a personal level, Henry himself managed to win both the Premier League Player of the Year and Footballer of the Year, won the European Golden Boot (with a total of 39 goals scored in all competitions) and finished runner up in the FIFA World Player of the Year Award.
Read on for more of Thierry Henry’s amazing achievements on Page 2: