Today the 16th of December, 2014, Thierry Henry announced his retirement from professional football.
In an announcement on his Twitter and Facebook pages, Henry informed his adoring fans of his decision to hang up his professional boots and join Sky Sports as a pundit.
His announcement comes just over a fortnight after playing his last game for the New York Red Bulls.
In an interview with Arnold Catalano, the former AS Monaco scout who first discovered Henry, we learn that the scout first saw Henry in a game where he scored six goals, apparently without breaking a sweat.
Referred to as “Titi”, Parisien, in the compilation below we see early glimpses of some of Henry’s trademarks in his time at AS Monaco – his first professional club: lightning speed, deft touch, the trademark cutting in from the left-wing to the edge of the box, the glancing inside right boot curling round the keeper.
Henry’s talented displays out wide for AS Monaco led him to being snapped up by Juventus. According to Amy Lawrence’s book on Arsenal’s unbeaten 2003/04 season, even at World Cup 98, Henry hinted at his desire to pair up with Arsène Wenger and the project he was building at Arsenal around Patrick Vieira, Manu Petit and others.
From Juve, Henry moved to reunite with his mentor Arsène Wenger at Arsenal where he was brought in to replace Nicolas Anelka, the enfant terrible of the Arsenal squad. His transfer to Arsenal was not the only move Henry made. Arsène moved Henry positionally to play as a centre-forward. It paid off. In 376 appearances for Arsenal, Henry scored 228 and assisted 93 goals breaking Ian Wright’s record in the process to become Arsenal’s leading goalscorer. He was part of the Invincibles – the Arsenal 2003/04 team that won the Premier League unbeaten. And, in his last two seasons with Arsenal he donned the captain’s armband.
He won the Champions League with Barcelona after Arsenal, and, internationally who could forget the 1998 World Cup and 2000 Euro Cup victories with the French national team?
When Arsène Wenger was asked about his favourite Henry moment, he answered with the time Henry returned to Arsenal and scored against Leeds in the FA Cup:
One of my favourite moments is when Thierry Henry schooled Spurs at Highbury – the video below highlights what a treat Sky Sports subscribers will be in for when Henry joins as a pundit, too:
Perhaps Henry’s most memorable goal in the Premiership came against Manchester United, again at Highbury where his deft first touch perfectly set up his astonishing volley which looped over Fabien Barthez, dropping jaws and leaving Andy Gray almost speechless:
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He absolutely loved scoring against Man Utd though…
Perhaps Arsenal will see him again in a managerial capacity, but not until his mentor Arsène Wenger has stepped down – as he has told Graham Norton, of all people…
For now, we must thank Thierry for the memories and be glad that a certain je ne sais quoi will be added to the Sky Sports punditry team.