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Thierry Henry: The living legend

by Thomas Allitt March 16, 2021
Thierry Henry: The living legend

Henry brings his talent on and off the field

Filling up trophy cabinets was common for former football player Thierry Henry. Unfortunately, Henry’s time as a head coach of CF Montreal did not reflect his career as a player, and had to come to a premature ending.

The all-time top goal scorer for France with 51 goals, he started his professional career in Monaco, where he spent five years. There, he won his first major trophy during the 1996–97 season, lifting up the Ligue 1 trophy and crowning Monaco as French champions.

Henry’s talents were not left unnoticed, and after an uneventful year playing for Italian giants Juventus for the 1998–99 season, he moved to London, where his career with Arsenal would engrave him forever in not only the history of the club, but also the sport.

While playing for Arsenal, Henry changed his play style and became a central offensive player rather than playing out on the left wing. This made a huge difference in Henry’s goal scoring record, where his mentality of quickly controlling the ball and shooting on net became evident and ruthless.

Henry played for Arsenal from 1999–2007, and saw his club lift the Premier League Cup twice. During the 2003–04 season, the London-based club won the Premier League without losing a single game, earning them the title of ‘The Invincibles’ and lifting up a golden trophy; the only team in the history of the Premier League to ever do so.

Henry’s time with Arsenal came to an end in 2007, as he joined famous Catalonian club F.C. Barcelona — the club he had lost to in the Champions League Final in 2006.

Henry’s time with Barcelona surpassed expectations. The striker became champion of Spain in his second year there, and created history once again as Barcelona won six trophies in a calendar year: the Supercopa de Espana, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup, La Liga, La Copa del Rey, and the most famous Champions League. Henry’s influential career with Barcelona came to an end in 2010, when he shockingly joined Major League Soccer (MLS) team the New York Red Bulls.

His player career in the MLS was different from his European past. Henry became a role model for all his teammates, and his influence was greater than ever, a source of discipline, confidence and rigour. Winning only the Supporters’ Shield with the Red Bulls in the 2012–13 season for having the best record in the league, Henry retired in 2014 and meddled in a managerial career soon after.

He became the head coach of CF Montreal in 2019, but unfortunately left his coaching duties this February 2021. During his time in Montreal, the Frenchman continued to elevate the standards of his team, leading CF Montreal to the playoffs for the first time since 2016, but was eliminated by the New England Revolution. Henry’s record for the Montreal-based club is nine wins, 16 losses and four draws for both the 2018–19 and 2019–20 seasons. Although these statistics may not seem impressive, Henry’s goal was to build the team from the ground up; a plan which demands time and effort.

Henry had to leave his position last month for family reasons, but his coaching career is nowhere near finished. The Frenchman’s departure has made clubs such as AFC Bournemouth from the England second tier division keen on signing the legend into their coaching spot, whenever he’s ready.

 

Graphic by Sarah Alouani

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