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


Sports in Quebec are controlled differently than elsewhere during the pandemic

Soccer is one sports where the province differs in its COVID-19 restrictions

With most of Quebec in the red zone, new regulations have been put in place by the Quebec government to curb the spread of COVID-19: restricting private gatherings, access to restaurants, recreational activities, organized sports, and much more.

With these restrictions put in place, the Montreal Impact soccer club had to cease all activities for 30 days starting Oct. 8, stating on their website that they will continue to monitor the situation and support the measures of protection given by the government.

Before these new rules came into play, the Impact was the first club in Major League Soccer (MLS) to have fans allowed inside their stadium ― the Saputo Stadium, which has a maximum capacity of 20,801 ― allowing 250 fans per game following the ease of Quebec public health restrictions in late August.

With COVID-19 cases increasing since the beginning of the fall, rising from roughly 150 new cases per day at the start of September to roughly 950 cases per day at the beginning of October, the Impact quickly followed health and safety guidelines, and shut down their facility for the 28-day semi-lockdown ordered by the Quebec government.

In contrast with Quebec, Germany has fewer restrictions for its first and second division soccer leagues ― the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2. With COVID-19 cases slowly increasing, Germany has had 15,580 new confirmed cases from Oct. 8 to 12.

The restrictions there have largely stayed the same since the beginning of the pandemic: entry restrictions for many countries, and if granted entry, self-isolation until a negative test is shown.

German government officials have allowed the Bundesliga to fill 20 per cent of their stadium capacity. Despite rising COVID-19 cases, the Borussia Dortmund stadium, the biggest stadium in Germany with a capacity of 81,365, allowed a sold-out crowd of 11,500 fans on Oct. 3.

The Bundesliga has posted on their website that the German Federal Ministry of Health has given them a basic structure to follow, stating that “the Ministry emphasized that systematic compliance with the highest standards of infection protection is a fundamental requirement for allowing live crowds for football matches again. Allowing fans back in should always depend on the regional trend of infections.”

Without revenue coming in, the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) stated in mid-April that 13 out of 36 Bundesliga clubs were facing financial problems, with Borussia Dortmund alone losing an astounding $49 million.

In comparison to these numbers, the Bundesliga had an all-time high profitable gain from 28 of their 36 clubs last season, achieving $4.7 billion in revenue, 13 per cent of which came from ticket sales.

Financially, the MLS may be thinking correctly by letting a small percentage of their fans in their stadium, but with the current state of the pandemic, shutting down activities seems necessary.


Graphic by @ariannasivira

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