Thierry Henry was in every sense a legend, for both club and country. Henry won it all, from the World Cup and European Championships to the Champions League, Spanish League and English League. His list of accomplishments goes further than that, as he also won numerous individual awards, winning the PFA footballer of the year award on multiple occasions as well as finishing second in the FIFA world player of the year shortlist twice.
Henry would go on to score 228 goals for Arsenal, becoming their all-time top scorer. He also provided numerous assists, providing close to 50 over the 2004-2006 seasons. He was repeatedly voted the PFA Footballer of the year as well as winning the European Boot and the goal scoring title for the English premiership. Although he never won the FIFA World footballer of the year award, at his peak he was probably the best player on the planet.
His pairing with the genius Dutchman Denis Bergkamp is the stuff of legends, the duo tormenting defenses for almost a decade, helping Arsenal break the ManU stranglehold in England.
It is testament to his ability that he was part of two of the greatest club teams ever, the Arsenal Invincibles of 2004 and Guardiola’s Barcelona in 2009, These teams are talked about as the best teams there ever were, and have set records that should stand the test of time.
These French teams were known as Zizou’s teams, with Henry expected to take over in 2006 after is retirement. However, Henry could never really replicate his club form for France, a fact still misunderstood by many. It can be argued that the teams weren’t built around him like they were for Zidane, but it still remains one of the biggest mysteries of his career. He did however end up as France’s all-time top goal scorer of all-time, breaking Michel Platini’s record. He wasn’t given the same freedom as at Arsenal nor did he have as many memorable moments individually as at Arsenal, still his goals like the one against Brazil in 2006 or his penalty in the shootout in 1998 standout.
For a player who both almost everything the world of football had to offer and played a hand in forming the defining teams of his generation, Thierry Henry is a Legend and will go down as one of the all-time greatest players.
Photo by Ronnie Macdonald