Very few players can boast of a career as illustrious and as trophy-laden as the legendary French forward Thierry Henry. Here’s a lowdown on his career:
1977: Thierry Daniel Henry was born to parents of Antillean heritage in the tough Parisian suburb of Les Ulis.
1990: Monaco sent scout Arnold Catalano to watch Henry, then at the age of 13 in a match, an inspired Henry scored all six goals in a 6-0 thrashing.
Two of his goals at Monaco
Impressed by what he saw the scout recommended the Frenchman, and he joined Arsène Wenger’s Monaco as a youth player at the tender of 13.
1994: Deployed as on the left wing in a bid to exploit his pace; Henry made his professional debut for Monaco on 31 August 1994, in a 2–0 loss against Nice.
1996: In what would be a first of many individual accolades; Henry was named the French Young Footballer of the Year.
In December of ’96 he signed pre-contract with Real Madrid, but since the deal was made through a non-FIFA accredited agent, it was aborted. Both participants were fined by the governing body for this transgression.
1997: Henry won his first league title as Monaco finished top of the league. The Parisian played his part by contributing nine goals in 36 matches.
Still only 17, he made his France debut against South Africa.
1998: It was the greatest year of French football history. In the World Cup his country hosted, Henry scored three goals in six matches but sat on the bench in the 3-0 win over Brazil that saw France conquer the football world for the first time.
1999: In January Henry made an ill-fated £10.5 million move to Italian giants Juventus, deployed in an uncharacteristic position on the left wing saw him score just 3 goals in 16 appearances. The stay lasted only till the summer.
Unsettled in Italy, Henry moved to the English capital to reunite with his former manager, Arsene Wenger for an estimated £11m move.
2000: A member of the French Euro Cup he scored thrice in the tournament to win France the title.
The famous goal vs Man United
2002: In the 2001-02 season Henry became the league’s top goal-scorer and netted 32 goals in all competitions as he led Arsenal to a double for his first silverware with the club.
2003: In the 2002-03 season he scored 32 goals in all competitions while contributing a remarkable 23 assists. His prolific strike rate saw Arsenal finish second in the league but retain the FA cup. Henry was named both the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year.
His fantastic goal vs Liverpool
2004: In the league match against Leeds, he scored four times taking his tally to 150 goals for the north Londoners.
His individual brilliance saw him win the PFA Player of the Year award second year in a row as Arsenal clinched the league.
2005: In continuation of his individual record breaking spree; he equaled Ian Wright’s Arsenal record of 185 goals in a Champions League game against Sparta Prague, then scored a second to hold the record outright.
His stunning goal vs Sparta Prague
2006: Henry played the third World Cup of his career and just like his first, scored three goals in seven games. Although unlike the first he couldn’t lift the ultimate prize as France lost to Italy on penalties in the final.
2007: Finishing the first installment of his breath taking career at Arsenal he proceeded to sign for the Catalan giants FC Barcelona in a four year deal worth £16.1m.
He scored his first goal for the Camp Nou residents on 19th September in a 3–0 Champions League win over Olympique Lyonnais, ten days later he recorded his Barcelona hat-trick against Levante.
2008: In July, recognizing his contribution to the club Arsenal fans voted him as Arsenal’s greatest player ever in Arsenal.com’s Gunners’ Greatest 50 Players poll.
2009: Trophy wise the year proved to be the most fruitful of the Frenchman’s career as Barcelona went on to win an unprecedented sextuple comprising of La Liga, UEFA Champions League, Copa del Rey, Supercopa de España, UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
2010: He moved to the Major League Soccer and joined New York red Bulls, during his five years stay in the USA he finished with 51 goals for NYRB in 122 matches.
Henry’s pick of the lot as his favorite goal.
2012: In a two-month loan deal he returned to Arsenal and coming on as a substitute against Leeds United in the third round of the FA Cup scored the only goal to cap off a perfect second debut. In his last league game on loan, he scored the winning goal in stoppage time in a 2–1 win against Sunderland.
Henry’s pick of the lot as his favorite goal.
2014: At the end of the MLS season one of the greatest players of his generation Thierry Henry announced his retirement from the beautiful game.
An honor, not many living players are bestowed with, Arsenal erected a statue of him in his trademark celebratory pose at the entrance of the Emirates thereby giving a sort of tangible permanence to his legend.
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Founder and Editor-in-chief of Footiecentral. A voracious reader who loves reading anything and everything related to the history of football. He’s an ardent supporter of Manchester United and rarely misses a match.