Sunday, August 19, 2007

Thierry Henry

Thierry Daniel Henry, born 17 August 1977 in Paris, France, is a French football player. Renowned for his pace,[1][2] he plays as a striker for the France national team and FC Barcelona.

Henry was born and brought up in the tough neighbourhood of Les Ulis, Essonne, where as a youngster he played for an array of local sides and showed great promise as a goalscorer. AS Monaco spotted him in 1990 and signed him up instantly.[2] Handed his professional club debut in 1994, he stayed at Monaco until 1998, where good form earned him an international call-up. Henry then moved to Italian giants Juventus, but after a disappointing season playing on the wing,[3] he joined Arsenal for a fee of £10.5 million in 1999.[2]

It was at Arsenal that Henry made his name as a top footballer. Initially, he struggled in the Premiership, but he soon emerged as Arsenal's top goalscorer in almost his every season there. Long-time mentor and coach Arsene Wenger's conversion of Henry into a prolific striker made him Arsenal's all-time leading scorer with over 200 goals. With the Gunners, Henry won two league titles and three FA Cups. He was also twice nominated for the FIFA World Player of the Year[4] and twice received the Barclays Premiership player of the season award.[5][6] Henry spent his final two seasons with Arsenal as club captain, leading them to the UEFA Champions League final in 2006. In June 2007, after eight years in an Arsenal shirt, the French striker transferred to FC Barcelona for a fee of £16.1 million.

With the French national squad, Henry has also enjoyed success, having won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. Given his accomplishments, he is today regarded by many as one of the best footballers in the world.[3][7][8][9] Off the pitch, as a result of his own experience, Henry is an active spokesperson against football racism.