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Thierry Henry - FC Barcelona

Snake2010-05-08 12:25:46 +0000 #1
Thierry Henry



Thierry Henry is considered to be one of the best forwards in world football over the past decade. Elegance, ability and effectiveness are his main assets.

Born in Les Ulis (France) on August 17, 1977, Henry grew up in a poor immigrant district on the outskirts of Paris (his father is from Guadalupe and his mother from Martinique, two overseas French territories). He started playing football locally at the age of six, later moving on to US Palaiseau at the age of 12 and finally Viry-Chatillon, aged 13. He was already catching outside attention, especially when he scored all six of his team’s goals in a 6-0 win.

There were Monaco talent spotters at that game, and then manager Arsène Wegner introduced Henry to the French Federation’s famous Clairefontaine Academy.

He was 13 years old at the time, and there he met fellow future internationals like Trezeguet, Anelka, Gallas and Rothen. After a year in the academy, Henry spent as season at Versailles before signing definitively for Monaco in 1993. Arsène Wegner, aware of the player’s talents, did not take long to hand him his debut in Ligue 1, shortly after his 17th birthday. In his first season, Henry played 8 games and scored 3 goals. In 1995/96, he scored three goals in 18 games, and gained his first European experience.

In 1996, Henry really started making the grade. First in the European Under 18 Championship where his goal beat Spain 1-0 in the final. Moths later his was named Best Young Talent in French Football. He also won his first major honour as Monaco won Ligue 1 in 1996/97, he himself playing 36 games and scoring nine goals. In the UEFA Cup, his reached the semi finals, Henry playing 9 games, scoring once and supplying four assists.

Several European clubs started showing an interest in the player, and in the 1997/98 season, he played 30 games and scored 4 goals in the League and 9 played 9 games and scored 7 goals in Europe, Monaco reaching the Champions League semi finals. In October 1997 he made his international debut in a friendly with South Africa. He was good enough to be included in the France team that won the World Cup in 1998, and he was his country’s highest scorer with three goals.

He only played half of the next season for his club. In the 1998/99 transfer window, Henry left Monaco for Juventus, having played 141 games, scored 28 goals and supplied 37 assists in the Principality.

But Henry struggled to adept to calcio and Turin, and after just 20 games and three goals he returned his old friend Arsène Wenger, now manager of Arsenal in London.

In the English capital, Henry really became a global superstar. His speed and physique, coupled with exquisite skills fitted in perfectly with the Arsenal way, where Henry became the star striker in a team that gained worldwide recognition for its style of football and excellent results.

At Arsenal, the Frenchman broke almost every record in the book. He is the highest goalscorer ever for the club with 226 goals, and also holds the record for the new-look Premier League with 174. Thierry Henry was top scorer in the Premier League four times (2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006), a competition his side won in 2002 and 2004, as well as three FA Cups. His goals at Arsenal were enough to win him the Golden Boot for being the highest goalscorer in Europe in 2004 and 2005.

There was just one major title Henry missed out on as a ‘gunner’: the Champions League, which he lost the final of in 2006 against Paris against Barça. Now a living legend at Arsenal, in 2007 he decided he needed a fresh challenge, and signed for Barça.

In his first season in Catalonia, he was the club’s top scorer with 19 goals in all three major competitions. He made 30 league appearances under Frank Rijkaard, usually playing in a less familiar position out wide on the left of attsck.

In 2008/09 Josep Guardiola became the new manager. He wanted experience in the side and made Henry a regular component of the treble winning squad. Still playing in a more left-sided role, he scored 26 goals in 42 games. In Rome, and in the Champions League final, he finally managed to win the one major club title he still did not have in his honours list.

Profile

Speed and technique are two of Henry's main characteristics, which he allies with efficiency and elegance. He is considered to be one of the most skilful players in the game with the ball at his feet as well as being an extremely intelligent footballer.

Despite having been moulded into a central striker under Arsène Wenger, Henry can play across the front line, thanks to his sublime pace. He is a free kick specialist, generally taking them with the top of his foot to add his trademark swerve that goalkeepers find so hard to deal with.

HONOURS

FC Barcelona

2009/10 European Super Cup

2009/10 Spanish Super Cup

2008/09 Champions League

2008/09 Liga

2008/09 Copa del Rey

Arsenal

2004/05 FA Cup

2004/05 Community Shield

2003/04 League

2002/03 FA Cup

2002/03 Community Shield

2001/02 FA Cup

2001/02 League

Monaco

1996/97 League

1997 Super Cup

France

2006 World Cup runner-up

2003 Confederations Cup

2000 European Championship

1998 World Cup

Individual awards

2005/06 Premiership top goalscorer

2004/05 Premiership top goalscorer

2004/05 Golden Boot

2003/04 Premiership top goalscorer

2003/04 Golden Boot

2001/02 Premiership top goalscorer


Snake2010-05-08 12:32:13 +0000 #2
Guardiola losing faith in Henry?

The scene is repeated every week at the Barcelona press conference. Pep Guardiola becomes visibly uncomfortable answering questions about Thierry Henry's situation. Officially, Pep continues to trust in him but Henry has not made it onto the field in the last three games and actions speak louder than words.

Henry is coming to the end of his cycle in Barcelona, and it is becoming an erratic romance increasingly about a convenience of interests. "He wanted me in the team, we talked a lot and it was he who convinced me to stay," Henry said of Guardiola last season. "He is a winner and he has the notion of victory in his mind. I have not had coaches who like screaming. The coach gets angry, but in a good way. If he has a good reason for it, people listen and he speak the most clearly."

However, time is cruel to everyone. At 32, your mind may think at a rapid pace but your legs will not answer and, what's more, his spirit has been questionable this year. Guardiola has been patient with him - he scored only two goals in 13 games - and gave him more minutes on the pitch than his play had warranted, but indulging a player in this way puts the coach in an embarrassing position in the dressing room.

While many feel Pedro is now playing at a higher level, Guardiola has continually defended Henry: "He has fought with men for a long time and now Pedro has started fighting - and he has had success beyond simply scoring goals. I have a lot of faith in Titi and believe that we will see him return to his former self. Henry still is several steps ahead Pedro."

Henry, meanwhile, claims that his ambition remains intact and that it is physical problems that have meant he is unable to play to his usual standards. It is a speech that the Frenchman has used on several occasions since his arrival at Barcelona. "I have played the whole season with knee problems for both Barcelona and France. People sometimes don't focus on the effort that I make for the team, helping to defend and playing in a position very different to the one I played in for Arsenal, but I like that people question me. If I demand the most from myself, it is normal that the people do as well. The problem will come on the day they do not question me. My life has been always like that. My father has said throughout my whole life to me: 'You have to give more'."

The most curious thing is that Guardiola stopped trusting Henry at a point when he was actually in his best form of the season, playing some of his most consistent games even if he has not been scoring regular goals. Henry has not only lost his first-team status recently - he has fallen behind Andres Iniesta, Pedro and even Bojan, who played in the last game against Atletico.

"If I have to be on the bench, there is no problem," Henry said. "We are here to win as team. What Pedro is doing it is incredible. He always scores goals when he plays and is not easy to say that he does not deserve to be in the team."

Following Seydou Keita's return from the African Nations Cup, a new scenario emerged: Iniesta has been playing as a winger, meaning even fewer options for Henry. With Xavi and Keita both now unavailable, though, Guardiola will be forced to bring Iniesta back into the midfield again and Henry will have greater hope of playing against Stuttgart in the Champions League.

Yet, long-term, Henry's future certainly appears to be away from Barcelona and Major League Soccer now appears the most likely next step. "At the moment, I'm here," he said. "I cannot speak on anything that will happen or not in six months."
Snake2010-05-08 12:59:22 +0000 #3
Barca assistant credits Henry for Valencia victory

Barcelona assistant coach Tito Vilanova hailed Thierry Henry as the key to their 3-0 Primera Division win over Valencia at Camp Nou.

Lionel Messi stole the show with a sublime second-half hat-trick, but the Catalans were disappointing in the first period and Henry's introduction proved pivotal.

Henry, who came on for the ineffectual Bojan Krkic at the break, was a constant threat and set up Messi's second and third goals with two wonderful passes.

Vilanova, who gave the official press conference in place of suspended coach Pep Guardiola, claimed Henry gave Messi the freedom to cause Valencia problems.

"He gave us more presence in attack and allowed Messi more freedom of movement," he said. "With the introduction of Henry, we were able to play further forward and pressure Valencia more when they came out with the ball, and we pushed up against their centre backs - our positioning was better and that showed."

Vilanova felt Henry, who struck a hat-trick himself in the corresponding fixture last season, was just the right player to open up the match.

"He allows you to play further forward and into space, and he is used to playing centrally, which showed tonight," he said.

Vilanova added Henry is more comfortable in that position and said the Frenchman benefited from the extra space which resulted from the Hedwiges Maduro.

"When he plays on the wing he has less space and also with Maduro's sending-off he found more space, which he was able to exploit," he said.

And Vilanova felt Henry has been looking like his old self in this week's training sessions following a largely forgettable season so far in which he has scored just three goals.

"All of his training sessions this week have been excellent - the lack of goals has perhaps eaten away at his confidence, but today he was outstanding," he said.

Vilanova also praised Messi's contribution.

"He was great and we know the quality he has when he plays so close to the opposition area - that is where he does the damage," he said.

Valencia coach Unai Emery hailed Messi as perhaps the world's best player.

"He is possibly the best player in the world, in what is a great Barcelona collective," he said, before explaining three key moments changed the game.

"There were three decisive moments: (David) Albelda's injury, Maduro's sending-off and (Nikola) Zigic's chance," he said.

Zigic missed a one-on-one with Victor Valdes which would have levelled the game at 1-1 after 68 minutes and Maduro was sent off just moments later.

Albelda, who impressed in the holding role before departing through injury in the 44th minute, was also missed.

"The game was even, but we lost our balance when Albelda went off and it showed," Emery said.

The Valencia boss revealed he could have selected star striker David Villa, but opted not to risk the forward, especially with Thursday's Europa League last-16 second-leg clash against Werder Bremen in mind.

"He is a very important player for us, but without him Valencia are still alive," he said.

"Medically he could have taken part, but he was not going to be 100% and in a game where we had to fight every ball it was better to reserve him."
Snake2010-05-08 13:42:01 +0000 #4
Outstanding ovation for the Arsenal legend at London
shevafan2010-05-08 13:07:18 +0000 #5
Quote:

Originally Posted by Snake

Outstanding ovation for the Arsenal legend at London

I was hoping he would score the winning goal so badly, but it didn't happen... Maybe at Camp Nou???
Snake2010-05-08 13:03:43 +0000 #6
Yeah me too, It would mean a lot...
TM87_Maniac2010-05-08 13:39:06 +0000 #7
He's going to score the winning Own goal
Snake2010-05-08 15:57:01 +0000 #8
I would hate him for life in that case

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