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Thierry Daniel Henry (born August 17, 1977 in Les Ulis, France) is a French football player. He currently plays as a striker for English club Arsenal, where he is the club's all time leading goalscorer, and for the French national football team.

Henry is considered one of the most dynamic attacking players in the game today. Although he plays as a striker, his versatility at all aspects of the game (except heading) makes him more influential than many traditional strikers, and he often drops deep to receive the ball from midfield. Combining speed, vision and creativity, he creates nearly as many goals as he scores. Amongst other things, Henry is well known for his blistering pace and lethal finishing which has put him at the helm of the Premiership top scorers list in recent seasons.

Henry trained at the French Football Federation's academy at Clairefontaine before starting his professional career at AS Monaco. He was given his debut by then Monaco manager Arsène Wenger at the age of 17. At Monaco, Wenger put Henry on the wing as a temporary measure because the line was already led by Brazilian striker Sonny Anderson.

The Frenchman made his international debut in October 1997 against South Africa. He played in Les Bleus' 1998 World Cup success, and was joint-top scorer for France with three goals; he also was part of the Euro 2000 winning squad, scoring a further three goals. He was also leading goal scorer and named player of the tournament as France hosted and won the 2003 Confederations Cup.

Having impressed in the 1998 World Cup, Henry left Monaco and moved to Italian club Juventus in January 1999 for £14 million. There, he was made to play on the wing, and in an unfamiliar position was unable to cope with Italian defensive discipline, scoring just three goals while starting only 12 games for the Bianconeri.

Unsettled in Italy, he transferred from Juventus in August 1999 to Arsenal for £10.5 million, reuniting with his former mentor, Wenger. At Arsenal, Wenger converted Henry into a striker, where he has flourished ever since. In the seven seasons he has been at Arsenal, Henry has been the club's top goal scorer for every single one. He was made Arsenal captain in the summer of 2005, succeeding the recently departed Patrick Vieira. Regarded by many as the best striker in Arsenal's history, on October 18, 2005 Henry became the club's top goal scorer of all time; two goals against Sparta Prague meant he broke Ian Wright's record of 185 first-class goals. He also contributes a large number of assists - most notably 20 in the 2002/3 season.

Henry has received many plaudits and awards. He was runner-up for the 2003 and 2004 FIFA World Player of the Year award while helping Arsenal run the table in the Premiership. He has also won both the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year and the PFA Players' Player of the Year twice. In 2004/5, despite Arsenal being the runners-up in the Premiership, Henry emerged with the European Golden Boot - the award for the top goal scorer in Europe - for the second consecutive year (albeit sharing with Villarreal's Diego Forlan in 2005).

Henry has appeared in television advertisements for Nike, Pro Evolution Soccer, and Renault (once with his English model girlfriend Nicole Merry, whom he married in July 2003) and will soon front adverts for Pepsi. On May 27, 2005, Henry celebrated the birth of his first child, Tea Henry. Henry and his family live in Hampstead, north London.

Quotes

"He's a wizard with his feet and is blessed with a gift for scoring goals. His best quality is his speed while the ball is at his feet. He may be the fastest man ever to lace up a football boot. No defender in the world can keep up with him." — Lilian Thuram

"I tell my kids in the Academy at Newcastle to watch Henry. He plays with such a swagger, not an arrogance, and that is a great quality. He always looks so comfortable. You talk about cars going from 0 to 60 in a matter of seconds, and he is like that. He just explodes. I could sit there for hours and watch him." — Peter Beardsley

Career statistics

Club career

(correct as of 26 November 2005)

Club Season League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
AS Monaco 1994-95 8 3 ? ? ? - - 8 3
1995-96 23 3 ? ? ? - - 23 3
1996-97 36 9 ? ? ? - - 36 9
1997-98 30 4 ? ? ? 8 6 38 10
1998-99 13 1 ? ? ? - - 13 1
  118 26
Juventus 1998-99 16 3 - ? ? - - 16 3
  16 3
Arsenal 1999-00 31 17 ? 5 1 11 8 47 26
2000-01 35 17 ? 4 1 14 4 53 22
2001-02 33 24 5 5 1 11 7 49 32
2002-03 37 24 23 6 1 12 7 55 32
2003-04 37 30 9 4 4 10 5 51 39
2004-05 32 25 15 2 - 8 5 42 30
2005-06 7 8 3 1 - 2 3 9 10
  308 192
Career totals 442 221

International career

National team Season Apps Goals
France 1997-98 9 3
1998-99 2 -
1999-00 10 5
2000-01 8 2
2001-02 9 2
2002-03 13 10
2003-04 12 5
2004-05 7 1
2005-06 3 2
Total 74 31

Accolades

Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year
2003
Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year
2004
PFA Players' Player of the Year
2003
PFA Players' Player of the Year
2004
 


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