Sunday, May 27, 2007

Know Your Star- Henry

Thierry Daniel Henry (born August 17, 1977 in Les Ulis, France) is a French football player. He currently plays as a striker for the French national football team, and for English club Arsenal, where he is the club's all time leading goalscorer in both league matches and all competitions. 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 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 and played at a youth level for CO Les Ulis (1983-1989), US Palaiseau (1989-1990), Viry-Châtillon (1990-1992) and FC Versailles (1992-1993).

He started his professional career at AS Monaco, given his début 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 goalscorer 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 goalscorer 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 goalscorer of all time; two goals against Sparta Prague meant he broke Ian Wright's record of 185 first-class goals. On February 1, 2006, he scored a goal against West Ham, bringing his league goal tally up to 151 and thus breaking Cliff Bastin's Arsenal league goals record. He also contributes a large number of assists - most notably 20 in the 2002/3 season - an all-time Premiership record.

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 to an unbeaten record (26 wins, 12 draws) 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 goalscorer 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. In January 2006, the Spanish media reported that Henry would sign for FC Barcelona at the start of the 2006-07 season. However, Henry has repeatedly stated his desire to stay with Arsenal. , although as of January 31, 2005 he has not signed the new contract Arsenal are offering.

Henry is now with Barcelona with his long time friend Ronaldinho.........

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