Tuesday 16 December 2014 13:22, UK
Thierry Henry has announced his retirement from football and will join Sky Sports as a football expert and ambassador from the start of 2015.
Ahead of his first assignment with Sky Sports, the former Arsenal, Barcelona and France star sat down with David Jones and had his say on a range of topics – from his own career to the current crop of Premier League stars.
I cried when I left Arsenal. I’m not ashamed of saying it. It was very difficult and difficult to go somewhere where you have to start from zero again.
Henry on… his relationship with Arsene Wenger
Everyone knows how I feel about Arsene Wenger. He’s like a dad and he helped me a lot. But when I arrived at Arsenal I made myself available. Do you think Arsene would have put me on the field if I wasn’t performing? I remember at the beginning I was on the bench when I wasn’t performing and rightly so. But then Arsene knew he could count on me and I could count on him. My team knew they could count on me and I could count on them. Arsene did help me a hell of a lot, but I’d like to think I did help a bit.
Henry on… the Invincibles
We had one season unbeaten and 49 games unbeaten. We were invincible for 49 games. It’s not me saying it, the facts are talking. But you can’t think about what you’re doing [when it’s happening]. Now I can talk about it but I wasn’t going home thinking ‘hey, no one can beat us’. You can’t. Along the way we lost some games in other competitions, which made us think ‘it can happen’. People forget about Lauren, Kolo Toure, Gilberto Silva and Ray Parlour but without them there was no Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira or me. We were conscious of that and you could see the togetherness at the time. It was all about the team.
Henry on… why he moved to Barcelona
Everyone knows the love I have for Arsenal. It’s the team I support. I love Arsenal Football Club and it will always be that way. But I’m a competitor and I didn’t see the team going the way I wanted to go. It was difficult; I cried when I left Arsenal. I’m not ashamed of saying it. It was very difficult and difficult to go somewhere where you have to start from zero again. But when I arrived there was Deco, Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto’o, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Yaya Toure… I went there for a reason and, with the help of my team over there and the fans, I did succeed. I was part of – and people may argue this – one of the most successful teams in the history of the game. I was part of that and proud to be. Barcelona completed what I was looking for.
Henry on… his battles with his fellow Sky Sports pundits
It’s kind of weird. I had some good moments against those guys and some bad ones. Gary Neville played for Manchester United when they were so dominant in the game. I can assure you there were a lot of times I was upset to see him. Jamie Carragher, the same thing. I cannot forget losing the 2001 FA Cup final against Liverpool when we should have won that game easily. Jamie Redknapp had something different to the others, though. He could bring the ball down, ping the ball with his left, ping the ball with his right, play it short... He still had that nastiness, in a good way, too. He didn’t score a lot of goals – I’m not having a go – but whenever he scored one it was always a screamer.
Watch the full interview – including Henry’s views on the Premier League’s current stars, what he learned at Juventus and what drives him ‘crazy’ about his career - through On Demand, Sky Go or the Sky Sports for iPad app.