Thierry Henry

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Thierry Daniel Henry (born 17 August 1977 in Les Ulis, Essonne, France) is a French football, often acknowledged as the greatest striker in the world at this moment. He plays for the France national team, and for the English club Arsenal, where he is the club's all-time leading scorer in both league matches and all competitions. He became captain of Arsenal after Patrick Vieira moved to Juventus.

Henry has been nominated three times for the FIFA World Player of the Year, finishing runner-up in 2003 and 2004. Also, he was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004. He was also named a starting striker on the 2006 FIFPro World XI team.

He has surpassed Ian Wright to take over as Arsenal's all-time leading scorer with over 200 goals for the club. In 2006, Henry became the first player to score more than twenty goals in five consecutive seasons (2002–2006). He won the European Golden Boot in 2004 and 2005, making him the first player to retain the trophy. He has received the Barclays Premiership player of the season award four times.

On 19 May 2006, after months of speculation linking him with Spanish club FC Barcelona, Henry renewed his contract at Arsenal under a 4-year deal until 2010.

Henry trained at Clairefontaine one of the nine French Football Federation's elite academies and played at a youth level for CO Les Ulis (1983–1989), then Palaiseau (1989–1990), Viry-Châtillon (1990–1992) and FC Versailles (1992–1993). Henry started his professional career at AS Monaco and was given his début in 1994 by then Monaco manager, Arsène Wenger, at the age of 17. Wenger put Henry on the left wing because he believed that Henry's pace, natural ball control and skill would terrorise full-backs better than they would centre-backs. Wenger changed his view later, when he signed Henry for Arsenal.

Having impressed in the French national team's triumph in the 1998 World Cup, Henry left Monaco and moved to Italian club Juventus along with David Trézéguet in January 1999 for £10.7 million. He was made to play on the wing. Unable to cope with Italian defensive discipline in an unfamiliar position, Henry scored just three goals in 16 appearances.

Unsettled in Italy, he transferred from Juventus in August 1999 to Arsenal for £11 Million, reuniting with his former manager at Monaco. In one of his biggest masterstrokes as Arsenal manager, Wenger moulded Henry from a left winger into a striker. Some doubted whether he was cut out for the English Premiership, failing to score in his first ten games. However, he has flourished ever since first finding the net; Henry has been Arsenal's top goalscorer for each of the seven seasons he has been with the club.

Henry was made Arsenal captain in the summer of 2005, succeeding the departed Patrick Vieira. Regarded by many as Arsenal's best player ever, on October 17, 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. The 2005–06 season also saw him score his 100th league goal at Highbury, a feat unparalleled in the history of the club, and a unique achievement in the Premier League. He also contributes a large number of assists - most notably 23 in the 2002–03 season — an all-time Premiership record.

Henry is currently third in the list of all-time English Premiership goal scorers, 91 goals behind Alan Shearer who is in first place, and 17 goals behind Andy Cole in second place.

Arsenal's inability to win the Premiership for three consecutive seasons (2004-05 to 2006-07) led to speculation that Henry would leave for another club. However, he declared his loyalty and love for the club and accepted a four-year contract after the 2005-06 Champions League final, despite the Gunners losing 1-2 to Barcelona F.C.[2] He reaffirmed this months later by saying "If an opportunity like Barcelona comes again, with all my respect for such a club, I will refuse" and that he will stay at Arsenal for life. He also said that it does not matter whether he has more money as long as Arsenal's ambitions as a club continue to grow.

Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein claimed the club turned down two bids of £50 million "from Spanish clubs" for Thierry Henry before the signing of the new contract. If either of these bids had been accepted it would have made Henry the most expensive player in the world - breaking the previous transfer record of £47million paid by Spanish side Real Madrid for Zinedine Zidane in 2001.

Thierry Henry scored Arsenal's first ever goal in the Emirates Stadium on 22 July 2006, during Dennis Bergkamp's Testmonial. On 23 September 2006, Henry played a crucial role in creating the first two goals and then scoring one himself in Arsenal's 3-0 win over Sheffield United which gave them their first victory in the English Premiership at the Emirates Stadium. However, Henry faced problems with his form and neck and hamstring injuries that kept him on the bench until Arsenal's match against Charlton on 2 January 2007, where he scored the opening goal from the penalty spot and ultimately played inspirationally, leading to a 4-0 victory. He followed that up with 3 goals in the next 3 games including the 93rd minute winning goal against Manchester United on 21 January after a cross from Emmanuel Eboué.

The Frenchman made his international debut in November 1997 against South Africa. Four months earlier, he played for the U-20 French national team in the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship. He played in France's 1998 FIFA World Cup championship team, on which he was their top-scorer with three goals. Henry was scheduled to appear in the final — where France beat Brazil 3-0 — as a substitute, but a red card forced a defensive change instead. On Bastille Day 1998, he was awarded France's highest decoration, the Légion d'Honneur.

Henry was a member of the Euro 2000 championship squad, again scoring 3 goals and finishing as France's top scorer, including the equalizer against Portugal in the semi-final. France would later win the game in extra time thanks to a penalty kick by team captain Zinedine Zidane.

However, the 2002 FIFA World Cup featured a stunning early exit for both Henry and France as the reigning champions were eliminated in the group stage after failing to score a goal in any contest. After France lost their first match in group play, Henry was red carded for a sliding, studs-up challenge in their next match against Uruguay. France played to a 0-0 draw, but Henry was forced to miss the final match due to suspension which France lost 2-0 to Denmark.

The next year, Henry would return to form at the 2003 Confederations Cup. France, playing without team stalwarts Zidane and Vieira, won in large part to Henry's spectacular play for which he was named Man of the Match by FIFA's Technical Study Group in three of France's five matches. In the final, he scored the golden goal in extra time to lift the host country over Cameroon 1-0. Henry was awarded both the adidas Golden Ball as the outstanding player of the competition and the adidas Golden Shoe as the tournament's top goalscorer.

Henry also played in all of France's games in the Euro 2004 in which the team beat England in the group stages but lost to the eventual winners Greece 1-0 in the quarter-finals.

Henry was one of the automatic starters in the France squad at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He was played in the unfavoured lone striker role, but despite an indifferent start to the tournament, Henry became one of the top players of the World Cup. He scored three goals - including France's goal against returning champion and tournament favourite Brazil- and earned two fouls in two knockout-round games that led to decisive scores, although he was criticised by some commentators for faking a facial injury when winning a foul against Spain, although he later defended his actions, citing persistent fouling by Carles Puyol which was going unspotted by the referee, leading him to react in such a manner so as to gain the officials attention. France eventually lost to Italy on penalties 1-1 (5-3) in the final. Henry was one of 10 nominees for the Golden Ball award for Player of the Tournament, an award which was ultimately presented to his teammate, Zinedine Zidane.

Henry is France's second highest goalscorer of all time behind Michel Platini, with only 1 goal separating the two.

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 the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year three times, the PFA Players' Player of the Year twice, and the French Player Of The Year on four occasions — an all-time record. In 2004–05, despite Arsenal being the runners-up in the Premiership, Henry emerged with the European Golden Boot for the second consecutive year (albeit sharing it with Villarreal's Diego Forlan in 2005). He is the first ever player to retain the award. Most recently he has not been shortlisted in the three finalists for 2006 which was shocking to many such as Arsène Wenger and his Arsenal teammate Cesc Fàbregas. In the end, he finished fourth; the winner being Fabio Cannavaro.

Despite his superb overall record, Henry has faced criticism from fans for below par performances in his teams' most important matches. Whilst he has recorded many goals against high quality opposition, it should be noted that he has yet to score in any of the finals in which he has played for France or Arsenal: FIFA World Cup (2006), UEFA European Football Championship (2000), UEFA Champions League (2006), UEFA Cup (2000) and FA Cup (2001, 2002, 2003).

Luis Aragonés became Spain's coach in 2004. During a training session with the national team, a Spanish TV crew caught Aragonés motivating Henry's then Arsenal teammate José Antonio Reyes saying, "Give him the ball, and then show that black little shit that you are better than him." The incident caused an uproar in the British media with calls for Aragonés to be sacked. When Spain played England in a friendly match at the Bernabéu later that year, the crowd was hostile. Whenever black English players touched the ball, large segments of the Spanish crowd began to make "monkey" chants. The Spanish football federation -- the RFEF -- eventually fined the coach €3,000.

After an investigation, UEFA fined the RFEF 100,000 Swiss francs and warned that future incidents would be punished more severely, from suspension from major international tournaments or the closure of Spain's home international matches to supporters.

Henry and Nike started the Stand Up Speak Up campaign against football racism as a result of the incident. He was also a part of Nike's Joga Bonito campaign, Portuguese for "Play beautifully".

Henry has stepped up to take leadership in the fight against racism in football. During the lead up to the 2006 World Cup, he gave interviews with U.S. television detailing the problems with racism in European football, showcasing his skill in English and obvious education.

On May 27, 2005, Henry celebrated the birth of his first child, a daughter named Tea Henry. Henry is married to English model Nicole Merry. He lives with his family in Hampstead, North London.

Thierry Henry is the only player ever to have won three FWA Footballer of the Year awards, in 2003, 2004 and 2006.

* European Golden Boot: 2004, 2005
* FA Premier League Top Scorer: 2001-02, 2003-04, 2004-05, 2005-06
* Onze d'Or: 2003, 2006
* PFA Players' Player of the Year: 2002-03, 2003-04
* FWA Footballer Of The Year: 2002-03, 2003-04, 2005-06
* World XI Striker: 2006

* Henry is of Antillean heritage (his father is from Guadeloupe and his mother is from Martinique), he is fluent in French, Antillean Creole, English and Italian.
* Henry was born on the same day, month and year as his France and Arsenal teammate and friend, William Gallas.
* On April 12, 2006, signed a deal to join Reebok in the "I Am What I Am" campaign on August 1, 2006.
* Appeared in the Nike Secret Tournament adverts in 2002; teamed with Hidetoshi Nakata and Francesco Totti, he heads home the winning goal after vaulting off Totti's back to surprise Ronaldo, Figo and Roberto Carlos.
* Featured in the Renault Clio adverts during where he made popular the word va-va-voom meaning life or passion. The word was subsequently added to the Oxford Concise English Dictionary.
* During the 2006 World Cup Henry was the star of a TV advert for Pepsi Gold, a limited edition Pepsi brand launched in Sweden, Iceland, Poland, Egypt, Romania and Lebanon.
* No French player has ever outscored Henry at any of the World Cups he has played in. He scored three goals in 1998, none in 2002 (when the entire French team went scoreless), and three in 2006.
* He supports the NBA team San Antonio Spurs. He is good friends with the French basketball star Tony Parker who also plays for the Spurs.
* On July 22, 2006, Henry became the first Arsenal player to score at the new Emirates Stadium, assisting Arsenal to a 2-1 win over Ajax in Dennis Bergkamp's testimonial.
* In the 2005-06 season Thierry Henry scored more Premiership goals (27) than the entire Sunderland squad put together (26).
* Henry has stated that other than Arsenal, the only other club he would have loved to play for would be Liverpool, alongside Steven Gerrard and Craig Bellamy.
* He and Nicole are very good friends with his former Juventus and current France teammate David Trézéguet and his wife Beatrice.
* Henry is also a close friend of former Arsenal striker Nicolas Anelka.
* Henry appears on the cover of Pro Evolution Soccer 4, alongside Francesco Totti and Pierluigi Collina; the cover of Pro Evolution Soccer 5, with John Terry; and on the cover of the French Pro Evolution Soccer 6 with Didier Drogba.
* All three of Henry's headed goals in the 2006-07 season in all competitions have all been assisted by Emmanuel Eboué's crosses.
* Since 2006 onwards Henry has been seeing celebrating his goals exclusively with team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor, even when the latter is benched. The celebration is generally a little dance opposite each other.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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