Life After Henry – His Legacy and Future


It wasn’t the ideal way to go out, but it was quite the player. After an away loss to the New England Revolution in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Championship play-offs, New York Red Bulls captain and former France international player Thierry Henry announced he was not renewing his contract and would leave the club.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Henry expressed his gratitude to the city and fans, adding he would take the next coming weeks to deliberate the next step in his career. Rumors of Henry’s next move quickly spread as he immediately changed his cover photo to a picture of his statue in front of Emirates Stadium, home of his former club, Arsenal.

The former Gunner striker, whose contract with the Red Bulls was up at the end of this season, has always shown his dedication to the club even after his departure, and even expressed his wishes to return in some capacity. After Henry’s latest action, it seems now more than ever he is likely to return to London.

Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger, who coached Henry at Monaco and brought him to Arsenal in 1999, commented on the future of the legendary forward, saying he could see Henry return to Arsenal in some capacity, though not likely as a player. “He is an Arsenal man,” Wenger said at a press conference recently. “The best moment certainly of his life and of his career has been experienced here.”

Wenger is not the only prominent figure in the soccer community who has commented on Henry’s future. Former French national teammate Zinedine Zidane has recently called on Henry to make one last appearance with Les Bleus for their friendly against Brazil in March – a rematch of the 1998 World Cup final – as a final farewell.

The reactions to Henry’s departure have resulted in the now trending “#ThanksTH14.” A number of players including current and former teammates took to social media to acknowledge the international striker’s contribution to both the Red Bulls and the game particularly in the U.S. New England Revolution midfielder Jermaine Jones. Henry’s opponent in his last games as a Red Bull added to the sea of reactions tweeting “Thank you big man. You are a legend It was always an honor to see you playing!! I wish you the best for the future. @ThierryHenry big respect.”

Speculations surrounding Henry’s next career move have been lingering for quite some time as a number of teams such as Monaco and Galatasaray have been linked with the Frenchman. Despite these speculations, Henry’s loyalty to the Gunners has been unwavering, recently telling French magazine L’Equipe he would like to help his former club win the Champions League someday.

Thierry Henry leaves the Red Bulls after four and a half years as the all time club leader in game winning goals with 14 and assists with 11. During his time in New York, Henry scored 51 goals, made 42 assists, won the MLS Supporters’ Shield, was voted three times into the MLS Best XI and was an MLS Allstar four consecutive years in a row. Henry’s departure has certainly marked the end of an era in New York soccer, one which has given the city and sport in this country so much to admire. It was a pleasure and honor to witness a player of that caliber at such proximity in our generation, and to that, all New York soccer fans must simply say: “merci, capitaine.”