Thierry Henry rejoins Monaco: why he's a big deal

Thierry Henry, 41, has taken his first job as a head coach at Monaco, the club where he began his playing career.

Thierry Henry has been confirmed as the new coach of Monaco
Thierry Henry has been confirmed as the new coach of Monaco ©Getty Images

Thierry Henry is to take charge of Monaco following the departure of Leonardo Jardim. In case you didn't know, it is a big deal.

UEFA Champions League appearances

Total: 112
Monaco: 9 (1994–99)
Arsenal: 77 (1999–2007)
Barcelona: 26 (2007–10)

Highlights: Thierry Henry’s European goals
Highlights: Thierry Henry’s European goals

UEFA Champions League goals

Total: 50
Monaco: 7
Arsenal: 35
Barcelona: 8

Best performance: winner (Barcelona, 2009)

If you don't remember him ...

Thierry Henry had a glorious spell at Arsenal
Thierry Henry had a glorious spell at Arsenal©Getty Images

"Thierry Henry is probably technically the most gifted footballer ever to play the beautiful game," said Zinédine Zidane, who provided creative ammunition for Henry as France won the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2000. A brilliant striker, who revelled in taking on defenders and going one-on-one with goalkeepers, he ended his career as all-time top scorer for both Arsenal (226) and Les Bleus (51).

Signed by Monaco without a trial when a scout saw the 13-year-old Henry hit all six goals in a 6-0 success for his youth side, he initially sparkled as a winger, but only joined Arsenal in 1999 after a disappointing six-month spell at Juventus. Converted to an out-and-out striker, he won two league titles with both Arsenal and Barcelona, and reached two UEFA Champions League finals, winning in 2009.

What happened next

Romelu Lukaku learned from Henry
Romelu Lukaku learned from Henry©Getty Images

Having quit international football after the 2010 World Cup (his fourth), he moved to the United States to play for New York Red Bulls, finally hanging up his boots in 2012. He joined the Belgium coaching staff in 2014, where striker Romelu Lukaku loved working with him. "Thierry for me is the best," he said. "I sometimes ask him questions for two hours." Roberto Martínez's assistant more recently, he came close to taking charge of Bordeaux in the summer.

His best UEFA Champions League moments

Watch that goal against Real Madrid
Watch that goal against Real Madrid
  • Surpassing Ian Wright's club-record mark of 185 Arsenal goals with both strikes in a 2-0 win at Sparta Praha on 18 October 2005, the first a wonderful bending effort with the outside of his right boot from distance. A statue of him stands outside Arsenal Stadium to mark his achievement.

  • Scoring one of the all-time great UEFA Champions League goals in a last-16 meeting with Real Madrid on 21 February 2006. He collected a pass from Cesc Fàbregas and held off defenders before firing past Iker Casillas. Justly included in the poll for the top 60 goals in UEFA's history.

  • Arsenal lost the 2006 UEFA Champions League final to Barcelona, with goalkeeper Jens Lehmann sent off after 18 minutes. Henry got closure, though, following his move to the Camp Nou, his side beating his old rivals Manchester United 2-0 in the 2009 decider in Rome.

What others said about him

"It was embarrassing for the defenders. He just scored when he wanted."
Arsène Wenger, former Arsenal manager

"When he hit top gear and ran past you, it was like trying to chase after someone on a motorbike."
Jamie Carragher, fomer Liverpool defender

"He never seemed to get a sweat on. He could run 100 metres past five players and he wouldn't even be breathing heavily."
Paul Scholes, Mancheser United midfielder