Thierry Henry still wants to win Champions League with Arsenal – as a manager

The Arsenal legend has said, sometime down the road, he would like to coach the club for which he did so much as a player.
Thierry Henry retired from football on Tuesday after a 20-year career in the game. Barbara Gindl / EPA / December 16, 2014
Thierry Henry retired from football on Tuesday after a 20-year career in the game. Barbara Gindl / EPA / December 16, 2014

Whatever Thierry Henry’s future holds after retiring from football, he is desperate to one day help his beloved Arsenal win the Champions League – ideally as manager.

Henry called time on his playing career on Tuesday and in the process ruled out a second on-field comeback with Arsenal – “At one point it will turn out to be a bad movie,” he said. “We all love the first Rocky, but I don’t know about the last one.”

Not yet ready, by his own admission, for coaching, a career in the media beckons for now – but still the desire to atone for final defeat to Barcelona in 2006 burns strongly.

Henry told Sky Sports: “I think about the stuff that I missed. How can I forget about the Champions League final?

“Hopefully I can go back in some capacity and finally be part of a team that can lift that trophy.

“That’s something I think about. We didn’t win the Champions League with Arsenal. With that team that we had, we failed.”

Arsenal had goalkeeper Jens Lehmann sent off early on in Paris and though Sol Campbell gave them the lead, Samuel Eto’o and Juliano Belletti gave Barca victory.

Managing Arsenal is a long-term goal for Henry, 37, but there is work to do before that.

He told the Daily Telegraph: “That would be a dream come true, but you have to prove yourself first, you have to learn first.

“You need to be able to understand what it is to be a manager. Can you teach, can you be patient? All these problems.

“The plan is to start my (coaching) badges and I guess Arsenal will help me. To pass your badges, you have to work closely with a club and I would like to think it is going to be Arsenal.”

Henry joined the club from Juventus for £11 million in 1999 and notched 228 goals in 377 games, including two in four in an on-loan return from the New York Red Bulls in 2012.

After winning the Premier League title twice, including the unbeaten season of 2003/04, and the FA Cup three times, Henry cried when he left Arsenal in 2007 but could not resist the lure of Barcelona.

He said: “Deco. Ronaldinho. (Lionel) Messi, Eto’o, (Andres) Iniesta, Xavi, Yaya Toure. I went there for a reason.

“I was part of one of the most successful teams in the history of the game and I was proud to be. My Barcelona time completed what I was looking for.”

It brought him the Champions League title he craved in 2009, along with two La Liga titles and a Copa del Rey, before he finished his career in the United States.

Henry won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 with France, scoring 51 goals in 123 appearances.

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Published: December 17, 2014 04:00 AM

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