Thierry Henry: Former Arsenal and France striker retires

Thierry Henry

Former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry has announced his retirement from football after a trophy-laden 20-year career.

The 1998 World Cup winner, and Arsenal's all-time leading goalscorer, left New York Red Bulls this month but there was speculation he might choose to play on at another club.

"It has been an incredible journey," said the 37-year-old.

Henry is joining Sky Sports after being a World Cup pundit for the BBC.

Thierry Henry

The Frenchman, who also played for Monaco, Juventus, and Barcelona, scored 175 Premier League goals and is fourth on the list of all-time scorers.

Henry won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups with the Gunners, where he played between 1999 and 2007.

He added the Champions League trophy with Barcelona in 2009 and returned to Arsenal for four matches on loan from the Red Bulls in 2012, coming on as a substitute to score the winner against Leeds in the third round of the FA Cup.

When asked if he had considered another stint at the Emirates, he told Sky Sports: "You kind of never leave Arsenal."

But he added that another comeback might prove costly, referencing the 'Rocky' films starring Sylvester Stallone.

"At one point, it will turn out to be a bad move," he said. "We all love the first Rocky, but I'm not too sure about the last one."

Henry, France's record goalscorer, made his Monaco debut in 1994 and helped the club to the French Ligue 1 title in 1997.

In 1998, he was an unused substitute in the World Cup final victory over Brazil, though he went on to score three goals as France won Euro 2000.

"I would like to thank all the fans, team-mates and individuals involved with AS Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal, Barcelona, the New York Red Bulls and, of course, the French national team that have made my time in the game so special," said Henry in a statement.

"I have had some amazing memories (mostly good!) and a wonderful experience. I hope you have enjoyed watching as much as I have enjoyed taking part. See you on the other side."

A number of current and former players have tweeted their reactions to Henry's retirement:

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey: "Congratulations on an outstanding career @ThierryHenry. Top player. Top guy. #Legend"

MOTD presenter Gary Lineker: "Congratulations to @ThierryHenry on a truly wonderful career. One of the great footballers of our time and a top bloke. Bonne chance."

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge: "Happy retirement to my hero and idol @ThierryHenry. Wish you all the best in the next chapter."

Arsenal striker Kelly Smith: "Congrats to @ThierryHenry on a fantastic career. Loved watching him play. What a player."

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott: "A true inspiration to me in my career."

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil: "Once you enchanted all of us - now I can only say: Thanks for everything! @ThierryHenry #ArsenalLegend"

Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel: "@ThierryHenry congratulations on an amazing career... one of the best I've faced over the last 23 years!"

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany: "@ThierryHenry from artist to analyst. Respect to you sir. What a player..."

Former England striker Michael Owen: "One of the all time greats has hung up his boots. Thierry Henry was simply unplayable."

TV personality and Arsenal fan Piers Morgan: "Thank you @ThierryHenry for all the goals and trophies - and the sheer, majestic glory of the way you played football. What a career. #afc"

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew hailed Henry as "a fantastic player and a great ambassador for the game" - before joking about the Frenchman's controversial role in knocking Republic of Ireland out of the 2010 World Cup play-offs.

He said: "I hear he's going to go into TV and probably along the way he will have other roles in football because he is such a gentleman and such a sportsman - apart from his handball against Ireland, of course!"

He added: "He has been one of the icons of the Premier League and he will never be forgotten for that."

Henry later tweeted: "Overwhelmed by all your messages and support. Thank you to all."

Henry lowdown
1994 Makes top-flight debut for Monaco on 31 August, aged 17
1998 On the bench as France win World Cup final
1999 Joins Juventus in January but makes just 20 appearances
1999 Joins Arsenal for £10.5m - wins two Premier Leagues & three FA Cups
2000 Scores three in five as France win Euro 2000
2007 Joins Barcelona for £16.1m
2009 Wins league, cup and Champions League treble with Barcelona
2010 Joins MLS side New York Red Bulls
2012 Returns to Arsenal on loan and scores twice
Thierry Henry
Henry won the World Cup with France in 1998 and the European Championship two years later
Thierry Henry
Henry celebrates with Barcelona team-mates Sylvinho and Lionel Messi after the 2009 Champions League final
Henry signed for Arsenal in 1999 from Juventus
Thierry Henry
Henry celebrates after scoring one of his finest goals against Manchester United in September 2000

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