Thursday, July 15, 2010

Aurevoir Titi - Merci pour tous ces grands moments

Today Thierry Henry announced he will be retiring from International Football. Not exactly a surprise. Many wondered if he would even be going to South Africa at all, so his withdrawal from the International scene is what we all expected. So we will never see TH14 wearing the #12 stripe from Les Bleus. His recent signing with New York Red Bull will be a final chapter in what has been a prolific playing career. He has graced the pitches in the biggest leagues of the domestic game and played with some of the most historic sides: Juventus, Arsenal and Barcelona. I cannot, even as
a Frenchman, put Monaco in that category! His statistics speak for themselves, for a while at Arsenal he was arguably the most dangerous striker on the planet. With Les Bleus he earned 123 caps and scored 51 times...the latter making him the leading goal scorer of all time for France. I will always remember him as a 20 year old striker playing for France at the 1998 World Cup and the fact that he and Trezeguet (also 20 at the time) both took spot kicks in the 1/4 PK shoot out against Italy (which France won that time!). He and Trezegol then formed a lethal strike partnership for Les Bleus both strikers piling up the tallies. Henry and France would, 2 years later, add a European Championship to their trophy case. He would reach another World Cup final, in 2006 and overall played in 4 World Cups and 3 European Championships - winning one of each and getting a runner up in the World Cup.

With his retirement from France as well as Pat Vieira's announced earlier this month, the next French squad that takes the pitch on August 11th will have no World Champions on the roster. Granted they will have a World Champion managing the team in Laurent Blanc. However this marks a turning point for Les Bleus, until now there has always been a link with the team that lifted the trophy in Paris. For better or worse, those expectations and that experience has permeated the French side. Now the team has a chance to, as the ad says, write its own history. With the debacle in South Africa fresh in our minds, no better time than now to take step in a new and positive direction.

Henry you have been a great player and ambassador when wearing the France kit. I realize that many will focus on the "hand of Gaul" when speaking of you, while that is part of the history, it is only part. The greater sum is one of a world class player. A player that I have been fortunate enough to have watched.

Merci Titi!


philip said...

Merci Titi. People who have been watching soccer for more than 2 years know you are a legend

Jose said...

Hats off to Henry. Great player that represented his country well.

GFC said...

I agree Jose! The "hand of gaul" aside he was always a great ambassador when wearing the Blue kit of France!

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