I met Thierry Henry very early on, 20 years ago, when I was the manager for the under-17 French team, then for the under-18s with whom we won the European championship. On the under-20s French squad, he was even captain. Back then, three things struck me about him: first, his extraordinary talent, his drive coupled with an incredible passion for football, and finally his personality. It was these three factors and all the hard work he put in that led him to the career we know. Not to mention his intelligence and an appetite for success.
He became an extraordinary player. Thanks to the quality of his game and the number of goals scored in the English Premier League, he's become a real icon in the UK. On the other hand, France has been quite harsh on him and probably hasn't been appreciative enough of his talent and what he has contributed to the sport.
Now retired, Thierry Henry has left behind an image of a very professional, very passionate and perfectionist player. Thierry likes things done properly, impeccably. He doesn't do things by halves, but instead always strives for perfection. Hence his involvement with the New York Red Bulls and his contribution to the club's image, reputation and presence in the public eye. He went from being little-known when he started, to becoming a real star. What could be better proof of his success in the States? At the age of 37, more than one club would like to be able to count him as part of their team in the years to come...
This post originally appeared on HuffPost France and was translated into English.