As Thierry Henry joins the New York Red Bulls and becomes the latest superstar to follow David Beckham, Lothar Mathaus, and even Pele across the pond, one begins to wonder how a player idolised in North London—and worshipped in France—will be remembered in Catalunya.
After arriving in Spain as arguably the greatest import to ever grace our shores, the expectation on a player who often flirted with genius was huge. At Arsenal Henry was seen as a god, a player revered by his teammates and whose skill was appreciated by all fans, regardless of affiliation.
At Arsenal Henry was the focal point of every attack, the go-to guy. His skill mercurial, his runs unnavigable.
He was an enigma. Football fans across the country enjoyed his "chip-and-turn" shot against United at Highbury, his slalom run against Spurs, and his rocket against City, to name but a few. Henry was truly the greatest player in the world during his stay at Arsenal, coveted by the biggest clubs and recognised by his peers as a truly world-class footballer.
His head was eventually turned, and his £16 million move to the Camp Nou achieved what he couldn't achieve at Arsenal. The long-awaited European Cup.
At Barcelona it quickly became apparent that Henry was no longer the star, having to settle for a spot alongside the solidification of Lionel Messi, the Maverick Samuel Eto'o, as well as the team's circulatory system of Iniesta and Xavi.
Regardless of this, Henry still finished his first season with 19 goals across all competitions and was a key component of teams that won the European Cup, La Liga, European Super Cup, and the World Club Cup, among others.
Despite his form waning and his confidence declining, he would always give 100 percent, and for this reason I believe Thierry Henry will forever be remembered as a star in Catalunya. Goodbye, Thierry, and good luck.