This week the official site of the Champions League published an interview he conducted with Thierry Henry, one of the best footballers of the last 20 years who left his mark on the Barcelona, club in which he played just three seasons and in which he joined one of the most outstanding teams in the history of world football.
The French striker was a key part of the set of Josep Guardiola and since he was already on campus when the Spanish assumed the position of coach, he lived firsthand how the revolution that the DT carried out was. On several occasions, including in the documentary Take the Ball Pass the Ball, the former scorer always spoke wonders of Pep and this was no exception.
The Frenchman who now serves as the Montreal Impact coach of the MLS, explained the differences Guardiola has with Arsène Wenger, who was its technical director at Arsenal: “Arsène activated my brain and every day she tried to ask me the right questions. And then there's Pep Guardiola, who activated my brain on a tactical level. Those two people have had a huge impact on me, but obviously I can't speak about my career without Arsène. "
In the Premier League, Henry shone for 9 seasons in the London team's jersey until he left for Barcelona to earn trophies: “I will die as a competitor. Competing is above all for me. I love football, I am an Arsenal fan and I love Arsenal, but competing is above all. It is what pushes me, it is what makes me better and it is what challenges me. I'm not afraid of anything. "
Those desire to demand took him to Barcelona, the club with which in his second season he reached the final of the Champions Legaue, largely thanks to the assumption of Guardiola. "I thought I knew football, but when I got to Barcelona I was deprogrammed and reprogrammed. And that does not mean that I do not want Arsenal or that I am not an Arsenal fan or that my heart will not always be there … but at Barça it was so special. ”
That Catalan team of the 2008/09 campaign had figures such as Carles Puyol, Eric Abidal, Dani Alves, Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta, Samuel Eto'o and Lionel Messi, among others, and is remembered as one of the best in all of history . But for the final before him Manchester United several of those stars were touched.
On the way to Rome the team had already triumphed in La Liga and in the Copa del Rey, so such wear had damaged the physique of several players. It was always known that Puyol and Abidal were not 100 percent and that even Iniesta had some discomfort, but nothing was known about Henry.
The striker had suffered a blow in a classic against Real Madrid that caused him a "pull on the posterior cruciate ligament of his right knee", as described by the news portals at the time. For this reason, he had not participated in the final of the Copa del Rey, but everyone believed that by the end of the Champions League he was fully recovered.
"He had come to compete, we were going to win the Six Cups as the song says and I couldn't bend my knee and I couldn't run well, but I had to play, as simple as that. What if I was fine? I do not think so. What if I helped? I hope he did, but I was there, "confessed the French gunner. "I played as much as I could and I lied, because they asked me if I was ok and I said yes, yes of course I'm never going to say I'm not okay, that's the way it is”, He recognized more than 10 years after that meeting.
“I don't want to look like that boy who… oh my gosh, he played injured! I have lost count of the games I played injured, but that final was very special to me. People don't know, but it was my daughter's birthday and I had never won the Champions League as everyone knows"
Eto’o and Messi scored the goals of that night against Manchester United, a team that had Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tévez and Wayne Rooney among its ranks. Thus, Barcelona could become the European champion and Henry could achieve his dream of lifting the Orejona.
Henry left the cast culé in 2010 right at the end of the season heading to United States to play for the New York Red Bulls in the MLS, a team he retired to in 2014. Currently, after a failed stint with France's Monaco, he is a coach for the Montreal Impact.
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