clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Happy Birthday, Thierry Henry

The Red Bulls legend celebrates his 39th birthday today.

MLS: Eastern Conference Championship-New York Red Bulls at New England Revolution Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Everybody here at OaM would like to wish former New York Red Bulls superstar Thierry Henry a happy birthday. Henry turns 39 today, August 17. Henry had an illustrious career playing for Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal, Barcelona, New York Red Bulls, and the French National Team. During his incredible career, he won a World Cup, the UEFA Champions League, the European Championship, the Premier League and La Liga twice, an MLS Supporters Shield, and finished as runner-up for the 2003 Ballon d’Or.

Henry’s signing was a pivotal moment in the history of the Red Bulls. He arrived as a 33-year-old designated player in the summer of 2010, shortly after Red Bull Arena had opened. Henry struggled initially with only two goals and three assists in 12 appearances during the 2010 season. However, the following season he found his stride, delivered 15 goals and five assists in all competitions, and quelled any concern that he was merely another overpaid European DP past his prime.

From 2010 to 2014, in the course of 135 appearances, Henry captained the Red Bulls, scored 52 goals and recorded 49 assists in all competitions. He also helped the club win its first piece of silverware, bringing home the Supporters' Shield in 2013.

Since its inception, the twice-named club Henry joined has had a fascination with big-name signings: Roberto Donadoni, Lothar Matthaus, Youri Djorkaeff - to name a few. Some worked out, some did not; some left beloved, some despised. But New York is a big city, and its first MLS franchise stayed stubbornly addicted to pinning its hopes on big names.

Henry ended RBNY's trophyless run, and apparently cured the club's craving for soccer superstars. As soon as the team's best-ever world-class signing retired, the Red Bulls flipped their traditional script and entered their current "team is the star" mode of building a winner. Henry gave RBNY their first taste of a trophy, and their last (for now) of an all-time global legend of the game leading the club's annual hunt for glory.

Henry is arguably the greatest player in Red Bulls/Metrostars history and had a pedigree unlike almost any other Red Bulls player. His cultured left foot, excellent dribbling, and ability to score as well as create made him one of the greatest players in soccer history. He demonstrated that ability for RBNY time and time again. He is the only playerto have contributed more than 100 combined goals and assist to the team's cause.

After retiring, Henry has spent time working to acquire UEFA coaching licenses and coaching the Arsenal U-18 team. More recently, he allegedly missed out on an assistant coaching gig with Belgium's national team. Currently, Henry works in England as a pundit for Sky Sports.