Back on 31 August 1994, a fresh-faced 17 year-old Thierry Henry made his professional debut for AS Monaco against OGC Nice. Eight months later, on 29 April 1995, he scored his first professional goals against RC Lens at the Stade Louis-II. Nearly two decades later, on 16 December 2014, the legend has decided to call time on a truly outstanding career.
Overwhelmed by all your messages and support. Thank you to all.— Thierry Henry (@ThierryHenry) 16 December 2014
Arriving at the AS Monaco academy in 1993 after pre-training at the national football institute at Clairefontaine, Thierry Henry's tremendous potential was clear from his very first season in the Principality. He racked up the goals with the under-17s and quickly found himself with the senior reserves. His talent continued to shine through, impressing all who watched him play, including Arsène Wenger. A few months later, the manager gave Thierry Henry his chance in the big time. It was the beginning of a special relationship.
After six years in the Principality, having played 141 games, scored 28 goals and provided 37 assists, and with a French league title winner's medal in 1996-97, Thierry Henry moved to Juventus in January 1999, having become a World Champion with France a year earlier. But it was in England that his career truly took flight. Signed by Arsène Wenger for Arsenal in the summer of 1999 after mixed fortunes in Italy, he would go on to seal his place among the legends. With 228 goals for the Gunners between 1999 and 2007, he is the leading scorer in the club's history, and holds the same distinction with the French national side, for whom he has notched 51 goals!
After joining FC Barcelona in 2007, he won the UEFA Champions League in 2009 and took his personal goalscoring tally to the highest ever achieved by any French player in his professional career (411 goals in 918 matches altogether) ! One of a number of records for an astonishing player, who made the switch to Major League Soccer with the New York Redbulls in 2011 for a three-season long swansong to round off a record-breaking, trophy-laden career.
A trip down memory lane for Thierry Henry, at the training centre for the 2009 UEFA Super Cup...