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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Aug 5, 2014

Henry: Messi and Ronaldo are 'freaks'

New York Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry spoke about his former coach Pep Guardiola ahead of Wednesday's MLS All-Star Game.

New York Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry has hailed Thomas Muller and Franck Ribery as ideal role models, adding that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are "freaks" who cannot be imitated by other players.

2014 MLS midseason awards

Henry, 36, was speaking at a news conference ahead of the MLS All-Star game against Bayern Munich on Wednesday, when he could well come up against Ribery and Muller.

And the former Arsenal man feels kids should attempt to replicate the Bayern duo's more honest and hard-working style of play rather than the tricks and flicks of Ronaldo and Messi.

"If I had a son right now playing I'd say look at [Franck] Ribery and look at [Thomas] Muller," Henry said.

"What Ronaldo does and Messi they are just freaks. It's true. Don't try to copy those guys because they're just freaks and that doesn't happen often.

"But you can copy Franck Ribery and you can copy Thomas Muller.

"It's funny how people don't look at the game the way they should look at the game.

"People, especially now the media, they love a guy with stepovers, tricks and things like that. But the game is what Thomas Muller is doing for me. That's the game."

Henry added: "Nowadays I find it to be annoying sometimes that people don't give a lot of credit to guys that are unselfish.

"For me Franck represents that. He's very unselfish on the field and tries to play for his team. Whenever he can pass the ball even when he can score he'll try to pass it."

Henry went on to say that Ribery deserved to win the 2013 Ballon d'Or rather than Ronaldo, while he feels Muller is not given enough credit for his World Cup tally of 10 goals.

"Last year, for me, [Ribery] should've won the Golden Ball, basically because he won everything with Bayern and he was dominant. He's a team player and most of the time in our game we reward guys who are individual and that guy is not," he said.

"If anyone had the record [Muller] has at the World Cup -- people talk about it, but they don't talk about it the way they should.

"He defends. He attacks. He controls the ball when he has to control it. He reverses when he has to reverse. Finishes it when he has to finish... Thomas Muller, for me, he does what the game asks him to do."

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