Henry brushes off retirement rumours
HARRISON, N.J. -- New York Red Bulls star Thierry Henry sidestepped questions over his future after the club's global director, Gerard Houllier, mentioned that he expects the 36-year-old to retire, after New York's 1-0 friendly win over Arsenal on Saturday.
"Oh he said that?" Henry asked in response to Houllier's comments, then added, "We'll talk at the end of the season."
Henry was also asked if there were any factors that would lead to him returning for another year, and the player refused to comment.
Henry played 54 minutes and assisted Bradley Wright Phillips' game-winning goal against Arsenal in front of a sold-out crowd of over 25,000 fans. The match in some ways felt like a testimonial to the former Arsenal legend as fans unveiled a giant tifo showing the Frenchman in both an Arsenal and Red Bulls jersey.
Henry's contract with the Red Bulls expires after this season and his future has been speculated upon over the past few months. Seeking clarification on the talks between both sides, reporters asked Houllier about Henry's status, and the former Liverpool boss revealed that the Red Bulls' Designated Player is leaning toward ending his career.
"I'll have a talk with Thierry soon and of course I'll know. I have an idea, I think he wants to retire," said Houllier according to Big Apple Soccer.
"I think he wants to retire but we need to check with him. His performance today was good."
In his four seasons with New York, Henry has shown glimpses of the dominance that made him one of the best players in the world during his career in Europe. In 116 appearances, he has 46 goals and 40 assists. However, he hasn't delivered a title to the franchise and the team hasn't even reached the Eastern Conference finals despite having one of the most talented lists in MLS.
In the beginning of the year, the forward stated that he was considering playing beyond this season and team director Andy Roxburgh told ESPN FC before the club's season started that he would like to like to re-sign Henry but wanted to wait until the end of the year before starting talks.
Now with the latest set of developments, it appears that a brilliant 20-year career might be coming to an end.