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Red Bulls confirm capture of France star Henry

New York Red Bulls have confirmed the signing of former Barcelona and Arsenal forward Thierry Henry, who will make his debut in a friendly game against Tottenham.

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Henry - a member of the France World Cup squad that returned home in disgrace from South Africa - has joined the MLS side on a "multi-year contract" in one of the biggest coups for the league in its history.

"This marks an exciting new chapter in my career and life," Henry said. "It is an honour to play for the New York Red Bulls. I am fully aware of the team's history and my sole goal during my time here is to help win the club its first championship. Knowing Red Bull's significant commitment to soccer locally and internationally, I am confident that my team-mates and I will succeed."

The 32-year-old is France's all-time record goalscorer having scored 51 times for les Bleus and he also broke Ian Wright's record for Arsenal, scoring 226 goals between 1999 and 2007 as he cemented his reputation as one of the finest players in world football.

Henry was an integral member of the Arsenal side that went the season unbeaten in 2003-04 and won two league titles and three FA Cups during his time in North London. He was also named Footballer of the Year on three separate occasions.

Henry joined Barcelona in the summer of 2007 and helped the club secure the treble in 2009 when they defeated Manchester United in the final of the Champions League, scoring 25 goals in all competitions for the Catalans. However, last season he struggled to win a place in Pep Guardiola's side, making just 15 league starts as Barca retained the Spanish league title.

"It is without question that Thierry Henry is one of the most successful and recognisable soccer players over the past 15 years," Dietmar Beiersdorfer, head of Red Bull Global Soccer, said. "We are thrilled that Thierry has decided to come to New York to help the Red Bulls compete for championships this year and for years to come. His international pedigree is second to none and he is a proven winner."

Henry now opens a new chapter in his career by moving to MLS and will be presented as a Red Bulls player in a press conference on July 15. When his international transfer certificate is safely received, Henry will be able to make his debut against Arsenal's bitter rivals, Tottenham, in a friendly fixture on July 22.

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