Arsenal's Thierry Henry celebrates after scoring against Deportivo La Coruna. Highbury, March 2000.

The best quotes on Thierry Henry: ‘Embarrassing for the defenders’

Thierry Henry won several major titles during his career with Arsenal, Barcelona and France – not to mention the respect of some of the world’s greatest players.

Henry won the FA Cup three times and the Premier League title twice at Arsenal, including as part of the ‘Invincibles’ in 2003-04, scoring 226 in 369 appearances to become their all-time record goalscorer.

Three years in Barcelona brought two league titles and the Champions League, among others honours, while he also ended his career as France’s top goalscorer of all time with 51 goals in 123 caps.

A true icon of the game, we’ve collected some of the best tributes to Henry from such legends as Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi.

Arsene Wenger

“It was embarrassing for the defenders. He just scored when he wanted.”

Paul Merson

“Thierry Henry would play for Arsenal like he was a 20-year-old playing in an Under-12 league, and I’ve never seen that before.”

Zinedine Zidane

“Thierry Henry is probably technically the most gifted footballer ever to play the beautiful game.”

Jamie Carragher

“I’ve used this analogy before and I make no apology for using it again. When he hit top gear and ran past you, it was like trying to chase after someone on a motorbike.

“When Arsenal were ‘The Invincibles’ in the period between 2003-2004, Henry rivalled Ronaldinho as the best in the world. A great goal-scorer, not to mention a scorer of great goals, he is the finest player I have seen in the Premier League. His game didn’t have a weakness.”

Lionel Messi

“The first day that he came into the dressing room, I did not dare to look him in the face. I knew everything that he had done in England.”

Gianluca Vialli

“The only way to stop Thierry Henry? With a gun!”

Lilian Thuram

“He’s a wizard with his feet and is blessed with a gift for scoring goals. His best quality is his speed while the ball is at his feet. He may be the fastest man ever to lace up a football boot. No defender in the world can keep up with him.”

Paul Scholes

“On his day he was absolutely scintillating, a supreme athlete and a magnificent footballer. What amazed me was that he never seemed to get a sweat on. He could run 100 meters past five players and he wouldn’t even be breathing heavily.”

Peter Beardsley

“I tell my kids in the academy at Newcastle to watch Henry. He plays with such a swagger, not an arrogance, and that is a great quality.

“He always looks so comfortable. You talk about cars going from 0 to 60 in a matter of seconds, and he is like that. He just explodes. I could sit there for hours and watch him.”


“Henry is a beautiful player and has got complete technique, I adore watching him. I respect him very much as a man and as a footballer. He reminds me of myself.”

Martin Keown

“I do remember saying to him when he scored his first goal, ‘I’ll be able to tell my kids I played with you,’ and I meant every word of it.”

Gianfranco Zola

“He is one of those players who can really ruin your day.”

Michel Platini

“He’s got something that no French player has ever had. He can do everything: from scoring goals, to giving assists, crossing and creating space for other players, and he fights for every ball. I’ve never seen a player in France like him.”

George Best

“I don’t recognise myself in the players I see today, there’s only one who excites me, and that is Thierry Henry. He’s not just a great footballer, he’s a showman, an entertainer.”

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