Thierry Henry is returning to the Premier League – but as a pundit, not a player.
The World Cup-winning striker and Arsenal’s all-time leading goalscorer announced his retirement from football and revealed he would be joining Sky Sports as a pundit at the start of 2015.
“It’s hard to leave the game you love behind,” he told Sky Sports. “But I’m at peace with what I’ve done in the game; I’ve got no regrets.”
Henry left US club New York Red Bulls earlier this month, and there were rumours he was eyeing up a return to Arsenal, where he won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups between 1999 and 2007, and where he played again for a successful two month stint in 2012.
But Henry said that another move back to the Gunners was never on the cards.
“You never leave Arsenal Football Club. Everyone wants to know about the playing side but we didn’t talk too much about that,” he said.
“If you moved back it would have turned out to be a bad move at one point. We all loved the first Rocky, but I don’t know about the last one. You come back once but I don’t see going to Arsenal as a comeback. I feel like I never left the place. I had one comeback and I guess it was enough.”
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 16, 2014
Henry was a BBC pundit at this summer’s World Cup, where both his analyst skills and his choice of cardies were praised.
But he confirmed he would suit up for Sky Sports in the New Year.
“I still think I can give a lot to the game,” Henry said. “I’m retiring and I’m not yet involved in any team so, in the meantime, why not give back to the game on TV and make people understand some stuff they don’t understand?
“The job of an analyst is to put your message across and make people understand how the game is. It will be our job to try to make sure we can bring the game closer to people at home.”
Former teammates including Arsenal’s Theo Walcott paid tribute to the striker on Twitter, and #KingHenry has been trending worldwide.
— Theo Walcott (@theowalcott) December 16, 2014
Henry began his career at Monaco, before going on to play for Juventus, Arsenal, Barcelona and New York Red Bulls.
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 16, 2014