Thierry Henry Confirms Retirement

Arsenal---Thierry-Henry-to-return-to-Emirates-and-end-his-career-as-a-Gunner-699One of football top players, Thierry Henry, have decided to hang his boots after leaving New York Red Bulls with the aim of returning to London to take up a role in the media.

The 37-year-old former Arsenal striker left the New York Red Bulls at the start of the month after they were knocked out of the MLS play-offs, but there was speculation he might choose to play on at another club – with a return to the Gunners mooted.

Henry has now made it clear that he will no longer continue his playing career and will start working as a pundit with Sky Sports instead.

“After 20 years in the game I have decided to retire from professional football. It has been an incredible journey and I would like to thank all the fans, team mates and individuals involved with Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal, Barcelona, New York Red Bulls and of course the French National Team that have made my time in the game so special,” a statement on his official website read.

“It is now time for a different career path and I am pleased to say that I will be returning to London and joining Sky Sports. I will hopefully share some of the insights, observations and experiences I have learnt over the years with you guys.

“I have had some amazing memories (mostly good!) and a wonderful experience. I hope you have enjoyed watching as much as I have enjoyed taking part. See you on the other side…”

Goal-laden career

Henry will always be most closely associated with Arsenal, where he is the all-time goalscorer with 228 goals in 377 games across two different spells.

Arsene Wenger, who had known him as a young player at Monaco, signed him from Juventus for £11million in 1999, and immediately shifted him from the wing to a central striking position.

His blend of pace and power made him one of the most feared forwards in English football, and Henry won the Premier League title twice with the Gunners, as well as the FA Cup three times.

Henry left Arsenal in 2007 and joined Barcelona, where he won the UEFA Champions League in 2009. He also added two La Liga titles, the Copa del Rey, Spanish Supercopa, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup to his honours list in three seasons at the Nou Camp.

His medal collection also includes a Ligue 1 title and Trophee des Champions with Monaco, his first professional club.

He spent the final five years of his playing career with the Red Bulls, returning to Arsenal to make four appearances on loan in early 2012.

With France, Henry scored 51 goals in 123 appearances – only Lilian Thuram has more caps with Les Bleus. He was a member of the 1998 World Cup winning squad, while also being a runner up in 2006. Henry was a European champion in 2000 and was part of the team that won the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2003.

Messi wins Excellence Sports Award

Barcelona striker Lionel Messi has won the Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award (ESPY) for Best International Athlete.

The diminutive Barcelona star ended the 2011-12 season with a club record 73 goals, and helped his side to victories in the Spanish Supercopa, European Super Cup, the Club World Cup and the Copa del Rey.

The Argentinean skipper was fit throughout the season and that is the reason why he has managed to give out 63 appearances for both club and country. During these appearances, the Argentinean star has managed to score 80 goals and gave out 25 assists as well.

He played almost all the matches during this season and furthermore took part in the World Cup qualifying matches and the friendly games which the Argentinean national team played.

He also won the European golden boot, scoring 72 goals for the Spanish giants, Barcelona.

Though Messi could not help Barcelona win the Champions League or the Spanish La Liga, he was still the top scorer in both competitions. He was able to score 50 goals in the league, and scored 14 in the Champions League to be crowned as the golden boot for both tournaments.

Messi won the award for ‘Excellence in Sports Performance’, an award which was started back in the year 1993 after fans voted him of ahead of Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo and reigning US and Australian Open tennis champion Novak Djokovic and female golfer Yani Tseng to the prestigious honour, presented by sports broadcaster ESPN

Messi is the latest in a long line of sporting greats to receive the ward, including the likes of Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova and Usain Bolt.