Henry retires from France squad after move to New York Red Bulls
Published 16/07/2010 | 07:43
Thierry Henry has confirmed his retirement from international football with France after completing his move from Barcelona to the New York Red Bulls.
The 32-year-old scored 51 goals in 123 appearances for France — with both totals standing as French records.
He scored three goals as France won the World Cup in 1998, but suffered frustration in the following years as Les Bleus struggled to recapture that form.
And he is destined to be remembered for his infamous handball in the World Cup play-off against the Republic of Ireland and his part in France’s farcical campaign in South Africa.
France were eliminated in the group stages amid stories of widespread discontent and crumbling discipline in the camp.
However, Henry said yesterday he had already made his mind up to quit before the World Cup, and that events in South Africa did not contribute to his decision.
“South Africa didn't play any part in it,” he said at his unveiling by the Red Bulls. “I could have announced it before the World Cup, but I just didn't want to put that type of cloud on top of the team.”
Asked about what unfolded in South Africa, the striker said many of the claims made about levels of disharmony in the squad were wide of the mark.
“I actually would like to know myself (what went wrong),” he said.
“I don't know what it was. From a personal point of view, I am always going to respect the decision of the coach.
“It was (Raymond Domenech's) decision not to play me and I respect that.
“Lots of stuff was invented, unfortunately. I just like to stick to the pitch, and the problem was we didn't play very well.
“That's the only thing we should be talking about right now. We didn't perform. It's as simple as that.”