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Thierry Henry joins New York Red Bulls
SECAUCUS, N.J. (AP) - Stop the rumors about French forward Thierry Henry joining the New York Red Bulls. He’s here.
The 32-year-old former Arsenal and Barcelona player signed a multiyear contract on Wednesday and he is expected to make his Red Bulls’ debut on July 22 in an exhibition against Premier League club Tottenham.
“Some people might think I am going to go there for vacation _ I do actually go there for vacation _ but it won’t be for vacation this time,” Henry said in a video interview on the club website. “I’m a competitor and I don’t like to lose.”
Henry was released by Barcelona last month after scoring just four goals last season.
“This marks an exciting new chapter in my career and life,” Henry said.
Henry will be introduced at a news conference on Thursday at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
“Thierry is not only a world class player who will undoubtedly improve our squad, but he has shown most importantly throughout his career that he is a winner,” said Erik Soler, general manager and sporting director of the Red Bulls. “He has made it clear to us that he is committed in the short and long term to help in our vision of making our organization the premium franchise in Major League Soccer.”
With France, Henry won the World Cup in 1998 and the 2000 European Championship, but sparked outrage last year when his handball during a playoff match helped to deny Ireland a spot at this year’s World Cup.
Henry guided Arsenal to the Premier League title in 2002 and 2004 before leaving in 2007 to join Barcelona, where he won six trophies in 2009 _ the Champions League, the Spanish league, the Copa del Rey, the Spanish Supercup, the UEFA Supercup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
The Red Bulls, previously were known as the MetroStars, have a history of signing star players in the twilight of their careers. Italian Roberto Donadoni played for them in 1996 and ‘97, Brazilian great Branco was with them in 1997, German Lothar Matthaus in 2000 and Frenchman Youri Djorkaeff was here in 2005 and ‘06.
None of them led the team to a title.
“I think it means everything for the industry in this country,” Angel said. “He’s arguably one of the best players in our generation. He’s a player that has won everything he could possibly win in this sport and he’s still fit. I think it’s an honor to have him here. He’s going to be a tremendous addition to the league, to the Red Bulls.”
There have been rumors for almost two years that Henry would one day join the Red Bulls. A year ago, he said he wanted to play in the United States and the door opened recently when he parted ways with Barcelona after a season in which he lost his starting job.
By David A. Clarke Jr.
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