Henry has fond memories of the city from his MLS days
Five years after announcing his retirement from the professional game and leaving MLS, Thierry Henry is back. He returns as a head coach, north of the border, to lead the Montreal Impact as of the 2020 season.
“I’ve always kept an eye on this club,” said Impact head coach Thierry Henry. “I spoke often with Patrice Bernier, and people always told me good things. I noticed, especially when I would play here, that people were very warm and friendly. I’m very happy to be able to represent this club and we’ll do our best to make the playoffs, because it’s been a moment since we’ve qualified. We’ll start at the beginning, slowly, and lay a good foundation, so that this club can be where it should.”
Henry’s experience is unmatched: the Frenchman’s professional career lasted 20 years, during which he represented some of the best clubs in the world. After he hung up his boots, the former striker immediately fell into coaching, completing his UEFA Pro license and joining Arsenal’s Academy, before joining Belgium as an assistant coach and eventually taking the head coaching job at AS Monaco, in Ligue 1.
Henry now comes to Montreal, not only to bring his vision to the pitch, but to contribute to the Impact’s all-around growth in the city and the province.
“It’s important to try and create a good connection with the community,” said Henry. “For me, it’s super important that people are happy to come to the stadium and see the Impact play. We’re going to try and have our style, our philosophy. After, it’s all about work, rigour, and professionalism. Hopefully we’ll all be on the same page quickly to get back into the playoffs first and foremost, which is very important.”
Fond memories of Montreal
Henry’s first memory of the city dates back from before the Impact was even in MLS, when the New York Red Bulls were in town for a friendly match in 2011. It was at that moment that the Frenchman was struck by the atmosphere inside the stadium, and the soccer culture in Montreal.
“This city has lots of love for its team, for football,” added Henry. “When I would play here, I truly felt it. I thought the stadium was very welcoming. When there’s noise, people, and everyone is really behind the team, it’s really impressive. That’s why when I knew they wanted me here, it fell into place naturally. I’m very, very happy.”