THIERRY Henry has decided to leave New York Red Bulls at the end of his contract, the former Arsenal and Barcelona forward confirmed on Monday.
Henry, 37, joined the Major League Soccer club in 2010 following a successful playing career in Europe, where he was an integral part of Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ side and won the 2009 Champions League with Spanish giants Barcelona.
The former France international, a member of Les Bleus’ triumphant 1998 World Cup-winning squad, revealed he would now “take the next few weeks to reflect” before deciding on his next career move after the Red Bulls’ MLS Cup campaign ended with a 4-3 aggregate defeat to rivals New England Revolution in the Eastern Conference Championship play-off.
Monday’s statement from Henry read: “I am taking this opportunity to announce that unfortunately Saturday was my last game for the New York Red Bulls.
“The decision has always been that I would leave after the duration of my contract and although that was never going to change, I didn’t want it to distract from the progress of the team.
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“I have immensely enjoyed my four-and-a-half years here and would like to thank everyone involved with this club who has made my time here so enjoyable.
“Thanks must go particularly to Erik Soler, Hans Backe, Gerard Houllier, Andy Roxburgh, Mike Petke, all my team-mates, the technical staff, medical staff, all the personnel who work for the Red Bull organisation, the MLS and of course the owner Mr (Dietrich) Mateschitz, whose vision and passion brought me to this wonderful city.
“A special mention must go to the Red Bull fans who have supported this team through the good, the bad and the ugly times in the sun, rain and snow. You guys have really meant a lot to me and thank you for all your wonderful support.
“I will now take the next few weeks to reflect and decide on the next chapter of my career.”
Henry has retained close links with Arsenal, where he is the club record scorer, and trained at the Barclays Premier League club’s Hertfordshire base before a brief loan spell during January 2012.
Speaking ahead of Monday’s announcement, Henry hinted during an interview with L’Equipe he could be interested in a future coaching role with the Gunners.
“I have not taken any decision and speculation is not my thing. One thing is certain: I will stay in football, as a coach, a consultant or executive. We will see,” he said to the French newspaper.
“The second certainty is that I would love to see Arsenal win the Champions League. Whether that is from near or far does not depend on me, but it is sure I’d like to help.
“This is my club and, as a player, I was not able to give them the Champions League.”
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