September 15, 2012
HIS CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT
Henry admits he would get more satisfaction if the sport improved than Red Bulls winning MLS Cup
By Michael Lewis
|Thierry Henry: It would be more satisfying in a way for me when I leave in two years time that some players got better playing alongside me and helping the game develop than winning the MLS. Now, don't get me wrong. That's the aim."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
HARRISON, N.J. -- Thierry Henry has won international soccer's version of the trifecta: the World Cup, Euro 2000 and the UEFA Champions League.
So, he knows what it takes to win and win championships.
Yet, the Red Red Bulls captain also understands priorities and the bigger picture.
While the former French international striker wants to win the MLS Cup, he admitted on Thursday that he would get even more satisfaction if his teammates raised their games because of his presence and influence instead of the Philip F. Anschutz trophy on Dec. 1.
"Listen, I've said it to the guys. I've never said it to you since I've been here," Henry said after practice at Red Bull Arena. "I think when you enter a competition and when you play for it, you want to win everything you can. For me, it is very important to win it especially for the club, for the franchise, for the fans. They have been waiting for a very long time to have it."
But Henry did not just come to the United States to add another title to his burgeoning collection. He would love to see the game in a better position when he leaves Major League Soccer in two years.
"From a personal point of view, I came here to help this game develop," he said. "It would be more satisfying in a way for me when I leave in two years time that some players got better playing alongside me and helping the game develop than winning the MLS. Now, don't get me wrong. That's the aim.
"But I said when I am going to retire finally, the beauty of it for me will be seeing Connor Lade on the national team and one day coming up to me and saying, 'You know what, you helped me throughout my career,' and stuff like that. That for me would be better victory than winning the MLS. Now, don't get it twisted. I'm dying to win it. Two different stories."
Henry was quite concerned about being taken out of context because he had been several times prior in his career, especially in England.
"You understand what I mean?" he asked. "The game here is developing and that's all we want. Because at the end of the day, me winning it with the Red Bulls is not going to change how the game is improving here. But me talking to the guys and them listening can me a massive difference. Obviously, we want and I want to win MLS Cup, especially for the fans. They've been suffering for a little. We all know it's not easy to win in New York.
"Again, don't get it twisted. We want to win the MLS Cup."
But Henry is still taking things seriously. While the Red Bulls had a week of during the World Cup qualifying break, Henry stayed behind and trained with several teammates, including newcomers Lloyd Sam and Luis Robles.
"I don't know what time off is, man," Henry said. "If you take time off, someone else is working. If you want to win the league, if you want to help the people around here, that's my only point, that's my mentality."
A reporter brought up the fact Henry worked out with Sam. It wasn’t intentional, the English man was there to keep in shape as well.
"I wasn't looking to get anybody ready," Henry said. "For me, That is what the game is. I don't know what are days off. We have the privilege to play -- I won't call it work -- I do what I love. You don't have a lot of people in the world who can say that. I want to be the best player I can be and it was just so happen that I saw him there. we worked together. That is my mentality, that is his mentality."
Henry was impressed with Lloyd's work ethic.
"He could have come [and said], 'I'm just arriving. I could take it easy.' He went to train. Luis Robles was there, too. We worked for a week. I didn't have any plan behind it."