When Thierry Henry left the pitch in Portland during this week’s MLS All Star Game against Bayern Munich, the substitution had all the feeling of a goodbye.
The crowd went nuts for Titi, whose rumored retirement has been a story since Gerard Houllier speculated that the Frenchman was ready to step away from soccer.
Landon Donovan’s surprise retirement announcement gave the press reason to spring more retirement questions on Henry this Friday, and both the striker and his sporting director, Andy Roxburgh, laid out their thoughts on the matter.
From MLSSoccer.com, here’s Roxburgh:
“I don’t feel any urgency, but we’re both grown up enough to understand that it wouldn’t be wise to be sitting here in December and say, ‘Maybe we should talk.’ We’re talking all the time. I’ve got a good idea of the way it’s going, he’s got a good idea as well, but we won’t come out and publicly declare anything just yet.”
“Some of my friends are telling me that I still look fit. I don’t feel fit after games, though, but it is what it is,” said Henry when asked if seeing Landon Donovanretire at 32 has made him think about life after the game. “You have to respect anyone’s decision. I said to you, as long as I can run, I will keep on playing. Sometimes it’s not only down to your body, it’s also what’s happening up there in your head.
“We’ll see. I still feel fresh, somehow, after a lot of games in my career. But I’m okay still so far.”
Henry, 36, has slowed down very little, and his creativity was still quite evident in the All-Star Game. He’s posted 10 assists to go with four goals this year, and has played a major part in the boatload of goals scored by Bradley Wright-Phillips thusfar. It would be tremendous to see him stick around for one more year, if just to help the Red Bulls/NYC FC rivalry off the ground (Lampard vs. Henry? Let’s do this). But if he goes — even without a title — no one can deny that Titi’s voyage across the Atlantic Ocean was anything short of a success.