Jose Mourinho hails Thierry Henry’s influence, reveals he almost signed him

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In case you didn’t know, Chelsea’s boss Jose Mourinho is a big fan of Thierry Henry.

Following the Frenchman’s retirement from soccer at the age of 37 on Tuesday, Mourinho spoke at length to English radio station Talksport about Henry’s influence and about how he almost signed him… while he was an assistant coach at Barcelona.

[ WATCH: Henry’s top 10 goals ]

Henry eventually ended up at Barcelona, sandwiched in between his legendary time at Arsenal and the last four years of his playing career spent in Major League Soccer with the New York Red Bulls, but Mourinho revealed that he and Sir Bobby Robson almost snapped him up nearly two decades ago.

“When I was an assistant in Barcelona with Mr (Bobby) Robson in 1996 (we tried to sign him). He was in Monaco and he went to Juventus, we lost him by an inch,” Mourinho said. “After that he was not on my radar because it was never a possibility to come to my teams. Could you imagine in that moment leaving Arsenal to come to Chelsea? I wouldn’t imagine that.”

Although he never worked with Henry, Mourinho also spoke at length about the influence the former Arsenal striker had on the game globally but particularly in England.

“He’s the kind of player that you need forever, especially in the Premier League where he was more than any other place. He was okay in Barcelona and the (France) national team, but the real Thierry Henry, the player that we are all going to miss forever, is the one that made unbelievable seasons and incredible history in the Premier League.”