Thierry Henry has spoken of his time at Barcelona, reminiscing about the Pep Guardiola side that ‘conquered the world.’
The forward, now playing in the MLS with New York Red Bulls, spoke to AS prior to Sunday’s Clasico between Barca and Real Madrid.
Henry was asked for his memories of Barca’s 6-2 win at Santiago Bernabeu in 2009 and the former France international revealed that it was a game he will never forget.
“The 6-2 in the Bernabeu is something I’ll remember all my life. Six goals in Madrid? Wow!
“Samuel Eto’o told me about the fans at El Prat and he wasn’t wrong. They came to see us.
“Even today, when someone sees me in Barcelona, I talk about it.”
The game was won under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola and Henry pointed out that when he was appointed, the critics and doubters spoke up en masse.
“They accused him of not having the experience at the top level. He’s an incredible Coach.
“It’s easy to speak well now but he was strong enough to take a group of fine players and lead them to glory.
“Compared to the rest, Arsene Wenger and Arsenal are like Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, something different, an inexplicable feeling,” Henry continued.
“That said, Guardiola is the best Coach that currently exists. He controls all the aspects of a player’s everyday life and while that may seem overwhelming, eventually it benefits a player because it frees you from many things.
“Pep knows what will happen in the games and how to win them in every way. And the greatest thing is that he’s right.
“He has it all in his head. It’s special. All that makes him different from the rest.”
Henry went on to say that it wasn’t the winning that he loved about Barca, but the way they won.
“We won everything playing good football. What a way to enjoy it! It was great, amazing.
“Barca won six cups. We won it all. We conquered the world of football.”
Frank Rijkaard was the Barca Coach when Henry left Arsenal and even though it proved to be Rijkaard’s final year, Henry says he still enjoyed working under the Dutchman.
“I learned from Rijkaard, as I have all the Coaches in my career. My first year in Barcelona was not as good as all the rest he had in Camp Nou, but it was important,” Henry said.
Henry, now 36, added that he was not yet thinking about retirement, only seeing out his Red Bulls contract, and welcomed the prospect of Xavi Hernandez joining him at the club.
“Xavi can play anywhere he wants. He’s so good, it’s clear. He’ll choose what he chooses and it should be accepted by everyone.
“He needs to think about it, but he can play anywhere. Barca is Barca. His work on the pitch invites the whole team to move more rhythmically.
“Barca is a special club, different to the rest in many ways, a special club that made me feel football, culture and life differently.”