April 25, 2008

Thierry Henry says he is happy at Barcelona -- and would only return to the English Premier League if he could play again for his former club Arsenal.

In an interview with BBC Sport for the broadcaster's Football Focus program, the French striker talked openly about his career.

There have been rumors all season that he is unsettled in Barcelona and in recent weeks speculation has intensified that he could move back to England and resume playing in the Premier League after a difficult season in Spain during which Barça's playing formation has been said not to suit him.

But Henry put the record straight when talking to Football Focus.

"I'm happy -- I don't regret leaving Arsenal," he declared. "But there's only one team in England for me. Everybody knows the love and affection I have for Arsenal. I was so into it, I became a fan."

Henry left the Gunners in a $32 million move last June, but his first season in La Liga has been blighted by injuries, the most recent being a back problem.

Having scored 174 Premier League goals in 254 appearances for Arsenal (and 226 goals in all competitions), he has struggled to make an impact at Camp Nou. His record for Barça to date is seven goals in 25 appearances.

Moreover, he has been heavily criticized in the Spanish media for some anonymous performances, notably in the Champions League quarterfinal second leg victory over Schalke. Against Manchester United in Wednesday's semifinal first leg, he came on as a substitute after shaking off a fever, though Barça has said he vwill start the second leg at Old Trafford given his succesful record against United while at Arsenal.

Despite his inauspicious season in La Liga, the ex-Monaco and Juventus forward insists he has no intention of leaving the Catalan giants.

"People who know me will tell you, I'm the same in training, I'm the same in life -- I cannot act. If I'm not happy, I'm not happy," he said.

There have been reports, perhaps fanciful, that Newcastle is keen to take Henry back to England in the summer, and he has even been linked with a possible move to Major League Soccer in the U.S.

When asked by the BBC if he would return to play in the Premier League, Henry replied: "I don't know. I'm happy here at Barcelona. I still have three years of my contract left with Barcelona.

"But England... I watch every game that I see [will be screened] on TV. I was watching Stoke City vs. Crystal Palace. I will always miss it.

"There has been since I arrived here a lot of speculation from Day 1 but, hey, go back where? There's only one team for me in my heart. It took me a while to understand what that club, Arsenal, meant."

The Frenchman recealed that he has no remorse about any of the decisions he has made, stressing: "I don't regret stuff in my life. Stuff happens for a reason. You don't regret stuff that you thought about. I don't regret it."

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