December 16, 2014

PARIS (AP) Reaction on the retirement of former World Cup winner Thierry Henry:

''The English have made a statue of him, but in France, he has not always been recognized at his full worth. With his extraordinary list of honors and his record of international goals, Thierry Henry will nonetheless remain a legend. He was an exceptional striker. Simply the best!'' - Frederic Thiriez, president of the French league.

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''Congratulations to Thierry Henry on a truly wonderful career. One of the great footballers of our time and a top bloke. Bonne chance.'' - Gary Lineker, former England striker.

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''We were blessed in this country to see Thierry playing at his peak, potentially one of the greatest players in the world, and even if you supported another team you couldn't help but enjoy watching him play. It's always a shame when such a career comes to an end.'' - Gary Neville, former England and Manchester United player.

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''A man with an exceptional career is retiring, Bravo Titi for all your achievements and what you are.'' - France midfielder Rio Mavuba.

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''Defenders everywhere will be breathing a sigh of relief that he has hung his boots up. He was certainly the toughest opponent I ever faced, and possibly the best player the Premier League has seen. I would have loved him to be on the same team as me during my playing career.'' - Jamie Carragher, former Liverpool and England player.

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''There are a few greats who spoil that with what they do. I'm sure he regrets that. There is still a lot of feeling back home. The fact that people stopped buying Henry hoovers shows how far it went and how horrible a thing it was to happen to the country. You don't mind getting beat by greatness - and that is what he had - but it is disappointing that people remember that over all the great things he did. But that will in the top players is to win at all costs, and sometimes you have to take the bad with the good.'' - Former Ireland player Rory Delap, on Henry's handball in the decisive goal in the playoff against Ireland that booked France's place at the 2010 World Cup.

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''I know from playing against Thierry how good a player he was. His game was built around incredible pace, power, and finishing, not to mention the ability to read the game better than most.'' - Jamie Redknapp, former England and Liverpool player.

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''Congratulations on an outstanding career. Top player. Top guy. Legend.'' - Arsenal and Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

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''Thanks my friend for your football.'' - Carles Puyol, former Barcelona and Spain defender.

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