Thierry Henry is heading back to MLS, this time as head coach of the Montreal Impact on a two-year deal, with an option to extend in 2022, the club announced on Thursday.
The 42-year-old manager's last job was with Ligue 1's Monaco and was released of his duties in January after 20 matches and leaving the team in 19th place at the time of his departure. Before that, Henry became assistant coach of the Belgian national team under Roberto Martinez. The nation reached the semifinal of last year's men's World Cup and finishing third after defeating England.
Shortly after retiring from his playing career, he became an academy coach for Arsenal in 2015.
“We are extremely happy to announce the nomination of this legend of the game,” said Montreal Impact president and CEO Kevin Gilmore. “Henry will bring a new energy to our club. He shares our vision to elevate this club and will help us achieve our goals on and off the field. He is a competitor and a leader who has proven himself at the highest level throughout his career. He now brings these qualities with him to Montreal, a place he wants to be.”
Speaking later on Canada's TSN, Gilmore also stated that Henry was the only person interviewed for the job.
“It’s an honor to coach the Montreal Impact and return to MLS,” said Thierry Henry, in a press release. “It’s a league I know well, in which I had some very nice moments. To be in Quebec, in Montreal, which has an enormous multicultural heritage, it’s extraordinary. I’ve always kept an eye on the club and now I’m here.”
During his playing days, Henry became one of the greatest strikers of his generation, scoring 228 goals for Arsenal in all competitions, winning two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, and reaching a Champions League final. With Barcelona, he won even more accolades including the league twice and the aforementioned UCL.
He ended his playing career in MLS with the New York Red Bulls in 2013, and played four and a half seasons, scoring 51 goals in 122 matches.
Arguably, his biggest achievement was with France, where he played in four World Cups and winning the tournament in 1998. He also won the European Championship in 2000. He is the nation's all-time leading scorer with 51 goals.
According to the club, Henry will be presented to the media on Monday and fully take over in the new year.