Arsenal legend, Thierry Henry opens up on his mental health struggles after leaving the club for Barcelona as he went through Â£10m divorce
Thierry Henry has opened up on the struggles he faced when he joined Spanish giants Barcelona back in 2007 from Arsenal.
The former French international joined the Gunners in 1999 and ended his eight-year stay in north London to join Barca for £16million.
Henry scored a club record 228 goals for Arsenal and won two Premier League titles – including in the 2003-04 ‘Invincibles’ season – and two FA Cups along the way. He also won four Premier League Golden Boots and was one of the first players to be inducted into the competition’s hall of fame.
However, his switch didn’t go exactly how he had planned as he arrived at the Nou Camp while still recovering from a lengthy injury and was also in the process of a divorce from his first wife, Claire Merry.
The couple had one child their daughter Tea in May 2005, before Henry paid nearly £10m as a divorce settlement, only four years after they tied the knot.
Henry spoke to French outlet L’Equipe, saying: ‘When I left Arsenal for Barcelona it took me a year to be well.
‘I arrived injured, I’m going through a divorce, I have to learn a new system, you mix it all up, keep playing the mind.’
Henry struggled to make a similar impact at Barcelona as he shared the spotlight with superstars like Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho, and Samuel Eto’o. Though, he won two LaLiga titles, one Copa del Rey and the 2009 Champions League.
But the forward revealed it was ‘taboo’ at the time he was struggling to speak freely about suffering from mental health.
‘In my time it was much more difficult, totally taboo. Even in the group,’ he added.
‘You came to the locker room: ‘Are you OK? Yes, even if things weren’t going well. Did you sleep well? Yes, even if it wasn’t. Are you in pain? No, even if you were in pain.’
The 44-year-old then made the switch to America in 2010 where he spent four seasons playing for the New York Red Bulls. He later returned to the Emirates on loan in 2012, where he scored 12 minutes into his second debut, before he retired as a player in 2014.
Henry is currently the assistant coach for Belgium, working under Roberto Martinez, while also working as a pundit.
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