MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact announced Thursday the nomination of Thierry Henry as head coach of the Montreal Impact. Henry signed a two-year deal, with an option for 2022.
Henry, 42, is considered one of the best strikers in the history of football. After an illustrious career spanning 20 years, Henry retired from the professional game on December 16, 2014. He then became a coach in the Academy of English club Arsenal, in February of 2015.
In August of 2016, Henry became assistant coach of the Belgian national team, which reached the semi-final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, eventually finishing third after defeating England in the third-place match. On August 31, 2018, he was promoted to main assistant coach of the national team which currently sits at the top of the FIFA World Ranking, with players like Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne, Jan Vertonghen, Axel Witsel and Thibaut Courtois.
He then accepted the head coaching position at AS Monaco, the Ligue 1 club where his professional career began after growing up in Ulis, a Paris suburb.
"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."
"We are extremely happy with the arrival of Thierry Henry," declared Montreal Impact sporting director Oliver Renard. "Young and dynamic, he's very familiar with MLS and meets the qualities we were looking for in our search. This nomination, two months before the start of camp in January, will give us a chance to build our squad with the man that will lead it."
"It's an honour to coach the Montreal Impact and return to MLS," said Thierry Henry, holder of a UEFA Pro licence. "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."
A Ballon d'or finalist in 2003 and 2006 and FIFA World Player of the Year finalist in 2003 and 2004, he climbed to the top of Arsenal's goalscoring charts with 228 goals in all competitions, where he won two Premier League championships, three FA Cups, while also taking part in a UEFA Champions League final. With FC Barcelona, he won La Liga in 2009 and 2010, as well as winning the UEFA Champions League, the Copa Del Rey and the FIFA Club World Cup.
He concluded his professional career with the New York Red Bulls in 2013, after spending four and a half seasons in MLS, scoring 51 goals and adding 42 assists in 122 games, including 118 starts. He notably won the Supporters' Shield in 2013, was chosen three times on the league's Best XI, and was selected to play in the MLS All-Star game four times.
On the international scene, he played in four FIFA World Cups with the French national team (1998, 2002, 2006 and 2010), winning the tournament in 1998, in France. He also won the Euro in 2000. He is France's all-time leading scorer with 51 goals in 123 games, in front of Michel Platini.
Henry will be presented to the media Monday. He will be at the helm of his new team as of mid-January, when training camp begins.