‘Shocking comments’ Arsenal legend Henri reveals depression

“I cry every day for no reason”

Thierry Henry has opened up about his depression.

“I’ve suffered from depression throughout my career, and I think since I was born,” he said on the Diary of CEO podcast, hosted by Stephen Bartlett, author of The Law of Priorities.

The Frenchman is considered one of the best strikers in the Premier League (PL). He made his professional debut with AS Monaco in 1994 and went on to play for Juventus, Arsenal, Barcelona, and the New York Red Bulls.

He spent his prime at Arsenal. At the time, Henri led the Gunners to an undefeated title in the 2003-04 season. He was the first player in the PL to surpass the 20-goal, 20-assist plateau in a season. In 2002-03, Henri scored 24 goals and provided 20 assists in the PL alone.

He scored tons of goals. In his eight seasons at Arsenal, Henri was the club’s top scorer four times. With 228 goals in an Arsenal shirt, he remains the club’s all-time leading scorer and seventh on the PL’s all-time goalscorers list (175 PL goals).

His performances dropped off after his move to Barcelona, but he still managed to lift a number of trophies in the 2008-09 season as he contributed to Barcelona’s treble. He also won all the glory at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France.

After hanging up his cleats with the New York Red Bulls in 2014, Henri went straight into coaching. He started out as the head coach of the Belgian national team and then went on to manage AS Monaco and Olympique de Monaco, but he didn’t have the same success as he did as a player.

While Henri was at the top of his game as a player, his inner life was not. “Throughout my career, and I think since I was born, I’ve had depression, but I’ve gotten used to it,” he told the Diary of CEO podcast. I don’t walk straight, but I walk. You have to put one foot in front of the other. That’s how I grew up,” he confessed.

“I never stopped walking. But during COVID-19, I stopped walking, and then I started to realize. I was isolated in Montreal, Canada, and it was hard not to see my kids for a year,” he added. Henri was stranded in Canada during COVID-19.

Depression led to daily tears. Henri said, “I cry almost every day for no reason. The tears flowed alone, I don’t know why, it was the younger me. I cried because of what I didn’t get, what I wasn’t recognized for, etc. As a little boy, I was always told by my father that ‘you’re not good enough’,” he revealed.

Henri overcame this depression from his own children. Henri recalled that he was about to leave for Canada again to direct the École des Arts de Montréal. “I put my bag down to say goodbye and everyone started crying, from my girlfriend to my kids. For the first time, I realized, ‘Oh, they’re not seeing Henri as a soccer player, they’re seeing Henri as a human being,'” he says.

Soon after, he quit his job as coach of Empacte de Montreal. “I stopped coaching in Montreal,” says Henri. “They love me, they don’t love Thierry Henry the soccer player. I felt humanized for the first time and it felt good,” he recalled.

Henri is currently the head coach of the French U-21 national team, preparing for the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics. He previously faced the Hwang Sun-hong-led Olympic team in November last year, losing 0-3.


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