Saint Petersburg, July 9 (IANS) France’s record international goalscorer Thierry Henry will be presented with an awkward situation when his nation takes on neighbours Belgium, his current employers, in Tuesday’s highly anticipated FIFA World Cup semi-final.
Having led his country’s forward line for over 13 years, during which he scored 51 goals, helping win France’s first ever World Cup in 1998 followed by the European Championship two years later, few have ever been able to question the former striker’s loyalty to Les Bleus’ cause, reports Efe.
That position will be firmly challenged on Tuesday, however, as Henry prepares to take a seat in the opposite dugout.
Belgium’s assistant coach since 2016, Henry has played a crucial role in helping Belgium’s so-called “golden generation” reach their potential and mount a serious bid to take the World Cup home to Brussels.
The tournament’s top scorers, Belgium’s talented front line featuring Romelu Lukaku, Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne, as well as their attack-minded coach, Roberto Martinez, have attributed much of their recent success to Henry’s invaluable experience.
“Thierry is someone who lives for football,’ Martinez said this week. “He’s a very, very special guy. He brings to the table his experience as winner of a World Cup… that’s golden for you to have”, the Spaniard added.
Despite having won 123 caps for France, Henry’s sights this week have been firmly set on knocking out the country of his birth, and helping his employers take the unprecedented step of reaching a World Cup final.