The Rise of Thierry Henry: His Impact on the Belgian National Team and Coaching Career

2023-06-05 05:51:00

Thierry Henry had two distinct experiences alongside Roberto Martinez, Belgium coach (September 2016-December 2022). Eagerly awaited by the media on his arrival on August 26, 2016 at Neerpede, Anderlecht’s training center, he accompanied the Catalan coach for the first two years as second assistant for 8,000 euros net monthly, according to the press. Belgian, amount donated to charity.

In Russia in 2018, the Red Devils had their best run in the World Cup (3rd), coming out in the semi-finals against the France team (0-1). His aura of former international goalscorer and Arsenal legend was intact. By their own admission, the Belgian players, listening, praised his influence, his advice given to the attackers (Romelu Lukaku, Michy Batshuayi, Christian Benteke), of which he was specifically in charge, and his great knowledge of the game.

They were fans of the one who shared his experiences, made work the striking technique of the inside of the right foot to Lukaku, to the point that the latter aspires to the “gestural perfection” during endless discussions at the table. During public training sessions, Henry was physically very close and very complicit with the attackers.

Several players had pushed his candidacy to succeed Martinez

But he didn’t hesitate to impose push-ups on them when they didn’t succeed in their exercises. Courteous but firm, he had also made a habit of never commenting in the presence of journalists. “the boss’s choices”, even with the microphone off. His loyalty has never wavered in all these years.

After his coaching experience in Montreal (Nov. 2019-Feb. 2021), “Titi” returned to the bedside of the Devils for Euro 2021. “We had an agreement, Martinez explained at the time. He was leaving to become a consultant again. In August, it became available again. It was a perfect solution. »

Later became first deputy, the former Blue had even led the Red Devils alone against the Netherlands in the League of Nations on September 25, 2022 (0-1) in the absence of Martinez, suspended. After the departure of the Catalan, eliminated in the first round in Qatar, Henry had specified that he had never applied for his succession.

Several players (Lukaku, Eden Hazard, Toby Alderweireld, Loïs Openda) had pushed his candidacy before the appointment of Domenico Tedesco in February. Henry had above all morally accompanied Lukaku, very affected by this exit from the road at the World Cup.

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