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Henry takes bite out of Big Apple

NEW YORK, July 14 – French football star Thierry Henry has signed for New York Red Bulls on a long-term deal, the US club announced on Wednesday.
The 32-year-old striker is expected to make his debut for the Red Bulls in a home friendly on July 22 against English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur.

"It is without question that Thierry Henry is one of the most successful and recognisable soccer players over the past 15 years," said Dietmar Beiersdorfer, head of Red Bull global soccer.

"We are thrilled that Thierry has decided to come to New York to help the Red Bulls compete for championships this year and for years to come. His international pedigree is second to none and he is a proven winner."

Henry, who signed the "multi-year" contract after leaving Spanish champions Barcelona, added: "This marks an exciting new chapter in my career and life. It is an honour to play for the New York Red Bulls.

"I am fully aware of the team’s history and my sole goal during my time here is to help win the club its first championship.

"Knowing Red Bull’s significant commitment to soccer locally and internationally, I am confident that my teammates and I will succeed."

Henry, a World Cup winner with France in 1998 and European champion in 2000, joined Barcelona in 2007 from Premier League club Arsenal, where he had established himself as one of the top strikers in the world.

But he lost his first-team place with Barca last season, scoring just three goals in 20 matches.

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He also played only a cameo role in his country’s disastrous World Cup campaign in South Africa, where they failed to get past the group stages amid bitter in-fighting.

Henry, who previously also played club football for Juventus and Monaco, has scored a national-record 51 goals and earned 123 caps for his country.

"Thierry is not only a world class player who will undoubtedly improve our squad, but he has shown most importantly throughout his career that he is a winner," said Red Bulls sporting director Erik Soler.

"He has made it clear to us that he is committed in the short and long term to help in our vision of making our organisation the premium franchise in Major League Soccer."

Henry’s trophy cabinet boasts medals from six competitions won with Barca — the Champions League, La Liga (twice), the King’s Cup, Spanish Supercup, UEFA Supercup and the FIFA Club World Cup.

The French marksman was the top scorer in the English top flight a record four times (2002, 2004-06) and helped his club win the Premier League in 2002 and 2004.

He also helped lead his team to three English FA Cups and he won the European Golden Boot in 2004 and 2005.

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