FootballPlayer's Corner

Thierry Henry: France and Arsenal icon opens up about battling depression during his career

Thierry Henry, one of the legendary football players who have ever graced the field has opened up about his battle with depression throughout his career. The former Arsenal and French football legend has spoken about his stories of low-points in his career, while revealing sad secrets during that phase.

Thierry Henry- An Arsenal legend

Thierry Henry has been one of the greatest players for several clubs he had played at, but one club would always be indebted to him owing to his exceptional outings with them- Arsenal. The former Gunners man, who also holds the record of scoring most goals for the Premier League giants, has won the World Cup with France, and has mentioned that he had appreciated his mental struggles during the hard coronavirus pandemic, which had taken a toll on the mental health of several people all over the world. Known for his exuberance on the attacking sector, either for Arsenal and Barcelona, Henry had more than 280 goals in his entire career, which spanned more than two decades, with notable contributions with the French National Team having won the World Cup in 1998, followed by European Championships 2000.

Henry opened up to Diary of a CEO podcast about his past struggles, with quest of approval from his father, who was often critical of his performances in every game.

“I must have been in depression”

Henry started saying about his mental battles when he said, “Throughout my career, and since I was born, I must have been in depression. Did I know it? No. Did I do something about it? No. But I adapted to a certain way. That doesn’t mean I’m walking straight, but I’m walking. You’ve got to put one foot (forward) and another one, and walk. That’s what I’ve been told since I’m young.”

“I never stopped walking, then maybe I would have realized. (But during) Covid – I stopped walking. I couldn’t. Then you start to realize.”

He was in charge of Canadian side Montreal Impact when pandemic hit, and has mentioned about the tumultuous period during that time which had kept him isolated from his family.

“I was in isolation in Montreal, and not being able to see my kids for a year was tough”, he added.

He further mentioned, “Tears were coming alone. Why I don’t know, but maybe they were there for a very long time. Technically, it wasn’t me, it was the young me. (Crying for) everything he didn’t get, approval.”

He has revealed about his father’s desire to make him “an amazing football player” since childhood. He added, “As a little boy it was always ‘you didn’t do that well’. So obviously when you hear that more often than not, that’s what’s going to stay. (It) did to a degree help the athlete….(it) didn’t help so much the human being.”

Henry has always been looked upon by youngsters as the face of French football, and currently, he is at helm of France U-21 football team, thus instilling his fighting mentality into the youngsters.

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