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25.06.2007 11:46

Henry has played against Barça three times

David Puig

Thierry Henry has met his new side three times in the past, but never been on the winning side. In the Champions League Final in Paris, he was one of the best performers, but that was not enough to save Arsenal from missing out on the title.

All three of Thierry Henry’s previous meetings with Barça came in his years as an Arsenal player, and the French striker did not score in any of them.

However, it is also fair to say that he only once played a full match against his new club, that being the Paris final on May 17, 2006. In the other two games he was on the pitch for less than a quarter of an hour.

1999-2000 Champions League

Henry joined Arsenal from Juventus in 1999, the year the Gunners were placed in a Champions league group along with FC Barcelona, AIK Solna of Sweden and Italian side Fiorentina.

newkitawx1x.jpgThe first game was at the Camp Nou on September 29, and ended 1-1, with Henry only playing for 15 minutes after substituting Parlour in the 75th minute. Henry was a young striker at the time with plenty of potential, but had yet to become a regular member of Arsene Wenger’s first team squad.

His second meeting was at Wembley, where Arsenal preferred to play their Champions League matches in the days of the old Highbury. Henry once again started on the bench and did not come on until the 78th minute, by which time his team was 4-1 down. Henry added a little flair to the Arsenal attack, and helped Overmars to pull back a consolation goal five minutes from the end.

Paris final

BF1F2269.JPGIt would be six years before the two clubs crossed paths again, and in none other than the Champions League final at the Saint Denis. By then, Henry had developed into one of the most feared strikers on the planet, and was the local hero in North London.

The game involved a gripping duel between the French forward and Barça keeper Víctor Valdés. Henry was by far the best Arsenal player on the pitch, and only some terrific play by Valdés prevented things from turning very nasty indeed for a Barça side that went on to win the European Cup for the second timer thanks to historic goals from Eto’o and Belletti.
Henry has played against Barça three times
One step away from Barça
It was widely believed that after the Wembley final, Thierry Henry would announce he was moving to Barça. But the Frenchman made the unexpected announcement that he had decided to stay at Arsenal after all and support Arsene Wenger’s project. But he never a made a secret of his admiration for FC Barcelona and now, after eight years playing for Arsenal, he is relishing the chance to wear the Barça colours.

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