Skip menu

Main menu

Content menu

Top of page


Link to related content


06.03.2008 10:06

“Now there are only finals”

Sandra Sarmiento

With qualification for the CL quarterfinals in the bag, Henry reflects on his first season with Barça. He refuses to give up on any of the silverware on offer and assures the fans that Barça has a realistic chance in all three competitions.

Despite not taking the free kicks or the penalties, Henry is one of the team’s top scorers with 13 goals and he’s been a decisive figure in the Cup. In this exclusive interview with Barça TV and www.fcbarcelona.cat, the French striker discusses many aspects of the Barça scene.

Barça is in the draw for the CL quarterfinals on 14th March. That’s quite something, especially if we consider that AC Milan has been eliminated.

"Yes, Sevilla has also been knocked out. It’s a tough competition. I’ve never won it. But it’s never easy. Sometimes strange things can happen in football. The match against Celtic was very difficult, especially with Leo’s injury… It was a very strange match”.

Qualification was overshadowed by Messi’s injury and his misery. Leo was gutted.

celtic-fcb17.jpg"We all saw how Leo felt. All Barça fans suffered on Tuesday. But I believe it’s especially difficult for him. He’s done some incredible things this season. The most important thing for him is that he recovers and comes back at a time that we hope will be important for us”.

He’s been injured at a decisive stage of the season. How might his injury affect the team’s chances in the three competitions?

"Leo is Leo and it will be very difficult for us to cover his absence. But we have Samuel, ‘Ronnie’, Xavi… We need the whole squad. He’s very important because he always makes a difference and it’s very difficult to play without a footballer like him. But we have to do it”.

In any case, the team has grown a lot in recent months. What do you think has changed to cause this improvement?

fcb-almeria-henry_x4x.jpg"The attitude, the mentality. It’s difficult to say it now because Atlético put 4 goals past us but we had a way of playing without conceding goals. When you concede 4 goals it’s very difficult to win. But apart from all that we’re playing as a team. And that’s the most important thing”.

Was the defeat in the Calderón just an accident?

"I think so. It was a very strange match. If someone had told me in the opening 30 minutes that we were going to lose 4-2 I wouldn’t have believed them. When we were losing 3-1 I believed we could make it 3-3. Every time Atlético had a chance, they scored. Let’s hope it was just an accident”.

Director of football, Txiki Begiristain, said that if Barça managed to be more consistent, we could win the league. Do you agree?

entrevista_henry_x1x.jpg"Yes, I do. The league is very difficult. Now we only have ‘Cup finals’. Every match is a final. We can’t make any more mistakes and we have to hope that Madrid slips up again. Sunday’s match will be very hard”.

You’ve already scored 13 goals and you’ve been decisive in the Cup. Are you satisfied with your performance?

"No. I’m never happy with my performance. The same as when I played for Arsenal. I’m always disappointed when I don’t help the team”.

Since you’ve been in Barcelona, would you single out any particular moment?

"The most important thing is when the team wins. When I get home after a match I always think about things I didn’t do well. That’s the way I am. It’s not a personal thing. Sometimes you can play really well but the team can lose. So the main thing is that the team wins. If I haven’t played well it doesn’t matter”.

The Murcia game was a good one. The team played well, scored goals and the crowd chanted your name for the first time in the Camp Nou. Did you feel something special?

fcb-osasuna-henry.jpg"It was special because we played well. It was a passing game with a lot of running and happiness... It was a good moment for the fans and for us. Sometimes people like to talk about individuals but if you want to win you have to do it as a team. Sometimes in football people talk too much about players and not about the team”.

How’s your back?

"It’s OK now, I can play. People were talking about things they knew nothing about. I already had pain in my back when I was 20 and they say that if I’m 30 I can’t play two games in a row... Perhaps these people on the outside are all doctors. When I arrived in Barcelona it was difficult. In the morning, when I arrived at the dressing rooms to walk, everything was fine. But when I wanted to run, I was always in pain. I wanted to contribute a lot but I couldn’t”.

You played for a few weeks with back pain in order to help the team. You were criticised for your performances. Do you regret having played?

"No. I’ve always said that the team is the most important thing to me. When I enter the dressing room it’s important to me to be able to look my team-mates in the eye, not things that people on the outside say, because one week we’re very bad and the next day we’re very good. I don’t understand it. The most important thing for me is my team-mates”.

When you signed for Barcelona you said that you were really excited by the prospect of playing alongside Ronaldinho, Eto’o, Messi, Xavi… Is it the way you thought it would be?

entreno270807_x2x.jpg"I knew that playing here would be incredible. People always want to know about what goes on in the dressing room. But it’s the same as an office. There are jokes, people get angry... It’s normal. When I arrived, my team-mates (Samuel, ‘Ronnie’, ‘Guddy’, Xavi, ‘Puyi’...) helped me”.

By the way, how have you managed to learn the language so well?

"Listening and repeating. Asking what words mean."
“Now there are only finals”

To view this content you need the latest version of the Flash Player

Some individuals
What do you think about Bojan?

"He reminds me of when I started to play. I don’t know why but I get a good feeling about Bojan. I think it’s because you can see that Bojan needs help. He’s a really good lad, who listens a lot. I think that if he wants to, he can become an incredible player, but sometimes people are too focussed on him. He’s 17 and it’s not easy to play for Barça. When he’s out there on the pitch, people always want him to do things like ‘Ronnie’. It’s too much. But he’s a good lad with an incredible family and we have to give him time”.

I’d like to ask you about Rijkaard. Do you understand the criticism he receives?

"He won it all as a player. And with Barça he’s won nearly everything. Sometimes people forget what the boss has done. In my opinion he’s a great trainer. I don’t understand criticism for the sake of criticising but football is a sport where everyone has an opinion”.

What do you think about Rijkaard’s rotation policy?

"The boss is the only person who has the decision and you have to accept it. The players don’t comment. I don’t understand why people on the outside speak. The boss does his job and you shouldn’t talk about what he does. People talk about everything and criticise everything”.

Have you spoken with Víctor Valdés about the Paris final?

"Yes. In my opinion, Víctor is one of the best goalkeepers in the world but it seems that people don’t think that way in Spain. Barça didn’t win that final just because of Víctor, but it would have been a different match without him”.

Top of page

Back to top

Related content

Football News

Back to top
Top of page