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‘Igwe’ Thierry Henry appointed France Under-21 coach



Ligue 1 - Troyes v Paris St. Germain - Stade de l'Aube, Troyes, France - May 7, 2023 Thierry Henry performing media duties before the match REUTERS/Johanna Geron/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights

Former France striker Thierry Henry has been named head coach of the country’s Under-21s until 2025, the French Football Federation said in a statement on Monday.

The Arsenal great will lead the team at next year’s Olympic Games in Paris, replacing Sylvain Ripoll, who was sacked after France’s early exit at this year’s European Under-21s.

Former Angers manager Gerald Baticle will join Henry’s staff as assistant coach.

France’s second all-time top scorer, Henry will return to management after leaving his role as Belgium assistant coach following last year’s World Cup.

The 46-year-old, also a former Barcelona player, previously coached Arsenal’s youth teams, AS Monaco in Ligue 1 and Montreal in Major League Soccer.


Henry ended his playing career in 2014 as the all-time leading scorer for Arsenal – 228 goals – and after earning 123 caps and netting 51 goals for France.

Henry’s debut in charge of the Under-21s will be for a friendly against Denmark on Sept. 7 before France take on Slovenia in the Euro qualifiers four days later.




Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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