France - Football

Henry says adieu to Les Bleus

Reuters

French striker Thierry Henry has announced his retirement from international football, one day after confirming his move from Barcelona to New York club the Red Bulls. France's all-time top goalscorer says he is "fully committed" to his new team and does not want to shuttle back and forth between the US and Europe to play for France's national side.

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Speaking in New York on Thursday, Henry insisted that his decision was taken before the World Cup in South Africa and had nothing to do with France's dismal performance there.

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"South Africa didn't play any part in it," he said. "I could have announced it before the World Cup but I just didn't want to put that type of cloud on top of the team."

Taking the long view of his time on the French team, Henry described his 13 years with Les Bleus as "a pleasure".

"I always got just as much joy from wearing the shirt, shivering during La Marseillaise... It was a pleasure to wear the French colours," he told French TV channel iTélé.

"I'd like to wish Laurent Blanc and his new team the best of luck for the Euro qualifiers, and to thank all the coaches I had during my time on the team, and all the fans as well.

"It's been really extraordinary, but there we go, now it's the end."

Henry leaves France as the most played and highest scoring national player ever, with 51 goals to his name in 123 matches.

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