HENRY leads French line

THIERRY Henry is one of the star players who will spearhead France's attempt to reclaim the World Cup, which they won on home soil in 1998.

Since featuring for France's Under-20s at the World Youth Championships in Malaysia in 1996, Henry has established himself as one of the world's deadliest strikers.

Now doing duty for Spanish giants Barcelona, the 32-year-old Henry was twice nominated for the Fifa World Player of the Year award.

In addition, he was twice named Players' Player of the Year by the Professional Footballers Association, and Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers Association.

Henry was born in Les Ulis, Essonne, a suburb of Paris, where he played for an array of local sides as a youngster and showed great promise as a goalscorer.

He was spotted by AS Monaco in 1990 and signed instantly, making his professional debut in 1994.

Impressive form led to an international call-up in 1998, after which he signed for Serie A defending champions Juventus.

Henry had a disappointing season playing on the wing before joining English Premiership giants Arsenal for £10,5million (R98,3million) in 1999.

It was at Arsenal that Henry made his name as a world-class striker, despite initially struggling in the Premier League.

Under long-time mentor and coach Arsène Wenger he broke virtually every Arsenal club record.

He emerged as Arsenal's top scorer for almost every season of his tenure there, becoming Arsenal's all-time leading scorer with 226 goals in all competitions.

The Frenchman won two league titles and three FA Cups with the Gunners.

Henry has enjoyed similar success with the French national squad, having won the 1998 World Cup, Euro 2000 and 2003 Fifa Confederations Cup. In October 2007, he surpassed Michel Platini's record to become France's top scorer of all time. - information sourced from Wikipedia