Henry signs up to Gunners for life

May 20, 2006

Thierry Henry's decision to sign a new four-year contract at Arsenal means he will see out the rest of his career with the Gunners.

GettyImagesHenry Barca bid snubbed.

After months of speculation over whether he was to move to Barcelona the France striker agreed a new deal yesterday to ensure he will lead the club into their new Emirates Stadium next season.

And Henry revealed when he finally leaves the club he will leave football completely.

'I've never played in Spain and I never will. I've played in France and Italy but this is the best country to play football and this is my last contract,' said the 28-year-old, who revealed his love for the club and the English game persuaded him to stay.

'I enjoy playing away or at home, getting stick. It's the passion I like. Here you can do your job in the right way - people here respect the player.'

Henry's new contract will reportedly earn him £130,000 a week but he said that played no part in his decision.

'It was not about the economic question. It was not about money. Even if I'd left or whatever, again it would have nothing to do with money,' he added.

'At some point, people have to stop talking about that. People want to give you a label as a footballer where it's all money, money, money.

'Of course money has contributed to a certain lifestyle for us and one day that will stop, but there's love, there's emotion, real emotion, real love; sometimes when you want to go because you might want to live somewhere else.

'It's not always about money, whether you stay or leave. In any walk of life it's same.

'For me it was my family, my love for the club and this passion in England that I don't think I'll find elsewhere.'

Manager Arsene Wenger admitted ensuring Henry stayed at Arsenal was vital to the club's ambitions.

'For the progress of the team, it was vital to get this response from Thierry,' he said.

'We would have had to cope with any decision, but it's an insurance for the future of the team.'

Wenger said he hoped to sign 'one or two players of great calibre' during the summer as he tries to mould an Arsenal team capable of reclaiming the Premiership crown from Chelsea.

And vice-chairman David Dein added the lure of playing alongside Henry would make the job easier.

'His presence is a fantastic influence when it comes to signing players, and it shows our ambition,' he said.

'It would've been a tremendous blow for the club [if Henry had left]. It's not every day you get someone who has scored an average of 30 goals a season.'