Thierry Henry named new France Under-21s coach

Former Barcelona and Arsenal striker Thierry Henry has returned to management, following a two-year absence, as per Diario AS.
The French legend takes the job for the French youngster (Image- BBC)
The French legend takes the job for the French youngster (Image- BBC)

Former France forward Thierry Henry has been appointed coach of the country's under-21s on a two-year contract.

The Arsenal legend, who helped France win the World Cup on home soil in 1998, succeeds Sylvain Ripoli.

Henry, 46, has had two spells as an assistant coach with Belgium, and managed Monaco and Montreal Impact.

He will lead a France Under-23 side at the 2024 Paris Olympics, which the French Football Federation (FFF) described as "a major objective".

Thierry Henry will also lead the under-21s' bid to qualify for the European Championship in 2025.

Former Auxerre U19 and Angers coach Gerald Baticle, 53, will join Henry's staff as an assistant.

The FFF said it had a "phase of discussions" over a new under-21 coach and had "studied several profiles of French technicians".

Henry scored 51 goals from 123 appearances for France, also helping them win the European Championship in 2000.

He rejoined Belgium's coaching staff in May 2021 for a second spell as assistant coach under Roberto Martinez, but was not kept on after Domenico Tedesco succeeded Martinez in February 2023.

Thierry Henry will name his first squad on 31 August for a friendly against Denmark (7 September) and a Euro U21 qualifier away to Slovenia (11 September).

Most recently he has been working as an assistant for the Belgian national team under Roberto Martinez, a role he reprised after leaving in 2018. A job he has shared with his punditry duties on CBS Sports in the USA.

Henry is respected as one of the greatest strikers ever to play the game, but so far has had something of an underwhelming time in management so far.

Henry takes over from Sylvain Ripoll, who led the under-21 Les Bleus to a disappointing quarter-final exit at the European Championships this summer, going down 3-1 to Ukraine. The big task on the horizon for Henry is the Paris Olympics, now less than a year away, where France will like their chances of going for the gold medal.

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