The FIFA South Africa 2010 World Cup was a tournament of firsts and lasts of many sorts. This tournament was to be the last major international event for many stars and so it should not come as a surprise to hear the number of players who have decided to retire from their national teams.
Just yesterday, France international Thierry Henry and England striker Emile Heskey retired from their national teams after a disastrous World Cup performance in South Africa. Despite going into the tournament as favourites, Les Blues and the Three Lions were knocked out in the early stages of the tournament after less than convincing results against weaker opponents.
There is no doubt that Les Bleus all time leading goal scorer Thierry Henry will be missed. The former Arsenal and Barcelona player who is also France’s second most capped player, had a glittering career spanning 13 years in which he won the World Cup, European Championships, two premier league titles, La Liga title, the Champions League amongst other accolades.
Henry broke the news of his retirement after signing for MLS outfit New York Red Bulls last week. Henry will be remembered for a lot of things including his infamous handball which secured France’s spot in the World Cup finals. However, many of his fans will remember him as one of the games brightest talents.
His levels of consistency for both club and country set him apart from his peers and placed in the league of some of the best strikers ever. Henry’s move to the MLS could also signal the ending of his entire football career.
At 32 (very young in my opinion), Henry has won all the trophies that any aspiring player can dream off. Only the FIFA World Player of the year title has eluded him. Pretty sad if you consider how much he contributed to EPL club Arsenal.
Henry and Heskey’s retirements are just another indication that this golden generation of players who entertained and thrilled fans the world over is slowly existing the stage.
Photo credit: from kidflash