World-Famous Soccer Star Discovered Nailing Bicycle Kicks In New Jersey

What does Thierry Henry, one of the best French players ever, get out of playing in the United States? posted on

Steve Dykes / Getty Images

35-year-old Thierry Henry, erstwhile Arsenal superstar and the all-time leading scorer for the French national team, casually buried this bicycle kick a few nights ago in Harrison, New Jersey, where he plays for the MLS Red Bulls.

So what’s a guy who can still do THAT doing in MLS, which is an increasingly successful and popular but not quite top-tier soccer league?


There’s no straight-up proxy in American sports for what aging-but-not-washed-up soccer stars do with their careers. When Chipper Jones can’t be a full-time contributor to the Atlanta Braves anymore, he doesn’t go to play for the minor-league team in Chattanooga. Henry is still capable of top-notch plays — like the bicycle kick or this sneaky goal during his brief return to Arsenal on “loan” last year — but is too old to be a team centerpiece at the highest level. But he can still be a centerpiece in MLS — and earn a lot of money doing it. Henry’s making $3.75 million this year, which is a lot more than your typical Chattanooga Lookout. There’s also a semi-philanthropic angle, in that Henry can use his fame to help spread the popularity of soccer in the U.S. Also appealing: he gets to live in one of the world’s greatest cities in relative anonymity. Which is to say: if Chipper Jones could pull down $4 million a season to live in Rio, hit home runs in full stadiums, and become one of the faces of an up-and-coming game in a new country, he’d probably be on the beach right now.

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