Thierry Henry left Arsenal in 2007 after winning two Premier League trophies in north London. The Frenchman would go on to win an elusive Champions League at Barcelona, alongside the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner
Lionel Messi was so star struck that he couldn’t look Thierry Henry in the eye when the Frenchman first arrived at Barcelona.
Henry left Arsenal in 2007 after winning two Premier League trophies in north London and becoming a dominant force in England.
He was widely considered to be one of the best players in the world, while the future greatest footballer of all time, Messi, was merely a youngster still learning his trade.
Messi had met a plethora of superstars from the first day he arrived at the Camp Nou as a 13-year-old, given the quality the club has always boasted, and had been taken under the wing of Ronaldinho after his arrival in the first-team.
But it was the sight of Henry that caused his jaw to drop.
“The first day he entered the dressing room, I did not dare to look him in the face,” Messi told L’Equipe.
“I knew everything he had done in England. I had an image of him made and suddenly we were on the same team.
“What I feel for Titi may be a form of admiration.
“I loved Henry. The ease of finishing an action, how he takes the road to the goal and ends the play.
“He gives the impression that it is natural. His career, his dribbling, the last gesture. It is fluid, proportionate.”
Henry’s debut season at Camp Nou in 2007-08 would see him top score with 19 goals, while Messi bagged 16 in Frank Rijkaard’s final year as Barca boss; however, the Blaugrana would fail to claim any silverware.
However, together, the pair would shine the following year, along with Samuel Eto’o, as Barcelona completed an illustrious treble in 2008-09, winning La Liga, the Copa del Rey and Champions League – defeating Manchester United 2-0 in Rome in the final – in Pep Guardiola’s debut season.