Henry pledges his future to Barca

Thierry Henry has declared he now loves life with Barcelona so much he cannot contemplate ever playing for any other team.

updated: July 24, 2009 18:08 IST
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Thierry Henry has declared he now loves life with Barcelona so much he cannot contemplate ever playing for any other team.

The 31-year-old is regarded as a legend at Arsenal, where he became the club's record goal-scorer during eight Premier League campaigns in north London, but he is beginning to enjoy his time in Catalonia just as much.

After a rocky first season at the Nou Camp, in which Barca failed to lift a single trophy, it was rumoured the French striker was keen to return to England.

But following a stellar 2008-09 campaign, which saw Josep Guardiola's side out-play Manchester United to win the Champions League, as well as claiming the Spanish league and cup double, Henry believes he has finally embarked upon a special relationship that would be hard to end.

"I had a difficult first season, it has to be said, but when we won the treble we had a special event on the pitch," he said. "I took the microphone and said some things that really came from my heart.

"I said to the Barcelona fans that finally I was a fan of the club. That was the first time I felt I could say that. In the first season I didn't deliver, although I don't feel I cheated anyone.

"It would be impossible to walk out after that. And I also had a great discussion with the boss, who reassured me he wanted me to stay.

"I still miss London, don't get me wrong, but Barcelona is an amazing town and finally I feel I am part of the team at this club."

Henry scored 26 goals last term as part of a three-pronged strike force also featuring Leo Messi and Samuel Eto'o.

Cameroon international Eto'o is in the process of moving to Inter Milan however, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic travelling in the opposite direction.

The tall and physically imposing Sweden international is a more robust type of player and will bring with him from Italy a reputation for arrogance.

But Henry insisted he was looking forward to getting to know both sides of the newcomer's personality.

"Technically he can keep whatever ball you throw at him," Henry said. "And what I like about him is his character. For some people it is a bit too much but I don't mind. To be a player like that you have to have it."

While Henry thrives at Barca, Arsenal have not lifted a trophy since his departure in 2007 and have been out-spent over the past few years by Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and now Manchester City.

The latter have taken Togo international forward Emmanuel Adebayor off Arsenal's hands for a 25 million pounds fee, but Henry is adamant Arsene Wenger's policy of blending young players with less-expensive imports could yet see the Premier League title coming back to north London.

"Arsene and Arsenal have proven so many times that they can win without spending a lot of money," he said.

"People talk about the top four but the only thing that matters to me is who is going to be top and I know that's how Arsene sees it as well. It can happen this year.

"It won't be easy because there are teams who are doing it every time but you never know what can happen."

Henry was talking ahead of Barca's appearance at the Wembley Cup pre-season tournament, also featuring Spurs, Celtic and Egyptian champions Al Ahly, which starts on Friday and continues on Sunday.