Who is Thierry Henry? And why was he the one of so many just like him to make it to where he is today?
The New York Red Bulls forward sat down last year for an interview with Halls of Fame host Fran Healy (above video) and laid it all out for the world to digest. It's worth going back and having a listen.
Candid is an understatement. Seriously, that interview. Wow.
The French legend pulls no punches in describing his time as a young boy in Paris, his apprenticeship at the famous Clairefontaine French soccer academy and the following excerpt about those peers less fortunate than him — the dozens of classmates that never made it as professional footballers:
Henry: "Well, let's go back to my generation. Three guys made it."
Healy: "What's happens to the ones that don't?"
Henry: "I saw them not that long ago. Some are back working at the bank, some went back to work with their dads. Failure is difficult, especially at that age. That's the only thing that they don't teach you. It has to be said: when you arrive full of dreams and everything, that is the one thing and it is hard to prepare you to fail."
He went on to say: "When you're kind of old, you know you're going to bounce back because you already have a contract, you're already a professional. You can prove people wrong the year after, or the game after. But when you're 16, and nobody wants you in their academy, you have to go back home, and you were the hope of the family.
"When you leave the house and you're the hope of the family, everybody is looking at you with their big eyes, [saying] 'Hey, we're counting on you to try to make us live here.' And you have to come back, failing."
That's just a snippet of everything Henry had to say. The other 21 minutes of the interview are more than worth your time to listen.