New Delhi: Inspirational French striker Thierry Henry is aiming for his second World Cup title. It becomes all the more important after his club Arsenal's loss to Barcelona in the final of the Champions League on Wednesday night. Henry is the dynamic and lethal goal scorer who France cannot do without at the World Cup finals. The French striker's skill and eye for goal has been a critical factor in his nation's recovery from the doldrums of the new millennium, caused by a goalless 2002 World Cup and a disappointing Euro 2004. Combining speed, vision and ingenuity, Henry creates nearly as many goals as he scores. His versatility at all aspects of the game makes him more influential than a traditional striker. League king Twice Europe's Golden Boot winner, he's the undoubted king of the English premier league and Arsenals all-time leading scorer with 214 goals from 342 games. With France looking good for Germany 2006, Henry has the opportunity to make his reputation eternal. He is also the only person to win the football writers' award for the best player in England three times. Back home, he has been awarded France's highest civilian decoration, the LÃ©gion d'Honneur. He is also the only player to retain the European Golden Boot for the top-scorer in Europe. When asked how he explains his phenomenal exploits, Henry said, "I take the ball, I go wide, I cross, I shoot, but when the moment beckons, I am ready to make the difference." Henry joined Arsenal in 1999 after five years with French Club AS Monaco and a brief stint with Italian giants Juventus. But after tasting glory in the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championships, Henry and France have had a lean run in the run-up to the world cup France failed to score a goal in the last World Cup, despite possessing the top-scorers of the Italian, French and English leagues in their ranks. Stemming the rot And once again the pressure will be on Henry to stem that rot and repeat his efforts from Euro 2004, where despite his goals in the group stage, France lost to eventual champions Greece in the quarter-finals. With 31 goals in 76 appearances for France, this marksman will once again be the key for Les Bleus as they aim for their second World Cup title. This is perhaps the last chance for France's golden generation of footballers - the likes of Zidane, Thuram, Barthez and Henry, to win football's biggest prize. Like his namesake King Henry the seventh, Thierry Henry will also want a victorious end to his last campaign.
Topics : Football