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So apparently we can credit Thierry Henry’s steely game to a harsh father and Michael Jordan

Mar 24, 2014, 6:36 PM EDT

Thierry Henry 4

Bouncing around the MLS site, I stumbled upon this video interview with Thierry Henry (embedded below) that promised in its description that “candid is an understatement.”

It delivered, but not in an enrapturing and entertaining way. Rather it was an intense, sometimes uncomfortable ride that Ingmar Bergman might appreciate.

After watching the 20-plus minute video, here’s what I gleaned:

1) Henry’s dad sounds like his parenting philosophy was half-Royal Tenenbaum, half-Daniel Plainview.

“The hardest thing I ever had to do in my sports life was to put a smile on my dad’s face, because the guy was never happy. You can see me when I play, I’m never happy. I took it from him. If I missed one control and scored four goals, he would’ve talked to me about the control that I missed.”

2) Henry expects success like fish expect more water.

“At times I can be a pain in the neck on the field because I always want more and more and more, especially being very demanding on myself, you can imagine… how I can be with others. I know it’s not easy at times but what I used to love about Michael Jordan is not the points that he scored or the ESPN highlights for his career… even when he scored a basket in the dying minute of the game, or he when he was about to win a title, his attitude. I rarely saw Michael Jordan smile. Even when he won at the buzzer, he wanted it all so when the season was over he still had that fighting face on him.”

Henry also discusses the challenges that come with breaking into a first team dressing room at age 17, the harsh reality for young talented players who flame-out and his decision to come to America to “see if I can help make this sport progress here.”

As always with Henry, it’s a varied trip through a pretty unique mind.

  1. dws110 - Mar 25, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    Thierry’s dad and my dad should get together and go bowling.

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