Monday, April 15, 2024
HomeFootballAiming for the Olympics: Henry takes over the French U 21s

Aiming for the Olympics: Henry takes over the French U 21s

Thierry Henry (46) has a new coaching job. The former world-class player is to become coach of the French U 21s – and has a clear goal in mind.

The French Football Federation (FFF) made Henry’s signing, which had already been the subject of speculation in recent days, official late on Monday evening. The long-time French international will sign a two-year contract. Gerald Baticle, who most recently coached the former Ligue 1 club Angers, will be his co-coach. Henry succeeds Sylvain Ripoll as head coach, whose contract was not renewed after the surprising quarter-final exit at the European U-21 Championship against Ukraine.

Henry will thus also lead the French selection for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris – “the federation’s big goal“, according to the statement. According to “Le Parisien“, the objective for Henry is to at least reach the podium at the tournament in his own country. The signing of the world and European champion should also increase the radiance and euphoria for the French selection. As host country, France is automatically qualified for the tournament.

But before that, the qualifying process for the 2025 European Under-21 Championship begins, with Henry expected to nominate his first squad as early as Thursday. On 7 September, the former world-class striker will make his debut in a friendly match against Denmark, followed four days later by the qualifying opener against Slovenia.

Henry is already familiar with working for an association, having spent a considerable part of his coaching career as assistant coach of the Belgian senior national team. His head coaching CV so far includes a failed stint at AS Monaco and just under a year and a half at MLS side CF Montreal. Henry has been without a post since the beginning of the year and has mainly acted as a TV pundit. Most recently, French media had mentioned him as a possible co-coach for Julian Nagelsmann when the latter was being considered for the coaching position at Paris St. Germain.



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