The worst kept secret in soccer became a reality on Thursday when Thierry Henry was officially introduced by the Red Bulls.

The 32-year-old striker agreed to a four-and-a-half year deal to become the second New York player signed under the “Beckham Rule.” Henry is a two-time runner-up for FIFA World Player of the Year and turned down several top European sides to come to MLS. The French star had it on his mind to join the league several years ago, but it quickly became a reality “about four or five months ago.”

“I love this city,” Henry said at Red Bull Arena. “It was a no brainer for me.”


Henry had participated in Barcelona’s most recent preseason tours of the U.S. and he praised the caliber of the league. He also spoke with former New York forward and French international Youri Djorkaeff about his two-year experience in the league.

“They were telling me that things have changed a lot,” Henry said. “[That] it’s getting better.”

Henry will form perhaps the league’s most dynamic strike partnership with forward Juan Pablo Angel, who once starred in the English Premier League and on the Colombian national team.

“I came here to play and win,” Henry said.

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