Henry announces he will quit New York Red Bulls

The former Arsenal and Barcelona star will now take his time to consider his next move

Veteran striker Thierry Henry will leave New York Red Bulls when his contract expires, the Major League Soccer club have confirmed.

The former France international claims the decision to quit the Red Bulls at the end of the current season has been in place for some time but he did not want the news to unsettle their attempts to win the MLS Cup, which came to an end at the weekend with a semi-final defeat to New England.

It had been speculated Henry would subsequently announce his retirement but he has instead vowed to take his time before deciding his next career move.

In a statement on the Red Bulls’ official website, the 37-year-old wrote: “I am taking this opportunity to announce that unfortunately Saturday was my last game for the New York Red Bulls. The decision has always been that I would leave after the duration of my contract and although that was never going to change, I didn’t want it to distract from the progress of the team.

“I have immensely enjoyed my four-and-a-half years here and would like to thank everyone involved with this club who has made my time here so enjoyable.

“Thanks must go particularly to Erik Soler, Hans Backe, Gerard Houllier, Andy Roxburgh, Mike Petke, all my team mates, the technical staff, medical staff, all the personnel who work for the Redbull organisation, the MLS and of course the owner, Mr Mateschitz, whose vision and passion brought me to this wonderful city.

“A special mention must go to the Redbull fans who have supported this team through the good, the bad and the ugly times in the sun, rain and snow. You guys have really meant a lot to me and thank you for all your wonderful support.

“I will now take the next few weeks to reflect and decide on the next chapter of my career.”

Henry has proved to be one of the MLS’s best imports, with his on-field achievements matched by his global appeal, which has promoted the brand around the world.

He was named an MLS All-Star four times (2011-2014) and captained the team in 2013. As captain, he led the Red Bulls to the post-season in all five seasons with the club and most recently to the Conference Championship for the first time since 2008.

“On behalf of the New York Red Bulls I would like to thank Thierry Henry for the incredible impact he has made on both our organisation and the American soccer community as a whole,” said New York Red Bulls general manager Marc de Grandpre.

“He is truly one of the all-time great talents and will forever hold a special place within the organisation’s history. We wish Thierry all the best for his future.”

“Thierry Henry, an icon of the world’s game, has been a wonderful player for the New York Red Bulls and a major influence on the development of MLS,” said New York Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh.

“It has been a privilege to have watched Thierry’s illustrious career unfold since he was 17-years-old, and it has been a particular joy to watch him, at close quarters, lead the New York Red Bulls over the last two seasons. We sincerely wish him all the best for his future.”