Thierry Henry is, without a doubt, one of the greatest strikers of all time. In his eight years at Arsenal, he went from a young nobody to the clubs greatest player ever, and even set the record for the most goals scored by a single player at Arsenal (228). He was also the star of countless hours of my childhood Youtube escapades, like in this video, or this one, and lets not forget, this one. He was even my computer wallpaper at work for the better part of this past year (he was later replaced by Donald Trump).
So you can probably understand why I completely lost my shit a couple of days ago when I found out he was going to be in Bombay. Puma, known mainly for being that sports brand that’s not Nike, Adidas or Reebok, was bringing him to NSCI as part of some ISL type media tour. Partly because I’m extremely well-connected and partly because the event was free & open to everyone, I was able to use my street smarts and influence to snag a couple of passes the morning of. I didn’t know what to expect, other than I was going to see my childhood hero, and definitely not cry. What I expected to be a DJ and a few Arsenal fans turned out to be a much larger event, with what looked like at least a couple thousand people lined up outside. Some of them wore Arsenal jerseys, others wore scarves, and some were young children who were clearly born after Henry left Arsenal. Go away stupid children, I’m a bigger fan than you.
It would’ve been great if an actual football fan hosted the event, but alas, Henry was brought on by a clearly clueless Shibani Dandekar, who asked him stupid shit like if he likes Indian food (thanks feminism). Not one to be out-bimboed, teen heartthrob of 2002 Dino Morea also showed up, as part of the football team that was to go up against Henry and the kids from the Arsenal coaching academy in Bombay. The event began with Henry coaching the kids and the audience gasping every time he did something as magical as pass the ball. He really is very, very good at passing.
He later did more adorable stuff like hug the kids and give each one of them pep talk, which is great and all, but really I was the one he should’ve been hugging. Fucking stupid kids. The event culminated in a match between the kids team, coached and managed by Henry vs Dino Morea and gang. I tried looking for a picture of them at the event, but as usual, Dino didn’t get much screen time. It’s a tough business.
Although the event later turned out to be more about the kids than the legend, I got to to see Thierry Henry, my absolute hero. In the flesh, and for free. So I’m not going to complain. Thank you Puma, you’ve given my life purpose.
Also, if you have any friends who are photographers or filmmakers, please help this guy out. He’s really hit a low point in his career.