The Barcelona striker Thierry Henry has said that personal problems have hampered his ability to adapt to life at his new club. The 30-year-old France striker divorced his wife Claire Merry last year shortly after his transfer from Arsenal to Barcelona and does not see his young daughter Tea as much as he would like.
"As you all know, I've got some personal problems and my daughter is the most important thing in my life," Henry said yesterday. "I'm not happy because a father that only sees his daughter five times in the last eight months cannot be. If you know what it is to have a daughter, then you can imagine what it is like. I'm not asking you to cry for me, only that people don't talk for me."
Henry's former Arsenal team-mate Robert Pires had been quoted in the Spanish media as saying that the striker had left the Nou Camp without talking to him on Sunday because he was disappointed at being substituted during the team's 2-1 defeat at home by Villarreal. But Henry said he had rushed from the stadium to see his daughter.
He added that his problems were not of Barcelona's making and went out of his way to praise the club's medical staff for dealing successfully with the back problems that affected him earlier this season.
The striker did admit, however, that he was having problems in being asked to play out of position at the Catalan club. "I played for eight years in a team in a specific position and now I'm at another club in another position with a different tactical system," he said. "It's time to stop comparing the Barcelona Henry with the Arsenal Henry. This is the Henry that you are seeing here."
But the Frenchman, who has scored seven goals in 19 league appearances this season, said he was not complaining about the Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard's tactical decisions. "I'm not asking for anything from the coach, nor am I complaining about playing on the left. I respect the coach's decisions and I expect you to do the same. In the 14 years I've been playing football I've never been satisfied with my performances and always want to do more."
Asked in what aspects he might be able to improve before the end of the season, Henry replied: "If I could see my daughter more that would help."Reuse content