Thierry Henry seals New York switch

The New York Red Bulls have signed Thierry Henry from Barcelona on a "multi-year contract", the Major League Soccer club have confirmed.

The 32-year-old former Arsenal captain moved to the Nou Camp in 2007 and had one year remaining on his Barca contract, but the club agreed last month that he could leave.

"Red Bull New York announced today that it has signed star French forward Thierry Henry to a multi-year contract as its second designated player," the club said today in a statement on their website, http://www.newyorkredbulls.com.

He is expected to make his debut on July 22 against Tottenham at Red Bull Arena.

The statement continued: "Henry, a World Cup, European Championship and UEFA Champions League winner, will be available for selection for New York pending receipt of his international transfer certificate and after the July 15 international transfer window.

"His debut for the Red Bulls is expected to be on July 22 against English Premiership club, Tottenham Hotspur, in the Barclays New York Challenge at Red Bull Arena."

Henry will be introduced at a press conference tomorrow at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey at 1315 local time (1815 BST).

The Frenchman is relishing the challenge ahead.

"This marks an exciting new chapter in my career and life," said Henry.

"It is an honour to play for the New York Red Bulls. I am fully aware of the team's history and my sole goal during my time here is to help win the club its first championship.

"Knowing Red Bull's significant commitment to soccer locally and internationally, I am confident that my team-mates and I will succeed."

Erik Soler, Red Bull New York general manager and sporting director, was equally thrilled with the acquisition.

"Thierry is not only a world-class player who will undoubtedly improve our squad, but he has shown most importantly throughout his career that he is a winner," said Soler.

"He has made it clear to us that he is committed in the short and long term to help in our vision of making our organisation the premium franchise in Major League Soccer."

Dietmar Beiersdorfer, head of Red Bull Global Soccer, added: "It is without question that Thierry Henry is one of the most successful and recognisable soccer players over the past 15 years.

"We are thrilled that Thierry has decided to come to New York to help the Red Bulls compete for championships this year and for years to come. His international pedigree is second to none and he is a proven winner."

Henry, who has scored a national record 51 goals in 123 appearances for France, competed at his fourth World Cup last summer but was unable to prevent Les Bleus crashing out in the group stage in South Africa.

He started his career with Monaco in 1994 and then had a short spell with Juventus in 1999 before being reunited with his former Monaco coach Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.

Wenger transformed Henry's career by transforming him from a winger to a striker and reaped the dividends over the next eight years as the player helped Arsenal to two league titles and three FA Cups, and he became the club's all-time record goalscorer.

He switched to Barcelona three years ago and was top scorer at the Nou Camp in his first season and was an integral part of the squad that clinched six trophies in 2008/09 under rookie coach Pep Guardiola.

His first-team opportunities were limited last term, however, and outgoing president Joan Laporta confirmed in May he would be allowed to leave if he wished to do so.

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