Henry joins élite band of centurions
Thierry Henry became only the sixth France player to win 100 caps after being named in the starting lineup for Tuesday's friendly against Colombia in Paris.
South Africa debut
The FC Barcelona striker was a little nonplussed as he considered his achievement, saying: "It's not that important. It's just a detail in our preparations for EURO." Henry joins Lilian Thuram (139), Marcel Desailly (116), Zinédine Zidane (108), Patrick Vieira (105) and Didier Deschamps (103) in an élite band of centurions, also becoming the first Les Bleus forward to reach the milestone. The 30-year-old, who should spearhead his country's attack at UEFA EURO 2008™, made his debut in a friendly against South Africa in October 1997 and registered the first of his 44 goals against the same opponents in a group match at the FIFA World Cup eight months later.
With three goals in that tournament, and a successful penalty in the quarter-final shoot-out win over Italy, Henry played an important role in France's victorious campaign on home soil. Having started both his club and his international careers on the wing, the former AS Monaco FC, Juventus and Arsenal FC man excelled as a centre-forward at a major finals for the first time at UEFA EURO 2000™. He top-scored for France again with three goals, including their equaliser in the semi-final against Portugal, as Les Bleus added the European title to their world crown.
Henry appeared in his third UEFA European Championship in Portugal four years ago and has also featured in two more World Cups, memorably netting the winning goal to eliminate holders Brazil in Germany two years ago. On 17 October 2007, he struck twice against Lithuania to become the most profilic player in France's history, overtaking Michel Platini's long-standing mark of 41 goals and sealing his nation's qualification for this summer's finals in the process.