football

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry sees his goalscoring record finally broken


Thierry Henry set multiple goalscoring records across his illustrious playing career – most prominently at Arsenal – but his France scoring record has been surpassed by Karim Benzema

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Mikel Arteta after Arsenal’s 2-0 win against Newcastle

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has finally seen his longstanding record as the most prolific French player at an elite club level taken from him.

Henry netted 360 goals in senior football in the club with 228 coming across his two stints at the Gunners, across eight-and-a-half seasons.

Now a coach in the Belgium international setup, Henry began his career at Monaco where he netted 28 goals before scoring just three times at Juventus prior to switch to North London.

He went on to score 49 goals at Barcelona over three seasons before hitting 52 goals over five campaigns with New York Red Bulls at the tail end of his career.

His goal scoring club record has now been surpassed by Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who is one of the leading contenders in the 30-man Ballon d’Or shortlist for this year.

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Arsenal legend Thierry Henry excelled in the Premier League alongside stints in France, Italy, Spain and the US
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Image:

Action Images via Reuters)

Benzema was on the scoresheet for Madrid as they defeated Sevilla 2-1 in a top-of-the-table clash in La Liga on Sunday night – the 361 st goal of his club career.

That is one goal more than Henry’s club career total of 360, which was achieved in 791 matches as opposed to Benzema, who took 724 games to reach the landmark.

Benzema has netted 103 goals in less than three-and-a-half seasons since becoming the central striker in the Spanish capital and has been the best player in La Liga in the calendar year.

Benzema, who will celebrate his 34 th birthday in December, has established himself as the club’s main attacking star after the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus.

He returned to the France international squad for this summer’s European Championships after a five-year absence and has netted five goals in 10 caps this year for Les Bleus.

Benzema joined Real Madrid from Lyon in the summer of 2009 – where he scored 66 goals in 148 appearances – the same year that Ronaldo moved to the Spanish capital from Manchester United.

The Frenchman was often deployed on the right-side of a three-man attack and was primarily involved in build-up play rather than scoring, but Ronaldo’s exit has allowed him to flourish.

Benzema had netted just 12 goals in Ronaldo’s final season in the Spanish capital – his second lowest scoring campaign in his past 15 seasons, with only his debut season at Los Blancos (2009-10, nine goals) a lower threshold.

Henry and Benzema have firmly established themselves among the all-time great French attacking players, alongside the likes of Just Fontaine, Dominique Rocheteau, Jean Pierre Papin and Eric Cantona.

Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe could well surpass Benzema’s career of club goals, as he has already bagged 168 goals in 249 matches – and is aged just 22.

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