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Henry becomes Belgium assistant coach

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(FILES) This file photo taken on June 02, 2010 shows French football national team forward Thierry Henry speaking during a press conference at the Michel Volnay stadium in Saint-Pierre, on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion. Former France star Thierry Henry has been named as the new assistant coach of Belgium, the national coach Roberto Martinez announced on August 26, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE

(FILES) This file photo taken on June 02, 2010 shows French football national team forward Thierry Henry speaking during a press conference at the Michel Volnay stadium in Saint-Pierre, on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion.<br />Former France star Thierry Henry has been named as the new assistant coach of Belgium, the national coach Roberto Martinez announced on August 26, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE

Former France star Thierry Henry has been named as the new assistant coach of Belgium, the national coach announced Roberto Martinez announced on Friday.

“Thierry is an important figure. He will bring something different. He agreed right away to join us,” said Martinez, who was appointed at the start of the month to succeed the sacked Marc Wilmots.

Henry, 39, finished his glittering playing career in 2014 with New York Red Bulls after previously starring for Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal and Barcelona.

Since hanging up his boots, he has been working as a pundit for British television station Sky and as an under-18 coach at Arsenal.

He left the latter role in July because Gunners boss Arsene Wenger did not want Henry juggling his coaching with his punditry.

“He is someone who knows how to develop a collective mentality, how to work together to win,” said Martinez.

“He won the World Cup in 1998 and has the experience to achieve great things.”

Henry was not present at the press conference as Martinez announced his first squad since becoming coach.

Belgium face Spain in a friendly next Thursday and then take on Cyprus away in their opening qualifier for the 2018 World Cup on September 6.


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