Thierry Henry, Forward, Henry has received many plaudits and awards in his football career. He was runner-up for the 2003 and 2004 FIFA World Player of the Year awards; in those two seasons, he also won back-to-back PFA Players’ Player of the Year titles. Henry is the only player ever to have won the FWA Footballer of the Year three times (2003, 2004, 2006), and the French Player of the Year on a record four occasions. Henry was voted into the Premier League Overseas Team of the Decade in the 10 Seasons Awards poll in 2003, and in 2004 he was named by football legend Pelé on the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players.
In terms of goal-scoring awards, Henry was the European Golden Boot winner in 2004 and 2005 (sharing it with Villarreal’s Diego Forlán in 2005). Henry was also the top goalscorer in the Premier League for a record four seasons (2002, 2004, 2005, 2006). In 2006, he became the first player to score more than 20 goals in the league for five consecutive seasons (2002 to 2006). With 175, Henry is currently fifth in the list of all-time Premier League goalscorers, behind Alan Shearer, Andy Cole, Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard. All of his Premier League goals were for Arsenal, giving him the record for most goals in the competition for one club, until it was broken by Rooney in 2016. France’s all-time record goalscorer was, in his prime in the mid 2000s, regarded by many coaches, footballers and journalists as one of the best players in the world. In November 2007, he was ranked 33rd on the Association of Football Statisticians’ compendium for “Greatest Ever Footballers."
Arsenal fans honoured their former player in 2008, declaring Henry the greatest Arsenal player. In two other 2008 surveys, Henry emerged as the favourite Premier League player of all time among 32,000 people surveyed in the Barclays 2008 Global Fan Report. In 2009, Henry was voted the best Premier League player of the 2000s. Arsenal fan and The Who lead singer Roger Daltrey mentions Henry in the tribute song "Highbury Highs”, which he performed at Arsenal’s last ever game at Highbury on 7 May 2006. On 10 December 2011, Arsenal unveiled a bronze statue of Henry at the Emirates Stadium as part of its 125th anniversary celebrations.
A compilation of all the skater cameos in Yuri!!! on Ice:
These little shoutouts to the real figure skating world amused me greatly while watching the anime, so I’ve decided to mash them all into one post:
Yuzuru Hanyu - Sochi 2014 Olympic Gold Medalist, 2014 World Champion, four time Grand Prix Final Champion (2013-16), two-time Four Continents silver medalist (2011, 2013), four time Japanese National Champion (2013-2016), current world record holder for highest short program, free skate, and combined score.
Stephane Lambiel - two-time World Champion (2005–2006), the 2006 Olympic Silver Medalist, a two-time Grand Prix Champion (2005, 2007), and a nine-time Swiss national champion (2001–08, 2010).
Nobunari Oda - 2006 Four Continents Champion, a four-time Grand Prix Final medalist (silver in 2009 and 2010; bronze in 2006 and 2013), 2008 Japanese National Champion. Now works as a professional skater and TV commentator, and also specifically requested to appear on Yuri!!! on Ice (I’m still laughing, what a dork)
Evgeni Plushenko - four-time Olympic Medalist (2006 gold, 2014 team gold, 2002 & 2010 silver), three time World Champion (2001, 2003, 2004), a seven-time European Champion (2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2012), a four-time Grand Prix Final Champion (1999–2000, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2004–05), and a ten-time Russian National Champion (1999–2002, 2004–2006, 2010, 2012–2013)
Florent Amodio - 2011 European Champion, a four-time French National champion (2010, 2013-2015), and the 2008 Junior Grand Prix Final champion
Usually deployed as a deep-lying playmaker in midfield for both his club and national sides, Pirlo is widely regarded as one of the greatest ever exponents of this position, due to his vision, ball control, creativity and passing ability; he is also a free-kick specialist.
Despite successful spells with Reggina, Pirlo was unable to break into Inter’s starting lineup, and was sold to cross-city rivals Milan in 2001. At Milan, manager Carlo Ancelotti decided to shift Pirlo in front of the defence as a deep-lying playmaker, which allowed him more time on the ball to orchestrate his team’s attacks. Pirlo excelled in his new role, and soon developed into a world-class midfielder, playing a key role in Milan’s subsequent successes, as he won two UEFA Champions Leagues (2003 and 2007), two UEFA Super Cups (2003 and 2007), two Serie A titles (2004 and 2011), a FIFA Club World Cup (2007), a Supercoppa Italiana (2004), and a Coppa Italia (2003) with the club. After joining Juventus on a free transfer in 2011, who had gone trophyless since 2003, he added four more Serie A titles (2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015), which he won consecutively, as well as two Supercoppa Italiana titles (2012 and 2013), and a Coppa Italia (2015). After playing in Italy for over 20 seasons, Pirlo joined MLS expansion side New York City FC in 2015, helping the team to reach the playoffs in his second season.
Greats Of The Game - Carles Puyol, Central Defender
Mainly a central defender, he could also play on either flank, mostly as a right back, and was regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation.
A one-club man, he served as the longtime team captain for his only club Barcelona after taking over from Luis Enrique in August 2004, and went on to appear in 593 official games for the club and win 21 major titles, notably six La Liga trophies and three Champions League.
Raúl is considered one of the most important players in the history of Real Madrid, and regarded as one of the greatest Spanish players of all time.
Raúl was born in the San Cristóbal de los Ángeles neighborhood of Madrid where he played for the local youth team before moving to the Atlético Madrid youth team. He later moved to Real Madrid’s youth academy and played at its various levels. In 1994, he signed his first professional contract with the fourth division team Real Madrid C and then was swiftly promoted to the first division team.
He spent 16 years of his career playing for Real Madrid and is the club’s second all-time top goalscorer with 323 goals. Raúl is also the most capped player in the history of the club with 741 appearances, ahead of Sanchís. With Los Blancos, he won six La Liga titles, three UEFA Champions League titles, scoring in two finals, four Supercopa de España titles, one UEFA Super Cup and two Intercontinental Cup. He is the third highest goalscorer in Champions League history, behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, and the fifth most capped player. In 2003, he was appointed captain of the team and retained that position until his departure from the club in 2010.
In La Liga competitions, Raúl is the fifth highest goalscorer in the history of the tournament with 228 goals, behind Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Telmo Zarra and fellow Real Madrid legend Hugo Sánchez. He is also the highest Spanish scorer in European leagues, with 256 goals, scoring 228 goals in La Liga and 28 goals in the Bundesliga. Moreover, he is the second most capped player in the history of the Spanish competition, with 550 games played, just behind Andoni Zubizarreta (622 games). Leaving Real Madrid in 2010 and signing for Schalke 04, he scored the 400th goal of his career in February 2012. He signed with the Qatari team Al Sadd in 2012. He won the Qatar Stars League in his first season and he reached 1,000 games played in his career; he is one of only 18 players to have achieved this landmark.