Thierry Henry: Footage of Arsenal legend terrorising Italy at Euro 2000

On his day, Thierry Henry was the Oxford dictionary definition of unstoppable.

The Frenchman is regularly labelled the Premier League’s greatest ever player and he’s firmly up there with the best strikers to have graced the world’s most popular sport.

Physically, Henry didn’t have a single weakness. He was tall, powerful and possessed speed befitting of an Olympic sprinter.

In his prime, the Arsenal legend would simply knock the ball past an opposing player and charge past them effortlessly like a gazelle in full flow.

It truly was a sight to behold and as well as being a supreme athlete, Henry was blessed with world-class skill and a deadly eye for finishing.

When you add all those things together, you have a terrifyingly good footballer, one who regularly made the very best look like rank amateurs.

There are so many cases down the years of Henry making elite-level defenders look silly and a great example is the final of Euro 2000.

Thierry Henry in action for France vs Italy at Euro 2000
2 Jul 2000: Thierry Henry (No.12) of France beats Alessandro Nesta (No.13) of Italy during the European Championships 2000 Final at the De Kuip stadium, Rotterdam, Holland. France won 2-1 after Extra Time and on the Golden Goal. \ Mandatory Credit: Graham Chadwick /Allsport

A 22-year-old Henry lined up on the left-wing for France against a formidable Italy side that contained Fabio Cannavaro, Alessandro Nesta and Paolo Maldini, three of the finest defenders in history.

But Henry’s speed and dribbling had the Italians chasing shadows in Rotterdam and footage of his performance in the Euro 2000 final is quite incredible to watch.

You know it’s going to be good when the video starts with Nesta getting spun like a hungover Sunday League centre-back…

Video: Henry vs Italy in the Euro 2000 final

Fan reaction

Facing a young, fired up Henry looks like a barrel of laughs, doesn’t it?

France’s record scorer was so good on the day that the Italians had no option but to hack him down on numerous occasions – and Henry barely even complained about the harsh treatment he received either.

It’s quite astounding that Henry didn’t get on the scoresheet in the Euro 2000 final and his dazzling performance was seconds away from being all in vain.

Going into the fourth minute of stoppage-time, France trailed 1-0 thanks to Marco Delvecchio’s 55th-minute opener.

But a 94th-minute goal from Sylvain Wiltord sent the enthralling encounter to extra-time, where David Trezeguet scored a famous Golden Goal to secure the trophy for Les Bleus.

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