Former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry has been named as the new coach of Ligue 1 club AS Monaco on Saturday.
The French club sacked Leonardo Jardim, who led them to a French title in 2017, after the team’s poor start to this season.
Henry had become the odds-on favourite to succeed Jardim after he was sacked midweek following a string of poor results that left Monaco languishing in 18th in French Ligue 1.
It’s a homecoming of sorts for the Frenchman as the 41-year-old began his senior career at Monaco and helped them win Ligue 1 in 1997. He scored seven goals in the 1997-’98 Champions League as another talented Monaco team, this one coached by Arsene Wenger, reached the semi-finals, where they lost to Juventus.
He was then sold to the Turin club and went on to a successful spell with Arsenal in England and World Cup and Euro 2000 winners medals with France. Henry is an assistant coach with Belgium, which finished third in the summer’s World Cup.
Henry said it was “fate” that he had returned to the Principality club.
“It is with great pride that I am delighted to announce that I have accepted the position to become the manager of AS Monaco FC,” he said on Twitter.
“I was fortunate to receive some very attractive offers over the last few months but Monaco will always be close to my heart.
“Having started my footballing career with this great club, it seems like fate that I will now begin my managerial career here too.
“I’m incredibly excited to be given this opportunity but now the hard work must begin. Can’t wait.”
After spending five seasons as a player with Monaco, Henry went on to play for Juventus, Arsenal, Barcelona and the New York Red Bulls.
While at Arsenal, he was the Premier League’s top scorer for four seasons and has been tipped as a future manager of the London club.
Henry scored 51 goals in 123 appearances for France, winning not only the 1998 World Cup but also Euro 2000.
After the duo oversaw Belgium’s 2-1 win against Switzerland in the Nations League on Friday, Martinez said Henry “has the potential to become a great coach”.
Monaco chief executive officer Vadim Vasilyev, said Henry could “count on our trust and all our support to bring a new dynamic to the team and carry out the mission”.
“His knowledge of football, his passion for the game, his high standards and his commitment to our colours make his nomination a reality.
“Thierry is both aware of the task ahead and eager to start his new job.”
(With AFP inputs)