Thierry Henry reveals his thoughts on Ruud van Nistelrooy rivalry

Thierry Henry claims that he was never as obsessed about outscoring his rival, Ruud van Nistelrooy, as the Dutchman was.

Henry and van Nistelrooy were the Premier League’s top strikers in the early 2000s, and they were always competing against each other for the Golden Boot.

Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand recently both revealed that their teammate would always check immediately after their matches to see if Henry had scored a goal for Arsenal.

Every time that the Frenchman had outscored him, he would reportedly sulk even if he had scored twice and their team had won their own game.

It was a rivalry that consumed the Dutchman, but Henry seems to be relaxed about it and he recently revealed that he wasn’t that obsessed about van Nistelrooy and that he even gave up scoring chances to assist his teammates.

‘It became a story between me and him because it was always him or me [to win the Golden Boot],’ he told England Women striker Nikita Parris on Puma’s Instagram Live.

‘But I don’t know if you remember I used to give penalties away… I used to give penalties away!

‘When Edu played his last game for Arsenal and I was battling with Ruud van Nistelrooy for the Golden Boot I gave him the penalty. 

‘It’s because you ask me the question, don’t get me wrong… but if you look at the number of my assists I gave in the game and sometimes I was in front of the goal and I squared it, that would answer that question [whether he was as obsessed].

‘I would not have all those assists if I was only just thinking about the Golden Boot.’

The Frenchman still beat the Manchester United striker to the Golden Boot on four occasions out of the five years that they competed against each other with the Dutchman winning just once.

No need to say any more. 

Tags Ruud van Nistelrooy Thierry Henry


  1. Thanks for this Martin, it confirms something I always thought was true.

    Thierry was a team player, who loved the club and just wanted us to win every game, while playing in a way that was admired the world over.

    van nasty was a self centred prig, who always had his own interest at heart and dived, fouled and conned his way to try and beat the master goalscorer – succeeding only once!!!

    That iconic picture of Keown jumping at this cheat when he missed the penalty that the referee was so eager to give to him, hangs in my Arsenal room, just to remind me what a conman van nasty really was.

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