The Telegraph
Wednesday , March 24 , 2010
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Don’t want to play Gunners’

Thierry Henry admitted he shuddered when Arsenal were drawn against Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals.

And the former hero of Highbury claimed he did not really want to play against the club where he made his name and would not celebrate if he scored.

Henry, Arsenal’s all-time record scorer with 226 goals in 380 games before he left for Barcelona in the summer of 2007, said: “Whenever there is a draw for the Champions League I am in pain.

“I’m not saying I won’t try to fight or whatever because that’s the way the game is. But I don’t want to play against Arsenal. It will be weird for me to step on the pitch, even if it’s at the Emirates and not Highbury, with another shirt on.”

When asked if he would celebrate a goal against his former team, he added: “Forget about it. No. I do not want to play against Arsenal, simple as that.”

The 32 year-old, who was voted Arsenal’s greatest by supporters in 2008, added: “The bond that I have with the fans I will never get anywhere else. I don’t think I will ever play for another team for that long.”

Meanwhile, Henry’s in-form teammate Lionel Messi said on Tuesday that a footballer needs to win the World Cup to be counted among the greats.

“To become a legend, to be great, you have to win a World Cup,” Messi told a Spanish daily.

“I have only just turned 22,” he added.”It’s all happening very quickly and you have to stay calm.”

Messi has turned in a series of brilliant performances in recent weeks, scoring 11 goals in five matches, including two hattricks.

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