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How Thierry Henry Tainted His Personal Brand

by Mohammed on November 23, 2009

One of the greatest football players in the world today is Thierry Henry, Henry is a French footballer who plays for Spanish club Barcelona and the French national team, predominantly as a striker. His first honors with the Catalan club came in 08–09 when they won the league, cup and Champions League treble.

Thiery Henry

Recently, I wrote about Football Players and Personal Branding to show how being different, unique and the real you can makes remarkable brand.  Sometimes, Even if you are the best player in the world, it is not possible to let people forgive you for something you did unethically.

The French national team qualified this month for the 2010 World Cup because of a hand.  The late William Gallas goal, which gave France a 2-1 aggregate victory in its two-game playoff with Ireland, came off a blatant handball by star Thierry Henry. With the Irish fighting to clear the ball deep on their side, Henry batted the ball down with his left hand, darted a quick pass to Gallas, who then headed the ball in for the decisive goal.

Even Henry made the right decision by apologizing to the Irish people and keep doing that to the public, I don’t think it can be forgotten very soon. Henry felt abandoned and deeply upset by the virulent criticism he received from former players and politicians, he said: “After the game, and even for the next two days, I felt alone, truly alone.” He started contemplate  consider quitting international football.

People are not talking about France qualification to the World Cup finals nor his France’s record with 51 goals! Instead, they are talking about Henry handball. Australian paper says: Henry’s hand-job installed him atop its list of the 10 Biggest Cheats in Sport, with Argentina’s Diego Maradona runner-up for his Hand of God goal against England in the 1986 World Cup.

I believe that Henry tainted his Personal Brand because he ruined one of the main personal brand attributes: Integrity. 

If you Google handball, the first result will be Thierry Henry handball!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mona Hulusi November 24, 2009 at 11:54 AM

I liked your article and your talk about the integrity (Integrity, of course, not limited just to the football games ) , to get our brand we must be honest in our words and our actions.
I am a fan of Barcelona and also a fan of Thierry Henry’s, although he confessed after the game for his handball’s touched which it is caused his team victory, but What happened it happened and we cannot be re-time … if he has something of integrity he should admit in that moment rather than after his victory celebrations, also after hearing the virulent criticism from around … and I agreed you by saying that he has lost his brand as one of the best players in the world.. In Fact i was surprised from the reaction of FIFA ,they refusal to re-match the game in spite of Terry’s recognition, also rejected the application of the Irish to re-match the game !!!
OH GOD!!! Henry why you did this :( !!!


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2 Mohammed Al-Taee November 24, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Mona Hulusi: I liked your article and your talk about the integrity (Integrity, of course, not limited just to the football games)


Agreed that Integrity and Authenticity are the base attributes for strong personal brand.

Henry admitted the handball but it was too late and years of preparation for Irish team gone in one hand touch, so sad :(

It is impossible to replayed the match as most referees are subjected to mistakes, they are human at the end.

Thanks for your comment and have a great day.


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