Henry 'open' to managerial return after being backed for international job

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Thierry Henry is among the candidates to take over as Belgium boss
Thierry Henry is among the candidates to take over as Belgium boss

Thierry Henry would be open to taking the Belgium job after receiving a glowing review from Romelu Lukaku.

The European nation are on the lookout for a new coach after Roberto Martinez's departure following an underwhelming World Cup. Belgium's so called 'Golden Generation' have failed to deliver over the past decade and time may be running out for this crop of players.

Henry has served as assistant on two occasions - between 2016-2018 and then again from 2021. He commands huge respect from the players and has informed the national hierarchy that he would be interested in taking the role were he offered it, reports HLN.

Lukaku, a leading light with the Belgium outfit, hopes that Henry is handed an opportunity, insisting he has the coaching credentials as well as the respect of the players. He told Sky Italia: “For me Henry is the next coach of Belgium. There are no doubts. I say it openly: he will be the next coach. He has the respect of all the players, he has won everything. He knows how to coach, he knows what we have to do to get there.

“He knows the team, the league, the staff. For me he is the ideal coach for our national team. [If it isn’t Henry] then I don’t know who they will hire. But I don’t think Belgium should start from scratch.

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“So far this generation hasn’t won but we have to keep trying to win. He wants to win, and I don’t think the federation is going to get a coach who wants to change everything and start from scratch. It’s not worth it to me.”

Henry 'open' to managerial return after being backed for international jobRomelu Lukaku has backed the Frenchman for the role

Henry's two previous managerial roles have taken him to former club Monaco and the MLS. In France he endured a short-lived, unsuccessful tenure that lasted 20 games and resulted in just four wins. He took charge of Montreal Impact 10 months after his sacking, but would eventually resign.

Belgium have threatened to make an impact at a major tournament since the World Cup in 2014. They've been able to establish themselves as the world's top ranked side, but one semi-final is their best effort to date.

At Euro 2016 they were shocked by a Wales side who downed them in the last eight. At the World Cup two years later they made the semis, losing to eventual winners France. At the Euros 18 months ago their journey ended in the last eight, losing to champions Italy. In Qatar though they failed to get out of a group that included Croatia, Morocco and Canada.

Samuel Meade

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