Thierry Henry was on Monday named as coach of France’s Under-21s and will be in charge of the team competing at next year’s Olympics in Paris, said a source close to the negotiations.
The 46-year-old former Arsenal and France striker replaces Sylvain Ripoll and returns to management after leaving his role as Belgium assistant following last year’s World Cup.
Henry, who won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 with France, has struggled to hit the same heights in coaching that he reached as a player.
He lasted barely three months as Monaco coach in the 2018-19 season and stepped down at MLS club Montreal Impact in February 2021 after just over a year at the helm.
He has also worked previously with Arsenal’s youth teams and twice served on the Belgium coaching staff, helping the country finish third at the 2018 World Cup.
Henry, scorer of 51 goals in 123 games for France, has been working as a TV consultant in recent times.
He could have a team built around Kylian Mbappe at the Olympics, with the France captain making no secret of his desire to play at the tournament, which is largely reserved for players aged 23 or younger.
Henry’s first match as France Under-21 coach is a friendly against Denmark in Nancy on September 7, four days before his team’s opening Euro 2025 qualifier away to Slovenia.