Arsenal legend Thiery Henry begins ‘new chapter’ as shareholder of ambitious Italian club Como

COMO, Italy, August 29Thierry Henry was announced on Monday as a new shareholder in ambitious Italian club Como, which is aiming for big things after moving from amateur football to the country’s second tier.

French icon Henry was introduced by the Serie B club at a press conference in the lakeside town alongside CEO and former Chelsea captain Dennis Wise.

“It’s a new chapter in my life,” Henry told reporters.

“I know the love of football here… People come to visit the city. People in France or Spain, they talk about the lake or the beauty of the city, but now it’s time to talk about the club.

Como, owned by Indonesian tobacco giants Djarum, is targeting a return to Serie A for the first time since 2003 after rising from bankruptcy and fourth-tier Serie D in 2017 to Serie B, where they finished 13th the season last.

Wise said Serie A was Como’s ‘long-term goal’. The former England international added that the club are also working to rebuild the youth academy in order to “compete with AC Milan and Atalanta” in developing young talent and trying to get a new stadium built.

Earlier this month Como signed Henry’s former Arsenal team-mate Cesc Fabregas, who joined Ligue 1 side Monaco after a difficult season for which he did not play a game after September .

And on Monday they announced the signing of striker Patrick Cutrone from Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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Fabregas also became a shareholder in the club as part of his deal to join Como, whose city-owned Giuseppe Sinigaglia stadium has one of the world’s most famous lakes as its backdrop.

He should make his first start for Como on Monday night in a Lombard derby with Brescia.

“The most important thing about Cesc is his brain,” Henry said.

“I think sometimes we forget to develop their (player) brains. When you’re fast there, you’ve won, and that’s why he lasted.

– ‘Ambassador’ –

Wise declined to reveal details regarding Henry’s role at the club, or how much Henry had invested to become a shareholder. His stake in the club was “private”, according to Wise.

“Thierry is a shareholder and that’s all I’m prepared to say,” Wise said.

Asked about his official title or responsibilities, Wise replied, “We want to understand his experiences and ideas.”

“He is welcome to come anytime and talk, we will listen. You can call him an ambassador… We will talk in depth about football, added Wise.

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Henry said he would “come as much as possible” to Como as part of his role, depending on his other commitments as a pundit and assistant manager for the Belgium national team.

Henry won numerous trophies during a glittering career at Arsenal and Barcelona and was part of the France squad alongside Zinedine Zidane who won the 1998 World Cup.

He retired as a player in 2015, then coached Monaco and Montreal before becoming a television pundit.

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