Rio Ferdinand says Thierry Henry was in the heads of his opponents before they even took to the pitch, and they’d shrink away from him.

Thierry Henry

Speaking in an Instagram live over the break from football, Rio Ferdinand discussed his former opponent Thierry Henry and the effect he had on defenders.

With all the debate going on about the Premier League Hall of Fame entrants recently, it’s always interesting to hear from the actual players who faced up against the potential candidates. Ferdinand clearly had a lot of respect for the former Gunner.

“Thierry Henry,” Ferdinand said in response to a question about the best striker he’d played against. “I know, I used to watch on TV or I’d look in the tunnel when I was in there and some players I would see thinking ‘Woah, it’s Thierry Henry, look’.”

“It was that effect he had on people. There’s only a handful of players I’ve seen in time that have that effect. He was one of them. I’d see some players shrink in the tunnel.

“When I watched the game on TV and I see the tunnel I’m thinking ‘Before the game’s even started, before that man’s head hit his pillow last night, Thierry was in his brain. Thierry had finished him off.’ Some big players as well.”

Anyone who watched Henry during this era would know exactly what Ferdinand is talking about. Some players would almost run away from the Arsenal man, tripping over themselves trying to stop him.

That’s not just the unknown centre-backs either. There are high-profile examples of Henry embarrassing the likes of John Terry, Jamie Carragher, Sergio Ramos, even Ferdinand previously admitted he’d be up late thinking about how to stop him.

No one could stop Arsenal’s club-record goalscorer on his day, though. He was just that good.