Former Arsenal star Thierry Henry is stepping down as head coach of Major League Soccer (MLS) side CF Montreal due to family reasons.
Henry made the announcement on Twitter, saying: “It is with a heavy heart that I’m writing this message. The last year has been an extremely difficult one for me personally. Due to the worldwide pandemic, I was unable to see my children.
“Unfortunately, due to the ongoing restrictions and the fact that we will have to relocate to the US again for several months (at least) will be no different. The separation is too much of a strain for me and my kids. Therefore, it is with much sadness that I must take the decision to return to London and leave CF Montreal.”
The 43-year-old — who has two children — spent 15 months with Montreal, which has been forced to relocate to the United States this season due to Canada’s Covid-19 travel restrictions.
“Thierry’s departure is unfortunate and premature because this was very promising, but he informed me of his desire to be back with his family because the situation was and remains very difficult for both him and his family,” said CF Montreal Sporting Director, Olivier Renard.
“I want to thank him, first on a human level because he led the players by example last year by being away from his family, but also from a sporting level and for what we have built together since his arrival. We wanted to elevate this club and we are on the right track.
“The process of finding a new head coach is already underway and I will be looking for someone who is aligned with the philosophy we have implemented.”
In his lone season as head coach, Henry led CF Montreal to an 8-13-2 record and their first playoff appearance since the 2016 season.