Having made a big impression since arriving again in Major League Soccer (MLS), former Red Bulls star Thierry Henry was left CF Montreal. Having helped the team formerly known as the Montreal Impact reach the playoffs for the first time since 2016, Henry has moved on due to the intensity of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like other Canadian sports teams playing in US sports leagues, such as the Toronto Raptors, CF Montreal have been playing outside of their home in Canada. This has made it even harder for Henry to find time to be with his family, and it has now reached ahead with the coach resigning.
Henry, 43, had done a strong job in Montreal and was well-liked by the fans and the club management. However, family always comes first and, in a statement, Henry made it clear that he was finding it hard to live without those closest to him.
As such, the move to head back to be near his family has meant that Henry, who was unwilling to leave his family behind again in Canada whilst the team played the MLS season abroad, made it clear he wished to go.
What did Thierry Henry say about leaving Montreal?
In a short but significant statement, Henry clearly laid out the reasons why he has chosen to move on from the job at such short notice. In a statement, he said: "It is with a heavy heart that I've decided to take this decision. 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 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 make the decision to return to London and leave CF Montreal.
"I would like to thank the fans, players and all the staff of this club that have made me feel so welcome."
The club, though, was naturally disappointed to miss out on the couch having kept him in position after an approach from AFC Bournemouth last week. Club Sporting Director, Olivier Renard, said: "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.
"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."
Henry had made a positive impression in the league once again, having been a marquee name during his successful tenure as a member of the Red Bulls. Perhaps, in the future, the World Cup winner will return to MLS as a coach.