For family reasons, Thierry Henry has stepped down as manager of MLS side CF Montreal.
In November 2019, the iconic former Arsenal forward took over but said in a Thursday statement that the coronavirus-enforced gap between himself and his family was proving too much of a burden.
The news comes just a day after Laurent Ciman, the former defender, returned to the club as an assistant coach. Now the hunt is underway for a new permanent manager.
“It is with a heavy heart that I have agreed to take this decision,” Henry said in a tweet. For me, last year was an incredibly challenging one.
“I was unable to see my children due to the worldwide pandemic. Unfortunately, it will be no different due to the continuing restrictions and the fact that we will have to return to the US again for several months. For me and my children, the separation is too much of a burden.
It is with great reluctance, therefore, that I must decide to return to London and leave CF Montreal. I would like to thank this club’s supporters, players, and all the staff who have made me feel so welcome.
At Championship side Bournemouth, the Frenchman was recently credited with taking over, but the Cherries preferred to name Jonathan Woodgate until the end of the season.
Following a spell as assistant manager of Belgium and an unsuccessful stint in charge of Monaco, Henry joined Montreal as a relatively inexperienced manager.
For the first time since 2016, he led the club to the MLS play-offs in the 2020 season, finishing ninth in the Eastern Conference.
They also reached the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-finals, where they were beaten by Honduran side Olimpia on away goals.