Created on 04-08-2014 at 16:00 PM
On Wednesday, Thierry Henry will play in his fourth MLS All-Star Game. The 36-year-old is one of the most successful and decorated forwards of his generation, and in Monday's press conference he reserved special praise for two of his opponents on Wednesday, Franck Ribery and Thomas Müller.
Henry and Ribery shared a warm embrace when the two met on stage during the press conference, having played together for the French national team for many years. It's a time the New York Red Bulls forward remembers very fondly. "I saw him [Ribery] coming into the national team at a very young age. It wasn't easy to make the team back then with all the players we had."
The French forward expressed great admiration for Ribery's development and style of play. "Ribery is very unselfish, he plays for the team. When he can score, he passes it. I think he should have won the Golden Ball last year. I can't stop talking about his qualities. He has all that you want in a player and I'm happy to see the player he turned out to be."
He also singled out Thomas Müller, who he holds in very high regard and describes as an ideal prototype of a player. "People, especially in the media, love a player who does stepovers and tricks. But the game is what Thomas Müller is doing for me,' Henry noted. He then singled out Müller's individual qualities: "Müller plays the game the right way. When he has to finish, he finishes. When he has to control the ball, he controls it. When he has to perform, he performs. He doesn't do fancy stepovers. He does what the game asks of him."
'Great chance to face world class players'
Fresh off an impressive World Cup campaign, Sporting Kansas City and US national team defender Matt Besler will be one of the key players for the MLS All-Stars in their match against Bayern, a game the 27-year-old is very much looking forward to. "For us it's a great opportunity to play against world class players. Over the last couple of years, Bayern have made a very good case for being the best team in the world," the centre-back said in Monday's press conference.
Besler will be up against one of the world's best forwards in Robert Lewandowski, a contest he is eagerly anticipating. It could be a great learning experience, he feels: "You learn from every player you play against; how they shoot, the two-three touches they take, how they move."
Bayern play the MLS All-Stars on Wednesday, August 6 at Providence Park in Portland at 9:30pm EST (3.30 am CET).