Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka reveals Thierry Henry message after Euro 2020 heartbreak

Tom Gott
Saka received a message of support from Henry
Saka received a message of support from Henry / Alex Pantling/GettyImages

Arsenal starlet Bukayo Saka has revealed that club legend Thierry Henry reached out to him after his Euro 2020 final heartbreak to offer his support.

Only 19 at the time, Saka stepped up to take the decisive penalty in the showcase finale against Italy, but his effort was turned away by Gianluigi Donnarumma and England lost.

Saka's disappointment was made even worse by the countless messages of abhorrent racist abuse directed his way on social media, but the young winger has revealed that one positive message from Henry stood out more than most.

“[Henry] is a hero to me for what he’s done for my club, what he’s done in football,” Saka told Sky Sports to celebrate Black History Month.

“I loved his personality, I loved the way he played, the goals he scored. He’s just an amazing person - he was amazing at football but he’s an amazing person too and that’s probably why he inspires me.

“After the Euros he did message me, he went out of his way to get my number and message me. He told me that I’m actually a hero and that I’ve done so well. That meant everything to me, already looking up to him.”

Saka has bounced back from the miss well, playing a major role in Arsenal's recent resurgence, namely in the 3-1 victory over Tottenham in which he bagged a goal and an assist.

On his earliest memory of Henry, Saka continued: "The Invincibles season, them lifting the trophy. I remember that team specifically.

"Thierry himself, I always remember the goal against United, when he flicked it up and volleyed it. Still to this day, I have never seen anyone score a goal like that.

"The bit moments, his personality, it was amazing. I feel like he inspired a generation of Arsenal fans, I feel like a lot of people support Arsenal partly because of him. For me, growing up in the playground, you score a goal and you want to be like Thierry Henry."