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The French striker, who had legendary battles against Ferguson throughout his career at stops in Arsenal and Barcelona, paid his respects to the departing Man United coach.

HARRISON, N.J. -- At the pinnacle of Thierry Henry's remarkable career in Europe, Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United were the adversaries that stood between Henry's team and success.

More often than not, Ferguson prevailed, but Henry also had some of his greatest moments against the Scottish manager and the Red Devils. The 'Invincables' season at Arsenal and Champions League success against United with Barcelona in 2009 are just some of the standout moments during a decade of battles between Henry and Northern English side.

So when reflecting on Ferguson's career after Wednesday morning's news of a pending retirement at this season's end, Henry was somber and stated that soccer has lost one of the greatest managers ever.

"Everyone is sad about the loss to the game. What a boss, what a legend," Henry said after the Red Bulls 2-1 home victory over Montreal. "I have no words to describe what Sir Alex has done for the game."

Henry admitted that the announcement caught him off guard and said that Ferguson's greatest quality was his bold confidence and self-belief.

"It's just mind blowing. It's caught me off guard right now because I saw it in the morning like everyone did," Henry said. "I can say that I've been fighting against his team for a very long time, I only have respect for that man. What he did has no words."

Herny added, "What I'll always remember is when he came in, he said that he wanted to top Liverpool and he did it. It's not like he did it and then said 'Oh that's what I had in the back of my mind.' He said it before [it happened] and he did it. So you have to give him his credit, what he did at that club. Just an outstanding career."

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