By Chris Harris

Thierry Henry is no stranger to lifting trophies at the Stade de France. After all, he was part of the France squad which outplayed Brazil in the 1998 World Cup Final.

But there is one big difference between that triumph and this week's showpiece Final against Barcelona. This time, Henry will be captain and centre stage. Seven years ago he was a frustrated youngster left waiting in the wings.

"There was some frustration that I didn't play in 1998," admitted Henry at his pre-match press conference.

"At half time I was warming up, I was supposed to come on 10 minutes into the second half but then Marcel Desailly got sent off and the plan changed.

"I respected that, when it was about to get a bit crazy the boss took the young players out and decided to go for experience in the Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and the Final too.

"On the spur of the moment I was disappointed but when I knew we were going to lift the Cup it was OK. I was 20 and I played six games so I couldn't be that upset."

Henry has never attended a Champions League Final, believing that he has "no right" to be there unless his team are taking part. That has all changed this season.

Paris is a fitting destination for the Arsenal captain, who was brought up in a south-west suburb of the French capital. But in Henry's opinion, the venue and the quality of Wednesday's Final are irrelevant. The result is all that counts.

"In a way it is more special because it is in Paris, but the Champions League Final is the Champions League Final wherever it is," says Henry.

"I know the story is there because I am coming back home, but at the end of the day the Final is the Final. It's nice that it's in Paris but the most important thing is to be there.

"At the end of the day it's about winning the game, whether you play well or not. When you look at the Semi-Finals people thought there would be a lot of goals, but there weren't.

"It's difficult to call whether the teams will go to attack a lot or whether they might wait a bit and be cautious. But you definitely have the players to put on a show in Paris. But after all, it's about winning."

6/4 - Arsenal win Champions League

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
Chris Harris 17 May 2006