Who was a better striker/player, Thierry Henry or Samuel Eto’o?

These two were incredible to watch and both of them had incredible careers in professional football.

Samuel Eto’o is arguably the best African player of all time and it is hard to dispute that he was outstanding at Barcelona.

Thierry Henry was good at Monaco, great at Juventus and sublime at Arsenal. The pair joined forces at Barcelona for just 2 seasons but they were amazing in a trio with Messi. It was their front three which helped Barcelona win a historic sextuple.

But who was the better player? We will delve into statistics but also go through their attributes and common sense to find a logical answer.

Henry in his career managed 366 goals in 813 appearances

While Samuel Eto’o scored 371 in 764 appearances.

Despite it going in Eto’o’s favour there are a few variables that we need to take into account.

Firstly, Henry played on the wing for a chunk of his career and Eto’o at the end of his career was at minor clubs which doesn’t make his goals that significant.

On to their attributes. It is clear who was the quicker player as Henry in his prime was a speed demon. In the air, I would probably give that to Eto’o.

Passing and creativity belong to Henry, especially during his later years at Arsenal. Shooting could go to either one of them but finishing goes to Henry as his finesse into the bottom right corner is iconic. Dribbling and ball control was something that Thierry Henry was levels above Eto’o on.

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On the international stage, it is harsh as Eto’o played for Cameroon but Henry certainly had a better career for his country, winning the Euros and the World Cup.

Eto’o still did very well and won the African Cup of Nations in 2000 and 2002. Eto scored 56 goals in 119 caps while Thierry Henry managed 51 goals in 123. So actually their whole goal scoring tally is very close.

Again we may have to consider that Henry played against more formidable opposition.

Statistics aside, when judging a player’s ability, you must watch them; the case is no different here. When you watch both of them, you acknowledge that the pair were incredible but Thierry Henry was simply better than Eto.

There was something about Henry, so agile, so quick and a lethal finisher made defenders have sleepless nights. I don’t mean that in a metaphorical sense, John Terry genuinely had sleepless nights about Henry. Terry said,

“He was the best by far and had everything, his movement. He was like the silent assassin, he could score with his head, go short, go in behind, right and left foot. He was incredible but the night before games he would be the one player in my career that I thought, “gonna be a tough day tomorrow” and you’d wake up and no one had that effect on me at all but him”

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For arguably the best-ever defender in Premier League history to say this about you, then you must be a good player. Eto’o did not produce that reaction from a World Class defenders.

In summary, although it looks quite close on paper, when you watch them it is clear that Henry was the better player.

Credits: Thomas Xydais via Quora

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