Bukayo Saka reveals ‘hero’ text message from Arsenal icon Thierry Henry after Euro 2020 final heartbreak

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Thierry Henry urged Bukayo Saka to bounce back from his Euro 2020 heartbreak because he was a “hero” for England, the Arsenal winger has revealed.

The Three Lions’ shootout defeat to Italy in the summer came after Saka, then aged 19, missed the decisive penalty at Wembley

Fans, players and figures across the country rallied behind the squad despite the defeat with Arsenal legend Henry among those telling Saka to hold his head up high.

“He’s a hero to me for what he’s done for my club, what he’s done in football,” the Gunners star told Sky Sports for 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 since started the season well for Arsenal and scored in the recent North London derby win over Tottenham.

As an academy graduate who joined the club aged seven, he is one of many inspired by two-time Premier League winner Henry and an era that he believes was responsible for bringing a new generation of fans to the club.

“I feel like he did inspire a generation of Arsenal fans, a lot of people support Arsenal partly because of him,” he added.

“For me, when you’re growing up and you score a goal in the playground, you wanted to be like Thierry Henry and celebrate like him.”

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