Ireland welcome the top team in the FIFA World Rankings to the Aviva today. And while Belgium made a strong start, Ireland proved to be just as dangerous. After a beautifully taken goal by Michy Batshuayi, Chieo Ogbene evened things for Ireland with a wonderful overhead kick. It was his 3rd goal in 6 appearances for Ireland.
One of the interesting subplots of the match was the return of Thierry Henry to the Aviva. Henry is an assistant to Roberto Martinez and was making his first appearance at an Ireland match since that fateful night of November 2009, when his handball knocked Ireland out of World Cup qualifying.
Irish fans rarely forget.
When Thierry Henry flashed on the Aviva big screen, flanked by former Ireland assistant Anthony Barry, the boo birds came raining down on the illustrious French striker.
Thierry Henry booed in Dublin
Gary Connaughton of Balls.ie is in the Aviva press box and said the booing was very loud and went on for about 30 seconds.
Fans watching at home certainly noticed.
— Ciara Nash (@Kiks31) March 26, 2022
Ptdr Thierry Henry adjoint du sélectionneur de la Belgique se fait siffler par le public Irlandais 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 à cause de sa main en 2009
— MADRINAMESS 🇵🇸🇲🇦 (@belgomarocain) March 26, 2022
Thierry Henry getting booed by the fans is quality
— ush (@oisin_cfc) March 26, 2022
12years later and the Irish still booing Thierry Henry lol #IRLBEL
— daní ᱬ (@LtMenalippe) March 26, 2022
It was all very predictable.
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) March 26, 2022
Roberto Martinez had told the media this week that he hoped the Irish public had forgiven Henry by now.
"Thierry wrote beautiful stories as a player, he was a wonderful footballer, and now he is a key man in our backroom. It would not be fair of me to comment on something like that which happened a long time ago.”
He also revealed an old interest in Anthony Barry's coaching nous.
“I’ve followed Anthony’s career since he was a young coach with Wigan and I was delighted to be able to get him to join us. I sense from people in Irish football that you were sorry to lose him and you would be right. But getting him to help coach Belgium is our gain.”
Both now know the experience of being booed in Dublin.