Thierry Henry has ended months of speculation about his future by signing a new deal with Arsenal.
The 28-year-old striker had a year left on his contract and had been linked with a move to Barcelona but has opted to stay in London.
“At one point it crossed my mind to leave,” he told a news conference on Friday, two days after Arsenal lost the Champions League final to Barcelona.
“But I think with my heart and my heart told me to stay.”
Henry said hid decision to stay was influenced by Arsenal’s performance in the 2-1 defeat to Barcelona.
“We can be so proud of what we did,” he said.
“The game reassured me of one thing I wanted to know – how far I can go with that team. They showed me they are a team with heart and lots of quality.
“In the past year the fans have been more than amazing and after the way we lost on Wednesday, I couldn’t let them down.
“It was another thing to add and a positive thing to make me stay.”
Henry also paid tribute to manager Arsene Wenger and the club’s vice-chairman David Dein.
“There are so many things about why I decided to stay. Mr Dein, Arsene, the club, the fans, I just thought I could not let them down.
“And as you know my wife is English and I always refer to London as my home town because people here welcomed me with open arms even before I showed what I could do on the pitch.
“It is difficult to leave a country like England because the passion — it is just the best. The stadiums are full all the time. Even when we play away, the reception for me is amazing.”
Henry joined Arsenal from Juventus in August 1999 and has gone on to become the club’s record goalscorer.
A delighted Wenger was pleased that a disappointing week had ended on a positive note.
“I had two aims at the start of the week: to win the European Cup and then to make Thierry stay,” said Wenger.
“I only managed one of those but, for the future of the club, that’s certainly the best one.
“We have a young team, I feel this team is progressing and is a future big, big team.
“We can be one of the best clubs in the world, but we need Thierry Henry to achieve that because he is such a big influence on our side,” Wenger said.