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Thierry Henry won the Golden Boot in four of the five years Van Nistelrooy was in England (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has played down his rivalry with former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy and insists he was nowhere near as obsessed with topping the scoring charts as the Dutchman.

The pair fought for the Golden Boot for five consecutive seasons following Van Nistelrooy’s £19m move to United from PSV Eindhoven in 2001.

Henry came out on top in Van Nistelrooy’s first year at Old Trafford but the Dutchman claimed his first Golden Boot in 2003 when the Red Devils reclaimed the Premier League title.

However, Henry won the next three meaning he won the award in four of the five years the former Real Madrid man was at United.

Henry provided a record-breaking amount of assists in the 2003/04 season (Picture: Getty)

Despite the Frenchman’s supremacy, Rio Ferdinand recently claimed it was Van Nistelrooy that was obsessed with coming out on top and his mood would sour after matches if he realised Henry had matched or surpassed his exploits in the previous 90 minutes.

Henry insists he was unaware of Van Nistelrooy’s obsession and the former Arsenal captain insists if he was as focused on scoring then he wouldn’t have provided as many assists as he did during his career.

‘It became a story between me and him because it was always him or me [to win the Golden Boot] but I don’t know if you remember I used to give penalties away…I used to give penalties away!’ Henry said on an Instagram Live with Puma Football.

‘When Edu played his last game for Arsenal and I was battling with Ruud van Nistelrooy for the Golden Boot I gave him the penalty.

‘It’s because you ask me the question don’t get me wrong…but if you look at the number of my assists I gave in the game and sometimes i was in front of the goal and I squared it that would answer that question [whether he was as obsessed].

‘I would not have all those assists if I was only just thinking about the Golden Boot.’

Van Nistelrooy scored 150 goals in 219 games for United (Picture: getty)

Henry is now manager at Montreal Impact in Major League Soccer.

The Frenchman denies being as obsessed with scoring as Van Nistelrooy but his fiery temper was well known during his playing days.

And he admits it wasn’t a failure to score that would anger him, but a failure to help his team.

‘When I was was upset was if I didn’t give an assist or I didn’t score,’ continued Henry.

‘Then I felt I didn’t help my team. Sometimes you can be amazing in a game without a goal and assist, sometimes really poor with a goal and assist so it depends on what people value.

‘If I didn’t help my team in any shape that’s when I come on the bus and put my head down, maybe saying stuff I shouldn’t be saying because I get upset with myself.

‘There’s a game in Sunderland where we were sure to be in Champions League and i gave Ljungberg three assists in the game and Ruud passed me with a goal.

‘I could be greedy and play for myself but that’s how the game is. Ruud was an amazing striker, I had so many battles with him, he was a striker playing in an amazing team.’

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