This week, the Daily Mail reported that Thierry Henry, the former Arsenal legend who now plays for the New York Red Bulls, is planning to demolish his $9.5 million London mansion to build a 40-foot fish tank that will stretch from the bottom of his four-story mansion to the very top. The extravagant aquarium will take 5,500 gallons of water, house 300 fish, and cost roughly £250,000 [$400,000] to construct.
I received an e-mail from a friend who sent me the link to this story with a message that asked: "So, is this how wealthy athletes blow their cash?"
It's interesting how people can be so fascinated by how superstar athletes spend their money. My friend is not even a soccer fan. If he hadn't seen the aquarium story he wouldn't know Thierry Henry from a cast member of Jersey Shore.
A 40-foot fish tank is pretty extravagant by anyone's standards, but Henry has worked hard for every cent he has earned. He is one of the most recognizable and well-compensated footballers in the world. If the man chooses to build a fish tank that he can view on all four stories of his house, then the French striker has every right.
It was astounding how many different sites on the web featured the fish tank story once it broke, and even more astounding how someone who never pays attention to what's going on in the world of soccer would send me an e-mail about it.
Large fish tanks seem to be the new craze for footballers and even rock stars. Cher and David Beckham have recently shelled out large sums of cash for lavish aquariums. Those two have to be the most polar opposite people in pop culture. They apparently share a strong love for fish.
It could be a touch of envy that makes Henry's remodeling news, although, I think it runs deeper than that. There is simply a strong inquisitiveness by most people in the world on how the wealthy spend their money. The wealthy person can be a great soccer star like Henry or some John Doe, nobody who has some excessive makeover design.
Who cares what others say or write if you have the money and you feel like spending it. It's Henry's money. And it's important to remember Henry has a model girlfriend (stunning Bosnian Andrea Rajačić) to impress. I'm sure that's a whole different level of keeping up with the Joneses that other millionaires don't have the luxury to know about.
NOTE: I've been an Arsenal fan for the last nine years. My cousin got me interested in international soccer at an early age.
- Thierry Henry
- New York Red Bulls