Thierry Henry

Marriage does bring about change — for the better. Arsenal's French star Thierry Henry has revealed how married life has tamed his fiery temper and made him a better player. Henry wed long-term girlfriend Nicole Merry recently and insists she has helped calm him down.

Henry had a reputation for being one of the English Premiership's most fiery characters but the 26-year-old says his life has been transformed on and off the pitch since meeting his English model wife.

"Getting married is part of the evolution of my career," says Henry, who signed a new contract in May that keeps him at Arsenal until 2007. "Before on the pitch I was a bit crazy. Now I've calmed down. It's the same in my private life," he said in interview in the August edition of Sky magazine to launch the new Premiership season.

And he puts the business of playing soccer above the fashion-conscious antics of some players. "To each his own. My France team-mate Djibril Cisse dyes his hair blond, while David Beckham changes his hairstyle 10,000 times a year," said Henry.

"But I'm not like that. I want people to talk about me, not for my clothes, my haircut or my cars. When fans come up to me, they prefer to talk about my game or my goals."

Henry won the Premiership and FA Cup Double in 2002 and seemed certain to retain both trophies as Arsenal dominated the English game for seven out of the nine months of last season.