"Following a 20-year career, I have decided to retire from professional football," Henry said on Facebook on Tuesday.
The French player, who scored over 400 goals and hosts of major honours, led France to the World Cup title in 1998 and won the European Championship title in 2000.
Henry, 37, will now take up a career as a TV consultant for Sky Sports in Britain, where he has always been a footballing hero thanks to his years at Arsenal football club.
Some say that a return to Arsenal in some managerial role is almost certain.
"The best thing to do with Thierry Henry is to watch him play, not to talk about him," commented former Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger.
Henry became a legend in England where he scored 228 goals in seven years (1999-2007) and his statue has been erected outside the Emirates Stadium in London.
Henry has often talked of his "love" for Arsenal and its fans but moved to Barcelona in 2007, winning the Champions League trophy - the only top award that had so far eluded him - in 2009.