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Lilian Thuram (born Ruddy Lilian Thuram-Ulien on 1 January 1972 in Pointe-à-Pitremarker) is a retired Frenchmarker professional football defender and is the most capped player in the history of the France national team. He played played at the top flight in France, Italy and Spain for over 15 seasons, including ten in the Serie A. With France, Thuram won the 1998 World Cup and the Euro 2000. Thuram holds the record for most appearances at the European Championship, with 16. He was expected to join Paris Saint-Germain on the 27 June 2008, having agreed a year contract. However, at the press conference he instead announced the discovery of a cardiac malformation, similar to the one that cost his brother's life. A month later Thuram announced his full retirement from football due to the cardiac condition.

Club career

Thuram's football career began with AS Monaco of the French Ligue 1 in 1991. Later transfers included Parma F.C. (1996–2001) and Juventus (2001–2006) for £25 million.

In Parma, along with later Juventus teammate Gianluigi Buffon and Fabio Cannavaro, they won UEFA Cup in 1998-99.

Juventus

In Juventus, along with former Parma teammate Buffon, they won the Scudetto twice with Juventus (it was originally four times, but the club was stripped of the 2004-05 and 2005-06 titles due to the Calciopoli)

During 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons, Thuram, along with former Parma teammates Buffon and Cannavaro, formed one of the most expensive, but also most feared, defenses in world football.

FC Barcelona

On 24 July 2006, Thuram signed with Spanish club FC Barcelona for 5 million after Juventus were relegated to Serie B due to the match fixing scandal. Sadly, after his contract expired in the 2007-08 season, Thuram was forced to call time on his illustrious career due to a rare heart condition which had a few years prior taken the life of his brother.

In the season before his announced retirement (the 2007-08 season), he was the third/fourth choice centre back after Carles Puyol, Gabriel Milito, and Rafael Márquez.

International career

After becoming world champion in 1998, Thuram was an integral part of France's triumph at Euro 2000, which led to the team being ranked by FIFAmarker as number one from 2001-2002. He also played in the 2002 World Cup, 2006 World Cup, Euro 96, Euro 2004, and Euro 2008

1998 World Cup

Thuram scored only two international goals, both of which came in one game – the 1998 World Cup semi-final against Croatia, in which France came back to win 2–1 and advance to the final. France defeated Brazil 3–0 to capture their inaugural World Cup and Thuram won the Bronze Ball as the third most valuable player in the tournament. He, Bixente Lizarazu, Laurent Blanc and Marcel Desailly formed the backbone of the French defence that conceded only 2 goals in seven games.

2006 World Cup

After a brief international retirement, France coach Raymond Domenech convinced Thuram to return to the French team on 17 August 2005, along with fellow "Golden Generation" teammates Zinedine Zidane and Claude Makélélé, as Les Bleus struggled to qualify for the 2006 World Cup. Thuram's centre-back partnership with William Gallas was to be the foundation for France's progression to the final. Thuram earned his 116th cap for France in the group stage match against South Korea in Leipzigmarker on 18 June 2006. In that game he equalled Desailly's record number of caps, which he broke in the final group stage match, a 2–0 win over Togo in Cologne on 23 June 2006, winning his 117th cap. He was named the Man of the match in France's semi-final 1–0 victory against Portugal, coincidentally the same distinction he had earned eight years earlier at the semi-finals of the 1998 World Cup.

Euro 2008

On 9 June 2008, Thuram took the field against Romania in a group match, and became the first player to make 15 UEFA European Championship finals appearances. The former record of 14 appearances was held by Zinedine Zidane, Luís Figo and Karel Poborský. He played one more game during the tournament, raising the number of his appearances to 16, which record was then equaled a few days later by Edwin van der Sar from the Netherlands in the quarter-finals. Thuram was the captain of France in the tournament. He, along with Claude Makélélé, announced his retirement from international football on 17 June 2008, after France's 2-0 loss to Italy. He finished his career with the national team as France's most capped player with 142 caps.

Personal life

His cousin is AS Monaco player Yohann Thuram. He likes the singer Admiral T and played in his clip Fos A Peyi La.

Political engagement

During the French riots in November 2005, Thuram took a position against Nicolas Sarkozy, the head of the conservative political party UMP and President of the French Republic. Thuram was opposed to the verbal attacks against young people that the then-Minister made when he talked about the "scum", and he said that Nicolas Sarkozy never lived in a suburban estate.

On 6 September 2006, Thuram sparked controversy when he invited 80 people, who were expelled by French Minister of the Interior Nicolas Sarkozy from a flat where they lived illegally, to the football match between France and Italy.He has also engaged in campaigns that favour the Catalan language and that favour the independence of Roussillon (Catalonia Nord) from France.

Career statistics



International Goals



Club Playing Honours

AS Monaco FC
Parma F.C.
Juventus F.C.
FC Barcelona


International Playing Honours

French national team


Individual Playing Honours



References

  1. Barcelona.cat
  2. Agreements with Spanish club FC Barcelona
  3. Thuram sets EURO appearance record
  4. If you can keep a cool head


External links



1990-91 Monaco Division 1 1 0
1991-92 19 0
1992-93 37 0
1993-94 25 1
1994-95 37 2
1995-96 36 5

1996-97 Parma Serie A 34 1
1997-98 32 0
1998-99 34 0
1999-00 33 0
2000-01 30 0
2001-02 Juventus Serie A 30 0
2002-03 27 1
2003-04 24 0
2004-05 37 0 9 0 46 0
2005-06 27 0 8 0 35 0

2006-07 FC Barcelona La Liga 23 0 2 0 4 0 29 0
2007-08 18 0 4 0 6 0 28 0
155||8||||||||||||||||
308||2||||||||||17||0||81||0
41||0||||||||||10||0||57||0
504||10||4||0||||||27||0||136||0
#
Date
Venue
Opponent
Score
Result
Competition
1
July 11, 1998
Stade de Francemarker, Parismarker
1 – 1
2 – 1
1998 FIFA World Cup
2
July 11, 1998
Stade de Francemarker, Parismarker
2 – 1
2 – 1
1998 FIFA World Cup

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