Thuram in February 2013
|Full name||Ruddy Lilian Thuram-Ulien|
|Date of birth||1 January 1972|
|Place of birth||Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Ruddy Lilian Thuram-Ulien (French pronunciation: [li.ljɑ̃ ty.ʁam]; born 1 January 1972), known as Lilian Thuram, is a French retired professional football defender and the most capped player in the history of the France national team with 142 appearances between 1994 and 2008.
He played at the top flight in France, Italy and Spain for over 15 seasons, including ten in the Serie A with both Parma and Juventus. With France, Thuram won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000, and was in the runner-up squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. A quick, powerful, and versatile player, he was capable of playing both as a right-back or as a centre-back, and was competent both offensively and defensively. Despite his physical and aggressive playing style, Thuram has been described as a "studious" figure off the pitch; in 2010, he became a UNICEF ambassador, and has stood out for his initiatives to fight against racism.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Club career
- 3 International career
- 4 Retirement
- 5 Style of play
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Media
- 8 Political engagement
- 9 Career statistics
- 10 Honours
- 11 References
- 12 External links
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Thuram's football career began with Monaco of the French Ligue 1 in 1991. He then transferred to Parma (1996–2001) and then to Juventus (2001–2006) for £25 million, and eventually to Barcelona in 2006.
Thuram started his professional career with AS Monaco in 1991. He only made 1 appearance that season, but was officially promoted to the first team the following season, when he would go on to make 19 appearances. He was inserted into the starting eleven by the end of 1992 and would go on to make 155 league appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit, before transferring to Parma in the summer of 1996. He made his national team debut in 1994, while at Monaco. With Monaco, he most notably won the Coupe de France in 1991, also reaching the final of the 1991–92 European Cup Winners' Cup.
In July 1996, Thuram made a highly watched transfer to Italy, with Serie A club, Parma. In his first season with the club, he made over 40 appearances for the club, in all competitions, scoring 1 goal, as Parma finished second in Serie A to Juventus. He maintained a starting position in defence throughout his time with Parma, and racked up 163 Serie A appearances, scoring the lone league goal. In all, he made over 200 appearances for the club, really making a name for himself, also earning caps for France. Following another overly impressive season in 2000–01, where Parma reached the Coppa Italia Final, and finishing the Serie A season in fourth place, Thuram, along with teammate Gianluigi Buffon, transferred to Juventus FC, one of the Italian and European giants. His transfer cost the club 80,000 million lire (€41,316,552). While at Parma, along with eventual Juventus teammates Gianluigi Buffon and Fabio Cannavaro, he won both the UEFA Cup and the Coppa Italia during the 1998–99 season, immediately followed by the 1999 Supercoppa Italiana.
In the summer of 2001, Thuram made a transfer to Juventus, along with Buffon. Thuram formed a defensive partnerships with the likes of Ciro Ferrara, Paolo Montero, Gianluca Pessotto, Mark Iuliano, Alessandro Birindelli, Igor Tudor, Gianluca Zambrotta, Nicola Legrottaglie, Fabio Cannavaro, Giorgio Chiellini, Federico Balzaretti, and Jonathan Zebina during his 5-year tenure with the club. In his first season with the club as a right back under Marcello Lippi, Thuram won the 2001–02 Serie A title, also reaching the final of the 2001–02 Coppa Italia. Juventus started the following season by winning the Italian Supercup, and defended their Serie A title, also reaching the UEFA Champions League final, where they were defeated by rivals Milan on penalties. Juventus won the Italian Supercup the following season, reaching another Coppa Italia final, but finished in a disappointing 3rd place in Serie A, and failed to progress past the second round in Europe. During the seasons 2004–05 and 2005–06, under coach Fabio Capello, Thuram, along Fabio Cannavaro in the center of defence, with Gianluigi Buffon in goal, , and  formed one of the most expensive, but also most feared, defences in Europe and Italy. During these next two seasons with the club, as a centreback, Thuram won the Scudetto two more times with Juventus, although these consecutive league titles were later revoked due to Juventus's involvement in the 2006 Italian football scandal. After 5 years with the Italian giants, Thuram transferred to Barcelona in La Liga, in the wake of the calciopoli scandal. He managed over 200 total appearances for the club, with 2 goals.
On 24 July 2006, Thuram signed with Catalan club Barcelona for €5 million after Juventus were relegated to Serie B due to the Calciopoli scandal. After his contract expired in the 2007–2008 season, Thuram retired 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 or fourth choice centre back after Carles Puyol, Gabriel Milito, and Rafael Márquez.
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 FIFA as number one from 2001–2002. He also played in the 2002 World Cup, 2006 World Cup, Euro 96, Euro 2004, and Euro 2008, in addition to winning the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup.
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 Leipzig 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.
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 appearances.
Thuram still intended to pursue his club career after the Euro. On 26 June 2008, he was reported as having signed a one-year contract with an option for another year with Paris Saint-Germain. However, the deal was cancelled shortly after because he was diagnosed with a heart defect. A few days later, he announced his final retirement from professional football due to his condition.
Style of play
Thuram was an extremely dominant, consistent, athletic, and attentive footballer. As a defender, he was known for his strength, pace, stamina and his outstanding physical, tactical, and technical attributes, as well as his ability to read the game, his heavy marking of opponents, and his aggressive tackling. A powerful and versatile player, who was equally competent offensively as he was defensively, and could play on either flank, often alternating between playing as a right-back or as a centre-back, and was even deployed in midfield on occasion.
He has two sons with his first wife Sandra, Marcus (b. 6 August 1997) and Kephren (b. January 2001).
Thuram was sponsored by sportswear company Nike and appeared in Nike commercials. In a global Nike advertising campaign in the run-up to the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan, he starred in a "Secret Tournament" commercial (branded "Scorpion KO") directed by Terry Gilliam, appearing alongside football players such as Thierry Henry, Ronaldo, Edgar Davids, Fabio Cannavaro, Francesco Totti, Ronaldinho, Luís Figo and Hidetoshi Nakata, with former player Eric Cantona the tournament "referee".
Beyond his football career, Lilian Thuram has always shown political engagement, and has frequently spoken out against racism. In such, during the French riots in November 2005, Thuram took a position against Nicolas Sarkozy, the head of the conservative political party (and future president) UMP and then Minister of the Interior. 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 (Northern Catalonia) from France.
In November 2011 Thuram curated an exhibition at the Musée du quai Branly entitled Human Zoos: The Invention of the Savage. It examined the human zoos that traced the practice of using colonial subjects as exhibits in zoos and freak shows. The material in the exhibition runs from the parade of Brazil's Tupinamba 'savages' for the royal entrance of King Henry II of France in 1550 in Rouen, to the last "living spectacle" of Congo villagers exhibited in Brussels in 1958.
In January 2013, he took part in a march through Paris by supporters of the Ayrault government's plan to legalise same-sex marriage. He had previously explained that he supported same-sex marriage in the name of equal rights (comparing the denial of equality for homosexuals to the denial of equal rights for women and for African Americans in earlier periods of history), and in the name of France's secular principles (laïcité), rejecting religious arguments against civil marriage. He also expressed support for the right of same-sex couples to adopt children.
|France||League||Coupe de France||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Supercopa||Europe||Total|
|France national team|
|1.||8 July 1998||Stade de France, Paris||Croatia||1–1||2–1||1998 FIFA World Cup|
- FIFA World Cup: 1998, 2006 (Runner-up)
- UEFA European Football Championship: 2000
- FIFA Confederations Cup: 2003
- French Player of the Year: 1997
- Guerin d'Oro: 1997
- FIFA World Cup Bronze Ball: 1998
- FIFA World Cup All-Star Team (2): 1998, 2006
- ESM Team of the Year (2): 1998–99, 2002–03
- UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament: 2000
- FIFA 100: 2004
- FIFPro World XI: 2006
- Trophée d'honneur UNFP: 2009
- Équipe type spéciale 20 ans des trophées UNFP: 2011
- "FIFA World Cup Germany 2006: List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. 11 May 2006. p. 11. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- Lilian Thuram (2012). Lilian Thuram, Vidéo de soutien pour l'égalité des droits (YouTube) (in French). Projet Entourage. Event occurs at 0:01. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
Bonjour, je m'appelle Lilian Thuram.
- "Euro 2000 Profile: Lilian Thuram". BBC. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- "Il campione Lilian Thuram a Treviso contro il razzismo" (in Italian). Treviso 24. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- "No thrills, No attitude, Just Thuram". French Football Weekly. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
- "Juve snatch Thuram". BBC Sport. 18 June 2001. Retrieved 6 April 2010.
- Parma AC SpA Report and Accounts on 30 June 2001 (Italian)
- "Thuram Signs Contract". FCBarcelona.cat. 24 July 2006. Retrieved 30 June 2012
- "Agreements with the Spanish club FC Barcelona" (PDF). Juventus F.C. 21 July 2006. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
- "Thuram move ended by heart defect". BBC Sport. 27 June 2008. Retrieved 29 June 2007.
- "Thuram sets EURO appearance record". UEFA. 9 June 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
- "France duo call it quits". Sky Sports. 18 June 2008. Retrieved 18 June 2007.
- Paul Fisher (26 June 2008). "Thuram Signs With PSG". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- "Thuram move ended by heart defect". BBC Sport. 27 June 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- "Thuram retires due to heart condition". UEFA. 2 August 2008. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- Stefano Bedeschi. "Gli eroi in bianconero: Lilian Thuram" (in Italian). Tutto Juve. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
- "MasterCard All-Star Team of the 1998 World Cup". fifa.com. FIFA. 10 July 1998. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
- "The Times of India: Latest News India, World & Business News, Cricket & Sports, Bollywood". The Times Of India.
- "A lighter shoe, cooler kits, a faster ball, a Secret Tournament – every touch counts". NikeBiz. Nike. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Cozens, Claire (3 April 2002). "Cantona hosts World Cup with a difference". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- Bremner, Charles; Sage, Adam (10 November 2005). "Soccer heroes blame social injustice". The Times. Retrieved 2 December 2006.
- Bremner, Charles (7 September 2006). "Footballer plays political host". The Times. Retrieved 2 December 2006.
- "If you can keep a cool head". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
- "Oleguer and Thuram to present a manifesto supporting Catalan in Northern Catalonia". Avui (in Catalan). 10 March 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2008.
- Chrisafis, Angelique (29 November 2011). "Paris show unveils life in human zoo". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- "Current exhibitions: Human zoos". Musée du quai Branly. 22 November 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
- "Mariage pour tous : entre 125 000 et 400 000 personnes ont défilé à Paris", Agence France-Presse, 27 January 2013
- "Mariage gay – Lilian Thuram : "Il faut préserver cette société laïque, qui pense l'égalité pour tous", Jeune Afrique, 25 January 2013
- "Lilian Thuram career statistics". Football Database.eu. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "Lilian Thuram Serie A stats". LegaSerieA.it. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- "Lilian Ulien Thuram – Matches in European Cups". RSSSF. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Lilian Thuram – Century of International Appearances". RSSSF. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
- "L. Thuram". Soccerway. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
- "France - Footballer of the Year". RSSSF. 8 Jan 2010. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
- "Italy - Footballer of the Year". RSSSF. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
- José Luis Pierrend (9 June 1999). "FIFA Awards - World Cup 1998 "Golden Ball"". RSSSF. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
- Karel Stokkermans (14 March 2007). "ESM XI". RSSSF. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
- "UEFA Euro 2000 team of the tournament". uefa.com. UEFA. 1 January 2011. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
- "Pele's list of the greatest". BBC Sport. 4 March 2004. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
- "FIFPro World XI 2005/2006". FIFPro. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
- "Eden Hazard meilleur joueur de Ligue 1" [Eden Hazard best Ligue 1 player] (in French). LFP. 22 May 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
- "France honors World Cup winners". CNN/SI. 1 September 1998. Retrieved 20 July 2006.
- "Décret du 24 juillet 1998 portant nomination à titre exceptionnel". JORF. 1998 (170): 11376. 25 July 1998. PREX9801916D. Retrieved 8 March 2009.
- "François Hollande remet la Légion d'honneur à Lilian Thuram" (in French). 17 September 2013. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
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