- Category : Football Player
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Tension 4
Lilian Thuram (born Ruddy Lilian Thuram-Ulien on 1 January 1972 in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe) is a retired professional football defender and is the most capped player in the history of the France national team, and one of the twenty most capped players of all time.
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.
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 onto 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.
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. He maintained starting position 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 2000–2001, Thuram along with teammate Gianluigi Buffon transferred to Juventus FC, one of the European giants, and Italian Scudetto holders. His transfer cost the club 80,000 million lire (€41,316,552). While at Parma, he won the UEFA Cup in 1998–99, along with eventual Juventus teammates Gianluigi Buffon and Fabio Cannavaro.
In the summer of 2001, Thuram made a high profile transfer to Juventus, along with Buffon. During this period, under coach Marcello Lippi, Juventus was considered as one of the strongest teams in the world, also containing what was considered as one of the best defences in the world by many, and teams strongly regretted ever going down a goal to the club, as they knew how hard it would be to score one back for themselves. Thuram formed impressive 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. During his time with the club Thuram won the Scudetto four times with Juventus, although two of these titles were revoked due to the 2006 Italian football scandal. During the seasons 2004–05 and 2005–06, under coach Fabio Capello, Thuram, along with Gianluigi Buffon in goal, Gianluca Zambrotta at left back, he and Fabio Cannavaro in the center of defence, and Jonathan Zebina at right back formed one of the most expensive, but also most feared, defenses in Italy. 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 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.
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
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.
Retirement from professional football
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.
His cousin is Troyes AC player Yohann Thuram. He played in famous guadeloupean dancehall singer, Admiral T's music video Fos A Peyi La.
He has two sons, Marcus (b. August 1997) and Kephreen (b. January 2001).
Sandra (3 June 1995 – ?) (filed for divorce) 2 children
Engaged to Karine Le Marchand Le Marchand, a French Tv host
Beyond his football career, Lilian Thuram has always shown political engagement. In such, during the French riots in November 2005, Thuram took a position against Nicolas Sarkozy, the head of the conservative political party 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 black people 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.