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Lilian Thuram



Lilian Thuram
Thuram has been a long-time target of Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson - which should surprise no-one who has seen him in action.

Dominant at centre-back for Parma once again this season, he will start for his country at right-back - the position he played in throughout Euro 96 and the World Cup triumph in 1998.

It was his two goals against Croatia which took Les Bleus through to the final itself.

Born in Guadaloupe, one of five children in a poor family, Thuram only moved to France when he was nine, and at one stage was much more interested in a career in the Church than defence.

Monaco persuaded him at 19 that a more profitable future awaited in football and he made his international debut three years later.

Thuram wears contact lenses on the pitch and half-moon spectacles off it, although the studious figure he cuts away from the game is a long way from the aggressive, powerful defender who could play anywhere in defence or midfield if called upon.



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