Wed 20 January 2021 | 19:30

Lilian Thuram Biography

Hailed as one of the best defenders in the history of French football, in this article, we will take a look at Lilian Thuram biography.

Lilian Thuram, born in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe on 1 January 1972 is a retired French footballer who was a central defender or right-back. He is the all-time record holder of the French national team, with whom he played for fourteen years, making 142 appearances and scoring two goals. He was World Champion with France in 1998, European Champion in 2000 and winner of the Confederations Cup in 2003.

One of the best defenders in the history of world football, during his career, which began in 1991 at Monaco and continued between Parma, Juventus and Barcelona, he has won numerous national and international titles, including two

Serie A

titles with the Juventus jersey and a UEFA Cup with the Parma.

The only player to play in all of France's European Championship qualifiers, he has a record of 47 appearances in qualifying and finals, later beaten by Gianluigi Buffon. He finished seventh in the 1998 Ballon d'Or. In 2000, he was included in the Euro 2000 Team of the Tournament and was twice named to the World Cup All-Star Team (1998 and 2006).

In 2004 he was included in the FIFA 100, a list of the 125 greatest living players, selected by Pelé and FIFA for the centenary celebrations of the federation.

His transfer from Parma to Juventus in the summer of 2001 for €33 million (70 billion lire) set a record in football transfer history, making him the highest-paid defender ever. Thuram held this title until September 2002, when he was then overtaken by Rio Ferdinand's transfer to

Manchester United

for a fee of around €46 million.

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All You Need to Know About Lilian Thuram Biography

As a footballer, he has won many individual awards and honours, including being named Knight of the Legion of Honour in 1998.

He has made public statements on issues related to equality, immigration and racism. In the past, he has been a member of the High Council for Integration. In 2008, he created the Lilian Thuram Foundation-Education against Racism.

Lilian Thuram Information

Now it is the time to share some general information regarding

Lilian Thuram nationality

and other stuff in this section of his biography, so stay tuned.

Lilian Thuram Bio

  • Full Name: Ruddy Lilian Thuram-Ulien

  • Nickname: The Philosopher

  • Profession: Professional Footballer

Lilian Thuram Physical Stats

  • Weight: 79 Kg

  • Height: 1.82 m

  • Eye Color: Dark Brown

  • Hair Color: Black

Lilian Thuram Football Information

  • Position: Defender

  • Jersey Number: 21

  • Professional Debut: 1991

Lilian Thuram Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 1 January 1972

  • Birth Place: Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe

  • Zodiac Sign: Capricorn

  • Nationality: French

Stay tuned to read more about

Lilian Thuram biography

and stuff like

Lilian Thuram childhood


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Lilian Thuram Early Life

Lilian Thuram was born and raised in Anse-Bertrand, a town in Guadeloupe, and when he was 9 years old the family relocated to France. He was raised by his mother Mariana and only knew his father "from afar". His childhood was a simple life, made up of "football games in the street, running with friends on sandy beaches, schoolboy hobbies", he says.

In 1980, his mother left Guadeloupe for mainland France. Lilian stayed with his brothers and sisters, then the children joined their mother in September 1981, who had been working there for a year as a maid. Lilian was nine years old in 1981. The family soon moved from Bois-Colombes where he was subjected to racist jokes. It determined his future struggles: "I wondered why the white color is associated with good and the black color with evil?”.

After moving to the Fougères district in Avon near Fontainebleau, he played attacking midfielder for the local Portuguese club of Fontainebleau, then for the Fontainebleau Racing club and the US Melun where he met Claude Makélélé. Then a national youth player, Thuram preferred to take his secondary school diploma at the Lycée François-Ier rather than answering to requests from the Stade Rennais. At the age of 17, he joined the AS Monaco academy.

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Lilian Thuram Profile

A few months after joining AS Monaco, when he was 18 years old in the summer of 1990, the doctor declared him he has to stop playing football following knee surgery. However, he managed to come back and play football again.

Lilian Thuram made his debut in the first division on 24 May 1991, during a match against Sporting Toulon Var (1-1). They were runners-up in the

French league

that season.

He was a regular first-team player in the 1991-1992 season, during which he played 19 matches for Monaco in the league, which ASM finished second. Thuram also played four matches in the European Cup. He was a substitute in the lost final against

Werder Bremen


The following year, the defender established himself as an established key player in the defence of the team that finished third in the league in 1992-93. He was first partnered with Emmanuel Petit and then Franck Dumas in the central defence. In 1993-1994, Monaco reached the semi-finals of the

Champions League

, losing 0-3 to AC Milan.

He left the


club at the end of the 1995-1996 season, which ended in a third place in the league. After six years in Monaco, he left for Italy after Euro 96 and joined Parma. Stay tuned to read more about Lilian Thuram biography and his Parma career.


In 1996, after six seasons of playing for Monaco, he left France for the Italian Serie A side


. He said in March 1999: "I had offers from other big Italian teams such as


but I chose Parma because the managers' words were more convincing". The team was Italian runners-up in 1996-1997.

At the end of 1997, he won the Guerin d'Oro prize from the Italian weekly Guerin Sportivo, along with Gianluca Pagliuca and Angelo Peruzzi, rewarding the best player in the Italian league. He was also elected French footballer of the year by France Football.

For his second season, he was voted best foreign player and best defender in the Serie A, while Parma finished fourth in the league. Right-back when he arrived, he was quickly repositioned in the centre of defence.

On his return after winning the 1998 World Cup, Parma claimed the

Coppa Italia

. Thuram won the 1998-1999 UEFA Cup with the club and completed their double. The following autumn, Parma and its two French players, together with Alain Boghossian, won the 1999 Super Cup.

At the end of the 2000-2001 season, where they lost in the National Cup final, he left the club and joined Juventus with his team-mate, Gianluigi Buffon.

During his time in Parma, his partnership with Fabio Cannavaro was one of the most admired for its strength and unity. He is notably nicknamed "La pantera nera" (the Black Panther) or the "Gigante di Guadalupa" (the Giant of Guadeloupe) in



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At the age of 29, Lilian Thuram became the most expensive defender in the world and the most expensive French player in history after Juventus purchased him for 36.6 million euros. He joined his countrymen Trezeguet and Zidane, who joined the club a few weeks later (beating Thuram's transfer record).

The French defender took over the number 21 jersey which was also his jersey number in

France national team

. With the arrival of coach Marcello Lippi and new players such as Buffon and Nedvěd, Thuram joined a club that wanted to put an end to three seasons of lack of titles.

For the first time in five seasons, because of international competitions, Lilian Thuram followed a real physical fitness course. He made his first appearance with his new jersey at the Luigi Berlusconi Trophy against

AC Milan

, which they won and he was voted best player of the match against the duo of Shevchenko-Inzaghi.

The Gazzetta dello Sport boldly made a comparison: "He is the Zidane of defence, and not only because he is French. He is classy, has a strong personality and is the one of the best". At the end of the season, Juventus was crowned Italian champion.

On November 10, 2002, against AC Milan, Thuram scored his only goal with Juventus (2-1 victory). It was also the last goal of his career. During the 2002-2003 season, the Turin team was once again crowned champions but also a finalist in the Champions League against AC Milan, losing the match on penalties.

During the 2005-2006 season, Thuram suffered several minor injuries that took him off the field. In 2006, following the so-called Calciopoli scandal, Juventus Turin had their 2005 and 2006 titles withdrawn and the club was relegated to Serie B. After playing nearly four hundred matches in Italy, he left the club.


On 21 July 2006, he was purchased by


for 5 million euros, along with Juventus teammate Zambrotta. Welcomed with great enthusiasm by coach Rijkaard, Thuram made his debut in the Barcelona jersey on 19 September 2006, playing from the first minute on the second day of the league against



Thuram went on to play for the Spanish club for two years, however, he was not a regular player, as Rijkaard often preferred Puyol and Márquez to him.

In June 2008, when he was about to move to

Paris Saint Germain

, he discovered during medical examinations that he had a heart condition, probably the same one that killed his brother years earlier on a basketball court.

After two months of consideration, he announced to the press on 1 August that he would retire from playing professional football "at the explicit request of his family". Thuram's retirement was a result of his brother's illness.

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France National Team

Lilian Thuram played for the French national team from 1994, first as a right defender, then as a centre back and defensive leader. His first tournament was the 1996 European Football Championship. His greatest success was winning the 1998 World Cup on home soil. With his only two international goals in the semi-final against


, he played a decisive role in France's success.

In 2000, he became European Football Champion with the French national team at the European Championships in Belgium and the Netherlands. Thuram also played in the unsuccessful 2002 World Cup and was also in the squad for the 2004 European Football Championship in Portugal, where he played his 100th international match.

At the 2006 World Cup, Lilian Thuram reached the final with his country and was selected for the All-Star team. He was also part of the French squad at the 2008 European Championship finals, where he played the role of captain but France failed to progress beyond the group stage. He announced his retirement from the national team after this first-round exit.

On Tuesday 17 June 2008, he announced his retirement from the French team after the elimination in the group stage of Euro 2008. "It's an important story of my life that ends tonight. There's a lot of sadness," Thuram said. With 142 caps, he is the most capped player in the history of the French team. But he declared that he was not going to end his club career.

His heart problem which was detected before joining PSG finally sealed the end of his professional career. Stay tuned to read more about Lilian Thuram biography and his playing style.

Style of Play

Thuram mainly played as a central defender; if necessary, he could also act as a right-back, a role in which he did not perform at his best. On a few occasions during his spell with Monaco, he was also played as a midfielder. Skilled in marking and in aerial play, he stood out for his technique, accuracy, agility, speed and physical prowess.

His athletic strength, his sense of positioning and anticipation, his discipline and his ability to win one on one duels made Lilian Thuram an almost unbeatable defender. Fast and punchy, he has also made progress in the rebounds, which was his weak spot in the early stages of his career.


Lilian Thuram is widely regarded by many football fans and critics as one of the best French football defenders of all time and also amongst the best central defenders of his generation. Emmanuel Petit has famously said about him: “He may not have been the best ball player, but he was definitely the best defender for me; you could not really pass him, it wasn't likely, he was a wall. It was impossible, even though you came in with two players and attempted to pass him because he was really good at reading the game. He was very strong, very fast, and very rough. We could see that every time the opponent came into his area on the pitch, they were a little scared of getting close to him because he was so powerful.”

Goal Celebration

As a defender, during his career, Lilian Thuram has scored just 13 goals in nearly 700 matches, and because of that, we have never seen him celebrating goals many times. On the other hand, he did not have a signature goal celebration too. Stay tuned to read more about

Lilian Thuram biography

and his life outside football.

Lilian Thuram outside Football

Lilian Thuram was appointed by the government to the Integration Council; in this position, during the riots in the Paris suburbs in 2005, he spoke out against the then-Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, who called certain young people from the suburbs " trash" and "good-for-nothings" and said that one should "clean the whole suburbs of these people with a high-pressure cleaner". Thuram said: "When you call these people trash, I also feel addressed because I also come from such a neighborhood.

In 1998 he responded in angry terms to Jean-Marie Le Pen, who complained about the excessive presence of black footballers in the ranks of the French national team.

On 6 September 2006, Thuram provoked much controversy when he invited 80 people, expelled by French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy from a flat in which they lived illegally, for the football match between France and Italy.

Lilian Thuram has also been involved in campaigns in support of the Catalan language, particularly in Roussillon (northern Catalonia), and has stated that he understands the reasons for Catalan independence.

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Lilian Thuram Personal Life

In this section of Lilian Thuram biography, we want to take a deeper look at his personal life and share some detailed information about

Lilian Thuram life story


Lilian Thuram religion

. Stay tuned.

Family, Children and Relationships

From 2007 to 2013, he was in a relationship with Karine Le Marchand, a French television presenter. On 4 September 2013, she filed a complaint against him for domestic violence and then announced on 14 September 2013 that she was going to withdraw her complaint.

Although a withdrawal of the complaint did not eliminate the public prosecution, Lilian Thuram was nevertheless reminded of the law, which was issued on Wednesday 18 September. The couple had, however, been separated for several months, said the host's lawyer, Ms Caroline Mecary.

In October 2013, Lilian Thuram declared that he had "never been violent with Karine Le Marchand ", before adding: "She made a request of me, a request for compensation over the years. I said no. She sent me a text message, telling me she was going to destroy my image".

Since 2015, he has been in a relationship with M6 journalist Kareen Guiock.

Lilian Thuram has two sons: Khephren (in honor of the Pharaoh) and Marcus (in honor of the black leader Marcus Garvey, the champion of pan-Africanism). Like his two sons, his cousin Yohann Thuram is also a professional footballer.


Lilian Thuram is one of the active footballers in charitable works and also social activities. Even before his retirement from the field, Lilian Thuram was already involved in the minority causes and above all against racism. His foundation "Lilian Thuram - Education against Racism" works to eradicate racial discrimination.

Lilian Thuram became a member of the High Council for Integration and takes strong positions on certain political issues, such as the European Constitution and the fight against what he considers to be all forms of racism. He is also a member and sponsor of the collective "Devoirs de Mémoires".

On 18 October 2010, Unicef announced that Lilian Thuram was appointed Unicef ambassador for a programme to rebuild schools devastated by the earthquakes in Haiti.

Legal Issues

Other than the legal case in which his partner filed a complaint against Lilian Thuram, claiming about the domestic violence she experienced during his relationship with him, there are no records of other legal issues regarding Lilian Thuram.

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Lilian Thuram Career Statistics

In this section of

Lilian Thuram biography

, we want to take a look at his club and international career stats. Stay tuned.


In 18 years long club career between 1990 and 2008, Lilian Thuram has played a total of 683 matches in all competitions, scoring 13 goals. During these years he has played for Monaco, Parma, Juventus and Barcelona.

He has played his most club games for Parma, which is 228 matches and scored one goal in Serie A for them.


Having made his international debut in 1994, Lilian Thuram went on to make 142 appearances for his country, scoring 2 goals. He is the most capped French player. In 1998 and 2006, when he played at two World Cups with France, he has played a total of 32 matches with France.

He is the record holder for the number of participations in the European Championship with 4 (1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008) and also the record holder for the number of matches played in the final phase of the European Championship with 16 matches

Lilian Thuram Honors

During his playing days at club level, Lilian Thuram has won many titles and awards as a player including

Coupe de France

, Coppa Italia, UEFA Cup, Serie A,

Supercoppa Italiana


Supercopa de España

with Monaco, Parma, Juventus and Barcelona.

At the international level, he has also won 1998

FIFA World Cup

, 2000 UEFA Championship and 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup with French national team.

Of his most notable individual titles and honors we can mention French Player of the Year, FIFA World Cup Bronze Ball, FIFA World Cup All-Star Team, FIFPro World XI, FIFA 100, UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament and ESM Team of the Year.

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