LILLIAN THURAM

Ruddy Lilian Thuram-Ulien, born 1 January 1972, known as Lilian Thuram, is a French retired professional football defender, universally considered to be one of the finest defensive right-backs backs of all time. A quick, powerful and versatile player, he was capable of playing both as a centre-back or as a right-back, and was competent both offensively and defensively.

Thuram had a long and illustrious club career, starting his professional career with Monaco in 1991, where he won the Coupe de France in 1991 and reached the final of the 1991–92 European Cup Winners' Cup. He eventually caught the eye of Serie A club Parma, combining with the likes of Buffon and Cannavarro to create one of the most memorable backlines of the 90's and transforming Parma into one of the leading clubs in Italy. Together they won both the UEFA Cup and the Coppa Italia during the 1998–99 season, immediately followed by the 1999 Supercoppa Italiana.

He then moved to Juventus alongside his colleague Buffon and cemented his reputation at right back, winning 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 2002 Supercoppa Italiana, and defended their Serie A title, also reaching the UEFA Champions League final, where they were defeated by rivals Milan on penalties. Thuram won the Scudetto two more times with Juventus, although these consecutive league titles were later revoked due to Juventus' involvement in the 2006 Italian football scandal (calciopoli). After five years with Juve, Thuram transferred to Barcelona in the Spanish La Liga, where he finished his career though he was mostly a squad option by this stage of his career.

Thuram had an imperious career with the national team, winng the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000, and also starring in the runner-up squad for the 2006 World Cup. He also featured in Euro 1996, World Cup 2002, Euro 2004 and Euro 2008, in addition to winning the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup becoming the most capped player in the history of the France national team with 142 appearances between 1994 and 2008.