KEIR RADNEDGE in CARDIFF: Lilian Thuram, one of Juventus’ most celebrated golden oldies, believes his former club can win their date with desting against Real Madrid in the Champions League Final tonight in Cardiff.
Thuram, 45, is France’s record international with 142 appearances at right- and centre-back for Les Bleus between 1994 and 2008. He scored only two goals but they were the two crucial goals which beat Croatia in the semi-finals of the 1998 World Cup in the Stade de France before France went on to triumph for the first and only time.
Born in the French territory of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean, Thuram played his club career with Monaco, Parma, Juventus and Barcelona.
Apart from winning the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 with France he was also a member of the side who lost on penalties in the final of the 2006 World Cup.
At club level Thuram never won the Champions League. The nearest he came was a runner-up with Juventus in 2003. Previously he won his sole European club prize in the UEFA Cup with Parma in 1999. At domestic level Thuram won two Italian league titles with Juve and the Coppa Italia with both Juve and Parma.
He may have had mixed emotions when Juventus lost to Barcelona in the 2015 Champions League Final in Berlin but this time there is no doubt, he will be supporting Juventus against Real Madrid.
Thuram, an ambassador for the Paris 2024 Olympic Ganes bid, said: “I think, I hope, that the time has come at last for Juventus. The club and its fans have been waiting a very long time to win the Champions League. Too long.
“It will be a very difficult match between two fine teams but I believe it will also be a great match. Juventus have had to wait two years, after losing to Barcelona, to return to this level and hopefully now this is the right time for them.”
Juventus were winners in 1985 and 1996 and have been losing finalists six times – including to Real Madrid in 1998.