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25.07.2007 10:17

Thuram completes one year at Barça

Sandra Sarmiento / Anna Segura

It was exactly one year today that the French defender signed for FC Barcelona. Now aged 35, Thuram is one of the most experienced players in the footballing world.

On July 24, 2006, Lilian Thuram joined FC Barcelona for two season. One year later and he has spoken to Barça TV and www.fcbarcelona.cat about the day he signed, his feelings about last season and his visions for the one to come.

A year ago

QM3D8316.jpgThe player born in Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadalupe) arrived in Barcelona to sign for the club from Juventus, shortly after losing the World Cup Final to Italy with France. He remembers his arrival was “a very happy day. I was surprised to be signing for Barça”.

Different football

Thuram has noted that the Spanish football philosophy differs from what he had grown used to in Italy. “It is important for a player to know that he has something new to learn every day” he said. “At Barça I have learned a different philosophy and system of play. It is important for the players here to play well. When I was Italy, that wasn’t the case.”

Thuram said that “I had never played in such an attack-minded side. It was different when I was in Italy. I think it is important to try to score a lot of goals, but having good attackers does not mean you can afford to defend badly. A team needs to defend well too.”

Less pressure this season

WEB_31.jpgThuram added that “last season was difficult because the people expected so much. When I came here everybody thought we were going to win 5 or 6 titles, and that’s not good. Now people are more relaxed. They know it is important to win but we aren’t under the same pressure as last season”. But he does not think Xavi was wrong to say on Sunday that the team needs to try to win everything on offer, saying “when you play for Barça you have to play to win everything. Saying things changes nothing and whether or not you say it, playing in a team like this you are always going to think that.”

New signings

Last season he was one of the new boys. This year there are four new players. Thuram said the squad this year “is very good with great players like Henry, Abidal, Touré and Milito. But we cannot draw conclusions until the end of the season. It is important to take things one game at a time”. On Henry, the French defender said “he is a very quiet person, and a great player. It has been a few months since he last played but little by little he will become a great player again, because he is also a great person.”

WEB_32.jpgMilito is a welcome addition, claims Thuram: “It is great that Milito is here. A team like Barça needs great players. For me, his arrival changes nothing, it didn’t before and neither does it now that I am 35 years old.”
Thuram completes one year at Barça

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French the new in language
Thuram thinks “it is nice to be able to speak in French with so many of the squad, and it is also nice to for all the new players, as it will help them to settle in better.”

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