#4. Lilian Thuram:
Thuram was one of the premier defenders in the world during the late 1990s and early 2000s. He could play both as a centre-back and a right-back, and remains a legend for Italian clubs Parma and Juventus.
Thuram did not have great distribution skills, but was a stopper of the highest order. He struggled at times while going into overlaps as the right-back, but remained a colossus in defense. His brilliant anticipation skills and clean tackling combined to make him an outstanding defender. Thuram started his career with French club AS Monaco, and joined Parma in 1996. He played for the Italian club till 2001 before joining Juve.
Thuram remained one of the most important players in a very strong Juve team under Marcelo Lippi, and played alongside the likes of Paolo Montero and Ciro Ferrara. He won the Serie A twice with Juve, and also a runner-up medal in the Champions League in 2002-03.
Thuram moved to Barcelona in 2006, and spent a few seasons there. He finished with 11 goals in 670 matches in his club career. However, his finest hour as a footballer came in the 1998 World Cup, when he scored a brace against Croatia in the semifinal to win the match for France. He was an intrinsic part of the French team that won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. He played as the right-back in both of those tournaments.
Thuram was a central defender in the French team of 2006 World Cup, and finished runner-up in that tournament. He hung up his boots in 2008, having scored 2 goals in 142 international appearances.Published 14 Apr 2019, 02:23 IST