Ruddy Lilian Thuram-Ulien is a retired French footballer who played as a defender. He is the most capped player in the history of the France national team with 142 appearances. He is a pivotal figure in the French football history.
Thuram was born on 1 January 1972 in Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe. He is regarded as a legendary defender of his generation and also a robust figure which is evident from the number of matches he has played.
Thuram was born in the French West Indies and moved to France in 1981. He started his football journey in 1991 with Monaco at the age of 19. He made one appearance in his debut season with Monaco B and was the transferred to the main side.
His innate ability to read the game and the fantastic athleticism resulted in a solid defensive game. He caught the eye of everyone who saw him play and he was considered as a future for the national team.
He won the 1991 Coupe de France in 1991 with Monaco and also reached the finals of the 1991 European Cup Winners Cup.
France failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup which resulted in a young Thuram getting his chance to represent France at the international level.
The French team coach at the time, Aime Jacquet, gave Thuram his debut on 17 August 1994 in the European qualifiers. He then featured in the team in January 1995 in an international friendly against Netherlands which France won by 0-1.
Thuram made 120 appearances for Monaco while scoring 7 goals before moving to Parma in July 1996. He won the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Cup and the Supercoppa Italiana in the 1998-99 season with Parma.
Thuram had become a versatile and matured player till now and made 228 appearances for Parma while scoring 1 goal and assisting thrice. He made a transfer to Juventus in 2001 and made partnerships in the defence with players like Ciro Ferrara, Mark Luliano and Igor Tudor.
He made 204 appearances for Juventus while scoring 1 goal and assisting twice. He was the Italian champion in the 2001-02 season and also defended the title in the next season with Juventus. He was also the Italian Super Cup Winner with Juventus in the 2002-03 season.
In July 2006, Thuram signed a deal with Barcelona making 58 appearances for the club. His contract expired in the 2007-08 season and he retired due to a rare heart condition.
Thuram has had an illustrious international career. He single handedly won the semi-final of the 1998 World Cup against Croatia in which he netted twice and went on to win the World Cup.
He won the Footballer of the Year award in 1997 and also became the European champion with France in 2000. He was also the winner of the 2003 Confederations Cup.
He made 142 appearances for France while scoring 2 crucial goals in his career which led France to the World Cup victory.