Monday, October 14, 2019

Makelele and Thuram call time on international careers

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 18 Jun 2008


Veteran France international midfielder Claude Makelele confirmed his international retirement on Tuesday following the 2006 World Cup finalists first round exit from Euro 2008.

The 35-year-old Chelsea star rounded off his 71-cap career in the 2-0 defeat by world champions Italy which left the French bottom of Group C and an early plane home.

“I always said this would be my final competition,” said Makelele, who also played for Nantes and Marseille in France.

“I have no regrets at finishing now.

“Most of the decisions I have taken I have always taken 100percent.

“I have sweated for this shirt and it has brought me 100percent happiness, so there are no regrets.

“A new generation can take the reins and come together. I am totally with them,” added Makelele, whose international highlight would have been as part of the 2006 World Cup final side that lost on penalties to Italy.

Makalele was not the last to announce his retirement in the aftermath of the match as 36-year-old Lilian Thuram, France's record caps holder with 142 caps, also announced he was calling it a day.

“This elimination is very difficult to take, it is even more difficult for me because it is my last match with France,” said Thuram, who was left on the bench for the Italy match having been exposed during the 4-1 defeat by Holland.

“As for my future, I would like to continue to play but I don't know if a club wants me,” added Thuram, who is wanted by ailing French giants Paris Saint Germain but is thought to be keen on a political career.

Others such as Patrick Vieira and goalkeeper Gregory Coupet are thought to be considering retiring.

However, Thierry Henry, France's record goalscorer with 45 in 102 matches, said he wasn't going to take an instant decision.

“Yes, of course, I want to continue,” said the 30-year-old, who had a miserable first season with Barcelona.

“I had already said that it had crossed my mind (of retiring) but I am here.

“I don't know what is going to happen but I am going to reflect on what I am going to do.”


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