Lilian Thuram was born in Guadeloupe but moved to the French suburbs aged 9. It was then that Lilian’s love for football began. Lilian started his professional football career in 1991 with Monaco. Thuram developed into a very dominant consistent and versatile player. His outstanding technical and physical skill merged with strength pace and stamina made him an outstanding and well sought after player. Lilian Thuram has played in 3 World Cups and 4 Euro Games. He is the most capped player in the history of the French National Team, with 142 appearances. With the French national team he won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000. In the 1998 World Cup he scored 2 goals that took the team through to the final. These were to be perhaps the most famous goals in the history of French football. He also won the Bronze ball at the tournament, for being the third most valuable player in the competition. At the Euro Games in 2008 Thuram became the first player to play 15 UEFA European Championship finals. He extended this to 16 by the end of the tournament. Lilian Thuram announced his retirement from the sport that same year.
Lilan Thuram has had an exception football career but there is so much more to him than that. In 2008 Thuram started a Foundation in his name which was created to emulate awareness on racism issues all around the world. In 2010 he became a Unicef ambassador. Lilian Thuram is a huge anti-racism activist. In 2014 he created a graphic novel about cultural and family heritage. His motto being ‘Against racism, we must educate.’ Thuram is very vocal about standing for what he believes in. Having seen a lot of racism within his sporting career he is doing his upmost to educate about racism. Thuram controversially and publicly defended the children who participated in the 2005 race riots in Paris. He identified with the rioters as he said that he had spent his childhood in the rough and impoverished suburbs of Paris that these children came from. He was lucky to find an escape with football, but most kids do not have a way out. Thuram clearly stated that he does not excuse violence but that he understands it. We think it is important to point out that even with all his success, Thuram has never forgotten about his roots. Not only does he intend to make sure that his children know and understand their heritage and culture, he wants the world to know and understand. Lilian wants us all to recognise that racism is still a very real issue.
Lilian Thuram aims to make an impact and work with others on behalf of a good cause. Thuram we at Caribbean 1st absolutely admire all you do, not just for your brilliance on the football pitch, but more importantly for all the work you are doing for our culture. Lilian Thuram, Caribbean 1st absolutely salutes you.