Wed, Nov 14, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Thuram says he will retire if France fail to qualify for Euros

AP , PARIS

Lilian Thuram will reportedly retire from international soccer again if France fail to qualify for next year's European Championship.

France leads its qualifying group from Scotland and Italy, and needs a draw against Ukraine on Nov. 21 to secure a spot at next year's tournament.

"Ukraine could be the end of my adventure," Thuram said in an interview with French daily Le Parisien published yesterday. "There has to be a last match. I hope it won't be that one."

France could even qualify on Saturday without playing, should Scotland lose at home to Italy, but the 35-year-old defender is not taking anything for granted.

The FC Barcelona player made his France debut with Zinedine Zidane against the Czech Republic on Aug. 17, 1994, and was a key member of the team that won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship.

Thuram retired from international soccer after France were eliminated from the quarter-finals of the 2004 European Championship. But with France struggling to qualify for last year's World Cup, Thuram and Zidane returned for the last four qualifying matches and helped France reach the final.

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