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Barthez retires from soccer

Goalkeeper Fabien Barthez announces his retirement from soccer, three months after helping France reach its second World Cup final.

india Updated: Oct 06, 2006 14:42 IST

Goalkeeper Fabien Barthez announced his retirement from soccer, three months after helping France reach its second World Cup final.

"I am starting a new life," Barthez said. "I will continue to enjoy myself ... But without soccer.

"Some goalkeepers continue until 37 or 38," the 35-year-old Barthez said on Thursday.

"But I needed a human adventure, something like that."

Barthez, who helped France win the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship, is not attached to a club and has not played since July 9, when the French lost a shootout to Italy in the World Cup final.

Regarded as a superb shot-stopper but prone to eccentric moments, Barthez made 87 international appearances for France - including a national record 17 over three World Cups.

France coach Raymond Domenech chose Barthez as his starting goalkeeper at this year's tournament in Germany ahead of Gregory Coupet, and he played in all seven of France's games.

The former Manchester United goalkeeper quit Marseille prior to the World Cup and hoped his close friendship with Toulouse coach Elie Baup would facilitate a move back to his hometown club, but the French team did not want to risk losing promising goalkeeper Nicolas Douchez.

"The only clubs where I wanted to go were not very pleased to see me," Barthez said on French television.