FABIEN BARTHEZ Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Fabien Alain Barthez (born 28 June 1971) is a French football player, the current goalkeeper for the French Ligue 1 club Olympique de Marseille. With the French national team, he won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000.


Born in Lavelanet, Ariege, Barthez made his first division debut for Toulouse on 21 September 1991, against Nancy. He joined Olympique Marseille in 1992, and won both the French championship and the Champions League at the end of his first season in Marseille. However, OM would be stripped of their domestic title, though not of the Champions League crown, due to their involvement in a domestic match fixing scandal, and a year later (1994) would suffer a forced relegation to the second division due to unrelated financial irregularities.


On 26 May 1994, he won his first cap for France against Australia. In the 1998 World Cup triumph, he conceded two goals in seven games in his home country. Barthez was also well-known during the tournament for letting teammate and good friend Laurent Blanc kiss his head before the start of every match, supposedly for good luck. Moreover, in 1998 world cup he lead his country to the finals and bagged the best goalkeeper trophy. Two years later, Barthez was again the starter as his country won Euro 2000. He played on France’s World Cup team again in 2002, when they were knocked out in the first round, and in Euro 2004, when they were knocked out in the quarterfinals.


In 1995, Barthez joined AS Monaco and won the French title in 1997 and 2000. He joined Manchester United for 7.8 million in 2000 and won English Premier League championships with United in 2001 and 2003.


Well-known for being eccentric, he started out well for Manchester United. However, numerous blunders, including a notorious one against Deportivo La Coruna, has led to people making many jokes of him. Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of United, eventually decided to replace him.


In October 2003, after American newcomer Tim Howard won the starting goalkeeper’s job from Barthez, United agreed to release Barthez from his contract at Old Trafford after the 2003-04 season, and also agreed to loan Barthez out to Olympique Marseille for the remainder of that season. However, FIFA blocked the loan deal on the grounds that it was not agreed upon within the international transfer window. The two clubs agreed on a loan deal after the transfer window reopened on 1 January 2004, and Barthez joined Olympique Marseille soon afterwards. On 27 April, Olympique de Marseille and Barthez agreed to a two-year contract which will keep him at the club until spring 2006.


Barthez was recently involved in a controversy due to his actions during a friendly match between OM and Morocco’s Raja Casablanca on 12 February 2005. With 10 minutes left, an OM player was sent off, and a brawl erupted between players on the pitch. Barthez was reported for spitting on the Moroccan referee. On 21 April, Barthez was summoned to a hearing before the disciplinary committee of the French Football Federation; the following day, he received a six-month suspension, with the last three months being suspended.


In an unusual move, the federal council of the FFF appealed the suspension, arguing that the punishment should have been for a minimum of six full months. Eventually, his suspension was extended to six full months. Fabien is also an Alf Poier supporter. Regarding his placement as starting goal keeper on France’s 2006 World Cup Squad, many were very angry, believing the position should have gone to Gregory Coupet. The move was viewed by many as a desire to keep the old champions of France’s 1998 World Cup victory on the team.