Former France goalkeeper Fabien Barthez has announced his retirement from club and international football.
“I quit the French team, I quit club football,” Barthez, 35, told French TV channel TF1.
“I will still have fun without football,” he added.
Barthez has been without a club since leaving Marseille at the end of last season. After quitting Marseille he returned to his birthplace near Toulouse to tend for his mother who is ill.
Barthez was his country’s first-choice goalkeeper from the 1998 World Cup, which France won, through to this year’s tournament which France lost in the final to Italy. He received 17 of his 87 caps during World Cup tournaments, a French record. He was also in goal for France’s Euro 2000 triumph.
He won the Champions League in 1993 with Marseille before moving to Monaco in 1995.
He spent three years at Manchester United, where he won two Premier League titles (2001 and 2003) before returning to Marseille.
“Fabien informed me of his decision 10 days ago. To me, he is the greatest goalkeeper France have had,” Toulouse coach Elie Baup, who gave Barthez his professional debut in 1990, told L’Equipe.
“He broke new ground thanks to his ability to play as an outfield player. Let’s be positive: he ended his career with a World Cup final.”
“He is among the geniuses,” said Marseille chairman Pape Diouf. “Losing (Zinedine) Zidane and Barthez in the same year, it’s very moving.”