Fabien Barthez, a crazy rumor and a total disappearance


By: Manu Tournoux

Less than a year after leaving the Blues after the 2006 World Cup final, Fabien Barthez seemed close, a year later, to making his return to the French team. But Raymond Domenech did not give in to the excitement.

Didier Deschamps has a meeting with the press this Thursday to communicate his list for the two friendly matches against Germany and Chile. This same March 15, 17 years ago, Raymond Domenech also stood in front of the media to announce his group of 23 players selected for the two matches against Lithuania and Austria. And once again, the coach took everyone on the wrong foot.

Author of solid performances with AC Milan, Yoann Gourcuff was expected to make his big debut for the Blues, especially since Franck Ribéry and Patrick Vieira were on the flank. Finally, the lucky ones called up were Samir Nasri, Lassana Diarra and Abou Diaby, called up for the first time in the same capacity as Frédéric Piquionne in attack.

A huge blunder two weeks later

The former Lyonnais, however, left it there for the surprises. However, for several days, a rumor had insisted on the great return of Fabien Barthez, seen to his advantage with FC Nantes, which he had joined the previous summer after being pushed out by Olympique de Marseille, and monitored closely by the staff. But Raymond Domenech did not want to take the risk of destabilizing Grégory Coupet, imperial with Olympique Lyonnais and who would inevitably have had a very difficult time with the return of the 98 world champion.

A return of Fabien Barthez would have been a real earthquake since the native of Lavelanet had marked the end of his adventure in Blue following the World Cup in Germany. “I planned to leave the Blues in 2006, he had warned a year earlier. When my career is over, I have no intention of staying in the football world! In recent years, morals have changed and I don’t like it at all. »

However, the improvement was short-lived for Fabien Barthez. Fifteen days later, he made a huge blunder in a decisive match for maintenance against Sedan, even suffering the indignity of being replaced during the match by Tony Heurtebis. A month later, he left the Canaries with a bang.

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