France team: Marcus Thuram and the decisive impact of Lilian

He arrived with his father by car in Clairefontaine for his first call in Blue. The anecdote told by Grégoire Margotton on TF1 is a beautiful symbol of this extraordinary relationship. With Marcus Thuram, it is in any case difficult not to make the link with Lilian, his father and former defender of the 1998 world champion who holds the record for the number of selections in Blue (142 caps). Or even impossible. Even more when you talk to people who have followed the evolution of Marcus Thuram.

Throughout the early career of his elder, Lilian Thuram has never been far. Attending with interest to the different stages of his son’s progress, as for his younger brother Kephren (19 years old) who evolves in Nice. “For me she is an extremely precious person for her son, confirms Bertrand Desplat, the former president of Guingamp. When Marcus was playing En Avant, their relationship was very healthy and constructive. It was a mixture of protection from a father, advice from a former player of the highest level in the world and someone who could boost him, challenge him.“. A cocktail of choice. And explosive, in a good way.

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Marcus Thuram during his first selection with the France team against Finland

Credit: Getty Images

Gourvennec: “He’s tough on them. But he’s bound to be good advice”

His shadow, however, could have been heavy. But Lilian Thuram managed to establish himself as an asset and not a ball too heavy to carry. Finding the right balance. “From time to time, parents are a big handicap. And being a ‘son of’ isn’t always easy. But with Lilian, it was the right accompaniment“, remembers Jean-Luc Ruty, former director of the Sochaux training center that Marcus joined in 2012 at the age of 15.”When you are a trainer, you can be afraid of finding yourself in front of someone who will try to explain football to us, but this was not the case at all.. He remained discreet and attentive to convey a few messages to Marcus. For me, this way of following him was conducive to starting Marcus’ career.“.

This protective presence was not limited to Marcus’ younger years. In Guingamp where the attacker was revealed in L1 from 2017 to 2019, Lilian also remained on the lookout for the evolution of his son. “I have often had to chat with him to take stock. And Marcus knew I was talking to his daddy so he was surrounded (laughs)“, told us Jocelyn Gourvennec, the former coach of Guingamp and Bordeaux, who played with the 1998 world champion in the France Espoirs team.”His father helps him a lot because he is very demanding with his sons. He’s tough on them. But he is behind them. And it is bound to be good advice.”

Kingsley Coman and Marcus Thuram during training for the France team

Credit: Getty Images

His father considered the Bundesliga to be an extraordinary field of expression

Having a father able to guide you to understand the codes of the professional world or the demands of high-level life and avoid his traps is necessarily nothing trivial. As he often confirms in interviews like his brother Kephren, Marcus has never seemed stifled by the weight of his illustrious father’s career. He even seems to take full advantage of it. Lilian’s paw can also be seen in his journey.

Its first clubs were not necessarily high-sounding (Olympique de Neuilly and AC Boulogne-Billancourt). And the following ones (Sochaux, Guingamp, Mönchengladbach) had the advantage of allowing him to grow serenely. “These three clubs have a DNA of talent development. All the credit goes to Lilian “, remarks Bertrand Desplat. Because it is anything but a coincidence. Even if Marcus is followed by the famous agent Mino Raiola, he seems to impose on this journey a clear desire on the part of his father: not to skip the steps! “His father is well aware of the boy, his potential and the context he needs“, we had also slipped the Breton agent Laurent Schmitt in 2019.

His latest transfer perfectly illustrates this desire to see Marcus in the right place, at the right time. History to offer him the ideal conditions to continue his progression. “I can tell you that when Marcus leaves Guingamp, Marseille makes him a golden bridge, confides Bertrand Desplat. Steve Mandanda calls him, Maxime Lopez too. But his father considered from the outset that the Bundesliga was an extraordinary field of expression. And that Mönchengladbach is the perfect club for him to go. It’s career management that we no longer see“In such conditions, being a” son of “has the undeniable advantage.

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