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Fabian Barthez Biography
Fabien Barthez, born 28 June 1971 in Lavelanet, France, is the current (as of 2004) goalkeeper for the French Ligue 1 football club Olympique de Marseille.

He made his first division debut on 21 September 1991, against Nancy. He joined Olympique Marseille and won the European Cup at the end of his first season in 1992.

On 26 May 1994, he won his first cap for France against Australia. He won the World Cup with France, conceding two goals in seven games in his home country in 1998. He also won the 2000 European Championship with France. He played on France's World Cup team again in 2002. However, France was knocked out in the first round.

In 1995, Barthez joined AS Monaco and won the French title in 1997 and 2000. He joined Manchester United for £7.8 million GBP 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 Coruña, has led to people making many jokes of him. Though he is regarded as a goalkeeper with great skills, 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 next transfer window opened 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.
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Fabian Barthez.