From Manchester United to Le Mans: How did Fabien Barthez become a motorsport driver?

Did you know that former Manchester United and France goalkeeper Fabien Barthez is now a professional motorsport driver?

Did you know that former Manchester United and France goalkeeper Fabien Barthez is now a professional motorsport driver who has competed in some of the most prestigious races in the world, including Le Mans’ 24 Hours?

Fabian Barthez’s football biography is fantastic to say the least.

He was the no. 1 goalkeeper with France when the “roosters” won the 1998 World Cup on their land, and two years later won the Euro Championship, becoming the first country in 26 years to hold the two cups at the same time, and he also played in the 2006 World Cup, and his international farewell was In the final.

Barthez’s club career was also impressive and full of honors, as he competed with the Marseille team that won the Champions League title in 1993, although the French club’s victory was overshadowed by the match-fixing scandal.

He also won two French league titles, in addition to two English Premier League titles with Manchester United in 2001 and 2003.

The eccentric goalkeeper stereotype can be used to describe Barthez’s style of play, because despite his ability, he has been repeatedly criticized for losing focus or doing unconventional things while playing.

Manchester United got Barthez’s signature in 2000 for almost ten million euros, a large number at the time for a goalkeeper. Initially, the Frenchman was a favorite of Old Trafford fans, whether for his big savings or opponents, but the situation has eased after It’s a bit due to strange bugs.

Fabien Barthez Manchester United GFX

Getty / GOAL

One of those mistakes was when he faced West Ham United’s striker Paulo Di Canio in a one-on-one FA Cup match in March 2001.

Barthez stood with his arms in the air and demanded a foul instead of closing the corner, when Di Canio did not hesitate and scored the only goal of the match.

These mistakes were repeated over the next two seasons, with an unfortunate habit that occurs in particularly big matches, such as the Champions League defeat against Deportivo La Coruna in 2001-02, and the defeat against Real Madrid in 2002-03.

In the summer of 2003, Manchester United signed US goalkeeper Tim Howard to be the new opening goalkeeper, allowing Barthez to leave for Marseille again.

Barthez finally hung up his gloves in 2007 as his career in Nantes ended abruptly in April when drunken fans approached his car outside the stadium after a defeat, which led to a fight with one of them, and it was time for the present, lesser-known part to begin with. , but he’s still just as cool and athletic as his career.

Barthez’s decision to enter motorsport was not immediate. In the 2018 documentary “Brothers of Sport” produced by the French newspaper L’Equipe, Barthez revealed that the case broke out in 1998 through a conversation with former Formula 1 driver Olivier Banes.

“I have always been fascinated by motorsport, even when I played football, it always interested me, I wanted to understand how I felt in the car, I had to wait until the end of my professional career to try it,” Barthez said.

“However, it’s not like football: you can still be good even if you’re 35, which is my age when you stopped playing.”

Barthez started competing as a racer in 2008 and has had regular regional success in France, and was crowned “GT” National Champion along with Morgan Moulin Travor in 2013.

In 2014, he competed in Le Mans for the first time, finishing 29th which is very good, and since then he has raced there three times.

“I know the track well, the atmosphere and the soul,” Barthez told L’Equipe about the 24-hour race. “I spent three months learning everything I could do. It was a passion that turned into an obsession. “

“It was like football, in terms of preparation, the way the pressure increased, the view of the ground and the field, the pressure increased, and in the end it all depends on me.”

He worked with the Monaco Grand Prix winner to form the Banes Partez team in 2016, and made his Le Mans debut the following year, otherwise a clutch clash forced the team to retire three hours before the end. .

“I have learned a lot and I am very happy to work with Fabian, he is a great manager and it is amazing to see what he has achieved,” Banes told Omnisport.

Barthez’s Instagram account is littered with photos of race cars, photos of him in a helmet and racing gear, it’s a passion that will not soon stop loving him, and as he rides with the passion and enthusiasm with which he played football, other drivers need to pay attention.

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