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 the 24 Hours of Le Mans?

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 soil, 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 honours, as he featured with the Marseille side 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 playing style, as despite his ability he was repeatedly criticized for losing focus or doing unconventional things while playing.

Manchester United got Barthez’s signature in 2000 for nearly ten million euros, a large amount for a goalkeeper at the time. At first, the Frenchman was a favorite of Old Trafford fans, either for his great saves or opponents, but the situation declined after It is a bit because of strange bugs.

Fabien Barthez Manchester United GFX

Getty/GOAL

One of those mistakes was when he tackled West Ham United 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 an offside instead of the corner, when Di Canio did not hesitate and scored the only goal of the game.

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

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

Barthez finally hung up his gloves in 2007, as his career at Nantes came to an abrupt end in April when drunken fans approached his car outside the stadium after a defeat, leading to a brawl with one of them, and it was time for the current, lesser-known part to start. , but he’s still as cool and athletic as his career.

Barthez’s decision to enter motorsport was not instantaneous. In the 2018 documentary “Brothers of Sport” produced by 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.

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

Barthez began competing as a racer in 2008 and regularly achieved regional success in France, and was crowned “GT” National Champion in 2013 alongside Morgan Moulin Travor.

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 pitch, the pressure increased, and in the end it’s all down to me.”

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

“I’ve learned a lot and I’m very happy to work with Fabian, he’s a great manager and it’s amazing to see what he’s achieved,” Banes told Omnisport.

Barthez’s Instagram account is littered with photos of racing cars, photos of him in a helmet and racing gear, it’s a passion that won’t stop loving him anytime soon, and if he drives with the passion and enthusiasm he played football, other drivers must pay attention.

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