Soccer

Fabien Barthez retires from soccer

Goalkeeper Fabien Barthez retired from soccer Thursday, three months after helping France reach its second World Cup final.

Goalkeeper Fabien Barthez retired from soccer Thursday, three months after helping France reach its second World Cup final.

"I am starting a new life," Barthez said. "I will continue to enjoy myself … but without soccer."

"Some goalkeepers continue until 37 or 38," Barthez added. "But I needed a human adventure, something like that."

Barthez, who helped France win the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European championship, is not attached to a club and hasn't played since July 9, when the French lost to Italy in a shootout in the World Cup final at Germany.

Regarded as a superb shot-stopper but prone to eccentric moments, the 35-year-old played 87 times for France internationally, including a national record 17 games over three World Cups.

France manager Raymond Domenech chose Barthez over Gregory Coupet as his starting keeper for this year's World Cup.

Barthez, a former star with Manchester United, quit Marseille before the World Cup in the hope that his close friendship with Toulouse manager Elie Baup might facilitate a move back to his hometown club, but Toulouse was reluctant to sign him and risk losing promising keeper Nicolas Douchez.

"The only clubs where I wanted to go were not very pleased to see me," Barthez said on French television.

"[Toulouse] would have been perfect for me."