Fabien Barthez retires from soccer
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 â¦ 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."