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Lilian Thuram – 20 Questions 20 Answers

1. What does football mean to you?
2. Which football club did you support as a child?
I didn’t support any club as a child.
3. Did you ever have an idol?
Idol is not the right word, but my favourite player was the 1980s Bordeaux and France midfielder Jean Tigana.
4. What is your fondest footballing memory?
My first really vivid memory is of the 1982 FIFA World Cup semi-final between France and West Germany.
5. What has been your biggest disappointment in football?
The 2006 World Cup final.
6. If you had not become a professional footballer, what would you have become?
When I was little, I wanted to be a priest. In the Antilles, he was an important figure in the village – he could forgive people and bring them together, he was something of a hero. Later, I would no doubt have chosen to be a teacher.
7. What is your favourite type of music?
I like all kinds of music but I’ve a particular weakness for jazz and gwo ka, which is music from Guadeloupe.
8. And your favourite book?
It’s difficult to say, there’s a lot of them. If I had to name one, I would say Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
9. Your favourite film?
I don’t have one, I’m not a big film buff.
10.Your favourite city?
It’s more of a village than a city: Anse-Bertrand, where I lived in Guadeloupe.
11. What is your favourite type of food?
Different dishes from Guadeloupe which remind me of my childhood: Colombo [a spicy dish] or dombres [dumplings] for example.
12. And your favourite hobby?
Looking for information. I enjoy learning and I am particularly keen on the history of civilisations.
13. What do you spend most of your money on?
Giving gifts and making the people I love happy.
14. What was your first job?
I worked in a market when I was 12 or 13. I unpacked the goods and then packed them up again to earn money for football boots.
15. Who has been the most influential figure in world history?
Christopher Columbus was very important, but in a negative sense in my opinion. His arrival in the Americas led to the introduction of survival of the fittest. The “master race” assumed the right to massacre the Indians, then the slave trade began. This “discovery” of a continent helped to propagate a myth of racial supremacy.
16. What are you scared of?
17. What was the most embarrassing moment in your life?
I don’t recall having experienced one.
18. How do you see the future of the world?
There will be major disasters ahead if we fail to realise that the earth is an island. Excessive consumption and globalisation are creating increasing inequality between countries and even within the same nation. We are not on the right track; we are becoming more and more individualistic.
19. Where would you like to go on holiday?
I’d like to be alone on a desert island for a few days because you need to face up to yourself in order to get to know yourself.
20. Who would you most like to meet?
Although I’ve seen Nelson Mandela in person, I’ve never had any discussions or exchanges with him — I’d like to do that. I’d also liked to have done the same with people like Abbe Pierre or Mother Teresa, who unfortunately are no longer with us.
Will France win EURO 2008? YES
Will you become a coach? NO
Is the Premier League currently the best league in the world? NO
Is Marcelo Lippi the most influential coach you have ever had? NO
Do you always tell the truth? NO