Lilian Thuram was ahead of his time. He mixed impeccable technique with pace, power and aggression to become the prototype modern defender, at a time when getting rid of the ball was the order of the day.
In doing so, the most-capped French player of all time won the FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships, UEFA Cup and two Serie A titles, as well as competing in the 2003 UEFA Champions League final.
He was a giant, literally and metaphorically, who played in three iconic sides.
Firstly, the great Monaco team of the early 90s which boasted George Weah, Emmanuel Petit and Youri Djorkaeff. Next, Carlo Ancelotti’s fabled Parma side of Gigi Buffon, Fabio Cannavaro, Juan Sebastián Verón and Hernán Crespo. Then, finally, an all-conquering Juventus team which included Pavel Nedvěd, Alessandro Del Piero and David Trezeguet.