Goalkeeper Barthez wants to stay in the game

8th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 8, 2006 (AFP) - Veteran France international goalkeeper Fabien Barthez insisted Tuesday that he would like to continue playing for another two years.

PARIS, Aug 8, 2006 (AFP) - Veteran France international goalkeeper Fabien Barthez insisted Tuesday that he would like to continue playing for another two years.

There has been a major question mark hanging over the future of 35-year-old, who kept goal for France as they reached the final of the World Cup in Germany.

The 1998 World Cup winner is out of contract at Marseille and hasn't been sighted since walking out of Berlin's Olympic Stadium after the July 9 penalty shoot-out World Cup loss to Italy.

But the former Marseille, Monaco and Manchester United player said that he would make a decision on his future later this month.

"Ideally I would like to continue playing for another two years but maybe I won't play again," he told French sports daily l'Equipe.

"I no longer dream of any club but of a plan - to experience a very strong human adventure and to give back all that I've been given," he said, adding: "In any case I won't be a coach."

And the 87-time capped player admitted that he would not be able to make a decision on his future until he had come to terms with World Cup defeat.

"I have to come to terms with this. The best way to succeed in this is to make a decision. I have two or three weeks for that. Let's say until August 31."

But he said: "As long as I play football I won't give up the French team."

Barthez said that he felt an "enormous sense of guilt" after France's defeat.

"I've always been like that. It's true that the five penalties were well taken. But to have a second World Cup within your grasp and not to seize it is terrible.

"Age and experience tells you there won't be another chance and that's the difference."

Barthez said that the night of the final he had met Diego Maradona who told him that France had been the better team and not to be too quick to retire.

Barthez said that the retired Argentine legend told him: "The important thing is to play football because it's our life. Play on as long as your legs carry you whatever the level."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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