"Italy the best": Thuram

France's record cap winner Lilian Thuram believes his side will take on the best team at the World Cup when they face Italy in the final in Berlin.

    Lilian Thuram (r) congratulates Zinedine Zidane

    "Of course I know all the Juventus players very well, they are very strong. It's going to be a tough game against Italy. They are without doubt the best team in the tournament," the 34-year-old said.

    "From the start I thought they would go far as they are a very homogenous group of players. You can sense their solidarity.

    "Once upon a time there were too many big egos in the Italian team, but now they work for each other and it is going to be very difficult for us."

    Powerful defender Thuram is one of five players in the current side who lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy in 1998.

    The Juventus player was also one of those coaxed back into the national team, along with Zinedine Zidane and Claude Makalele, by coach Raymond Domenech after quitting international football after Euro 2004.

    "It's just crazy," he said.

    "I shouldn't even be here. I didn't want to come back but the coach convinced me to return against my better judgement and here I am once again in a World Cup final.  Football is just wonderful."

    SOURCE: AFP


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