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Les Bleus to Le Mans: How Fabien Barthez became a motor racing driver

When it comes to mentioning classic goalkeepers throughout the years, Fabien Barthez will always get a mention.

The former France international and Manchester United shot-stopper had a stellar career at the highest level, winning a World Cup on home soil with France in 1998 followed by a EURO 2000 winners medal.

Fabien Barthez played all of France’s games in the World Cup leading them to the final. (Photo: PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP via Getty Images).

Fabien Barthez was the goalkeeper in the unforgettable World Cup Final in 2006 when France narrowly lost out on penalties to Italy.

After 457 senior appearances and 87 France caps, the goalkeeping veteran retired from football in 2007 to embark on a bizarre career in motorsport.

In 2008, Barthez started his motor racing career by competing in events like the Porsche Carerra Cup in France and the THP Spider Cup.

In 2010, Fabien Barthez picked up his first podium in the FFSA GT Championship, it took him another two years to claim another podium but this time it was on the top step…

Barthez eventually went on to race at Le Mans (Credit: Mark Seymour from UKCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

He finally got his maiden win in motorsport during the 2012 season of the FFSA GT Championship, after only his second race of the season.

The French keeper would go on to finish an admirable 7th in the championship.

French GT World Champion

In 2013, he becomes the French GT World Champion, a remarkable achievement for someone who has already reached the pinnacle of sporting glory.

fabien barthez motorsport
A difference in weight compared to the World Cup trophy but just as valuable to Fabien Barthez. (Credit: ©

in February 2014, it was announced that Barthez would enter the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans race, the team finished 29th overall.

Would you rate Fabien Barthez as one of the greatest goalkeepers of his generation? Let us know!