Previous
Real Madrid
Tottenham Hotspur
1
1
FT
Game Details
Manchester City
Napoli
2
1
FT
Game Details
NK Maribor
Liverpool
0
7
FT
Game Details
Apoel Nicosia
Borussia Dortmund
1
1
FT
Game Details
Feyenoord Rotterdam
Shakhtar Donetsk
1
2
FT
Game Details
Spartak Moscow
Sevilla FC
5
1
FT
Game Details
RB Leipzig
FC Porto
3
2
FT
Game Details
AS Monaco
Besiktas
1
2
FT
Game Details
France U17
Spain U17
1
2
FT
Game Details
Iran U17
Mexico U17
2
1
FT
Game Details
England U17
Japan U17
(5) 0
(3) 0
FT-Pens
England U17 wins 5-3 on Penalty Kicks.
Game Details
Mali U17
Iraq U17
5
1
FT
Game Details
Next

Club America-Chivas lacks hype

Liga MX
Read

Time to drop Granit Xhaka?

Arsenal
Read

Barthez: French goalkeeping has declined

World Cup-winner Fabien Barthez has told L'Equipe that the standard of goalkeeping in France has declined since he hung up his gloves in 2007.

Barthez, 41 - the most prominent member of a fine generation of French goalkeepers - achieved success with club and country in his 17-year career.

He feels France's reputation as a country that produces top goalkeepers has been slipping in recent years.

"It's getting difficult to compare, because so many things in so many different areas have changed," he said. "But in France, the standard of goalkeeping has dropped, as has the level of the outfield players.

"You just have to look at the results of the French national side and French teams in European competition."

He said that although the majority of goalkeepers in the French top flight are 27 or under, he does not see anyone being able to challenge France captain Hugo Lloris, who is 26, or his understudy, 27-year-old Steve Mandanda of Marseille, at international level.

"For the moment, there's no-one," he told the paper. "Today, Lloris and Mandanda are a cut above, and then there are the others. Stephane Ruffier and Cedric Carraso are consistent and have bottle.

"But a goalkeeper really starts to take things in hand at around 29 or 30 years old. Goalkeepers in France are 24, 25. They've still got another two or three years to learn all the ins and outs of the position."

Barthez said goalkeepers also needed to curb an increasing desire to be in the limelight, explaining: "After they make a save, you see some of them celebrating as if they've scored a goal. That's not their role.

"Concentration is all-important and, by doing that, you lose it. Two seconds after a save, play restarts - and you have to be ready.

"You have to be really humble when you're a goalkeeper. Things happen really quickly, quicker than for the outfield players. You can never rest on your laurels."

Barthez started his professional career at Toulouse, but it was when he became first choice at Marseille aged 21 in 1992 - and helped the club become the first Ligue 1 side to be crowned European champions the following year - that he shot to fame.

The former Manchester United player also reflected on another change since his playing days: the different character of the footballs themselves.

"The balls really fly," he said. "On TV, you see some bizarre trajectories. It means goalkeepers work less and less on catching balls as that's becoming more and more difficult. They're losing that skill, and focus above all on getting the ball away."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.