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By ESPN Staff
May 13, 2006

Barthez confirms Marseille departure

PARIS, May 13 (Reuters) - France goalkeeper Fabien Barthez confirmed on Saturday he was leaving Olympique Marseille.

'Tonight, it's tough,' Barthez told French channel Canal Plus after playing his last game for Marseille.

Marseille were held to a 1-1 draw at Girondins Bordeaux and failed to qualify for the Champions League.

'I've had two and a half great years here. I want to thank everyone at the club for this,' said Barthez at the end of his second spell with the Provence club

Club chairman Pape Diouf indicated that Cedric Carasso, who deputised for Barthez when he was handed a five-month ban last season for spitting at a referee in a friendly against Wydad Casablanca, would take over as first choice. 'It's logical,' he said on Saturday.

It remains unclear what Barthez, 34, will do next season.

He may call it a day, sign for a foreign club or return to Toulouse, were he started his professional career in 1990 under the guidance of Elie Baup.

'Fabien is like a younger brother to me,' departing St Etienne coach Baup, linked with a move to Toulouse, said.

Former Manchester United keeper Barthez won the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 with France but is vying with Olympique Lyon's Gregory Coupet to be his country's number one at the World Cup in Germany starting on June 9.

Barthez first joined Marseille in 1992, denying AC Milan striker Marco van Basten twice in his side's 1-0 victory in the 1993 Champions League final in Munich.

Barthez then left for Monaco in 1995 before spending three seasons at United from 2000 to 2003.

He returned to Marseille in January 2004.