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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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By ESPN Staff

Veteran Thuram signs Nou Camp deal

MADRID, July 24 (Reuters) - French defender Lilian Thuram has passed a medical and signed a two-year contract with Barcelona, the European and Spanish champions said on Monday.

'I am very pleased. To play at this club is the best thing that could happen to a footballer,' Thuram told the club's website.

Barca are reported to have paid troubled Serie A club Juventus five million euros for the player.

Thuram has won a record 121 caps with France and announced his international retirement after losing in the World Cup final to Italy earlier this month.

A key member of the French side that won the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000, Thuram can play in the centre of defence or at right back.

A former Monaco and Parma player, Thuram won four league titles with Juventus alongside defender Gianluca Zambrotta, who has also agreed a move to Barcelona from Turin.

Juventus have been involved in a match-fixing scandal in Italy and have been ordered to start next season in Serie B on minus 30 points by a tribunal investigating the case.