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Thuram describes Lukaku the ‘best player in the world’

Former Parma and Juventus defender Lilian Thuram believes white players should do more to tackle racism in football and claims Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku is the best player in the world.

Thuram, 49, is one of the best defenders in the history of the game. A 1998 France World Cup winner, he played for Parma and Juventus in Serie A, before joining Barcelona in 2006.

At the end of his playing career, he became an activist taking public positions on several issues related to racism and equality.

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“I am very lucky. I made a good life as a player, today I like to go and discuss to make people understand that everyone can contribute to a more just society,” the former defender told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Since I was nine years old, I was trying to understand myself. When I retired, I started to travel with my foundation to defend justice. Who has a role in sport must also discuss other things to have an impact.

“White players have an important role in this, they should make their voice heard,” he continued. “A non-white person must go beyond himself to get to the top. Football is politic, economy and capitalism, I love to watch football and great players, but I don’t support any team.”

Who was the best player when he was a footballer?

“Ronaldo.”

And who is the best now?

“Romelu Lukaku is incredible, then [Kylian] Mbappé and Marquinhos.”

Any Italian player he likes?

“If I think about Juventus, I say Federico Chiesa, but also Moise Kean. I like Nicolò Barella and that young Roma player, [Nicolò] Zaniolo, great player.

“I have two young sons who are footballers, Marcus was born in 1997 and plays for Borussia Monchengladbach. Khephren is a midfielder, born in 2001, he plays for OGC Nice.”

Marcus was linked with a move to Inter in the summer.

“He speaks Italian, a footballer always wants to play in the best clubs and in Italy, there are some of the biggest. However, my sons will take their own path, I am just their father.”

Thuram played five seasons at Juventus and the only goal he scored was in a home game against Milan in November 2002. The Bianconeri meet the Rossoneri again tomorrow, with Juve still without wins in Serie A this term.

“The season is still long. Don’t write Juventus off, because they can still win,” Thuram warned.

“Giroud is a great striker, he’s always done well in his career. I like Theo Hernandez and I know him well because he played in the national team with my son. It will be a great game.”

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