French legend Lillian Thuram, revealed details of when he first heard about Lionel Messi and sent Ousmane Dembele a bit of useful advice.
French defender Lillian Thuram has been retired from football for some time now, he does altruistic work now and always finds time to reminisce about his past life as a player when he shared a dressing room with the likes of Lionel Messi between 2006 and 2008.
During the time when Leo first played against a professional club even before his official debut, Thuram was part of that Juventus squad that the Argentine faced in a friendly match when both squads played the Gamper Trophy.
The Frenchman missed the game at that time, but he remembers Lionel Messi’s name even from that time.
“The first time I heard about Messi I was playing for Juventus,” Thuram told Marca.
“The squad went to play the Gamper Trophy. I didn’t make it, I stayed in Turin. I believe I was coming back from the national team.”
“When the squad returned, everybody kept talking about this 17-year old kid whose name was Messi and was impossible to stop.”
“It was years later when I arrived in Barcelona, that I was able to assess that he would make it big. He was simply the best,” he added.
When asked about his compatriot Dembele’s discipline situation, Thuram had some words of wisdom to share with the young player.
“He is a great player, that’s the most important thing. I would advise him to learn from the veterans,” he continued.
“I was young as well and you have to learn from your elder when you arrive at any club. We can’t make a big fuzz out of the whole subject.”
“If I only talked about all the football players who were undisciplined that I came across in my career, I would talk for a whole month,” he concluded.
Thuram on Dembélé: “The important thing is he’s a top player. I’d tell him when you move clubs to learn from the veterans. There’s no need to turn his term into drama. If I could talk about the great players I’ve seen not doing the right things, I’d be talking for over a month.” pic.twitter.com/6U6d4EdsQm
— Barça Centre (@barcacentre) December 26, 2018