France duo call it quits

Makelele and Thuram announce international retirement

Claude Makelele and Lilian Thuram have confirmed their retirement from international football after France's elimination from Euro 2008.

France were knocked out of the tournament after a 2-0 defeat to Italy on Tuesday night left Raymond Domenech's side bottom of the 'Group of Death'.

A rebuilding process is now likely to begin for Les Bleus and Makelele has confirmed he will not be part of the squad trying to qualify for the 2010 World Cup.

The Chelsea midfielder has won 71 caps for France and insists he has 'no regrets' about ending his international career.


"I always said this would be my final competition," said Makelele. "I have no regrets about finishing now.

"Most of the decisions I have taken I have always taken 100 per cent.

"I have sweated for this shirt and it has brought me 100 per cent happiness, so there are no regrets.

"A new generation can take the reins and come together. I am totally with them."


Thuram, who is France's record appearance holder after gaining 142 caps, did not feature in the defeat to Italy after starting the previous two group matches.

He is also bowing out of international football, but the 36-year-old defender is on the look-out for a new club after leaving Barcelona.

"This elimination is very difficult to take, it is even more difficult for me because it is my last match for France," said Thuram.

"As for my future, I would like to continue to play, but I don't know if a club wants me."