Fabien Barthez: Former Manchester United man now lives entirely different life

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Fabien Barthez was one of the stars of the football in world in '90's and early 2000's.

The eccentric goalkeeper played a part in some truly incredible sides during that era, standing between the posts for France during their all-conquering 1998 World Cup campaign.

The bald shot stopper even spent time at Manchester United towards the tail-end of his career where Sir Alex Ferguson famously made the claim that he was probably a better outfield player than he was a goalie.

After a hugely successful career, Barthez hung up his gloves in 2007 but it wasn't long before he was dipping his toe into competitive sporting action once again.

Just a year later, Barthez took up professional motorsport when he competed in the Porsche Carrera Cup France.

Outings in the French GT Championships, Bioracing Series and the Caterham Sigma Cup followed as Barthez began to look more and more at home behind the wheel of powerful racing cars.

He landed his first podium in 2010 at the FFSA GT Championship in race one at Dijon-Prenois before clinching his first victory in the FFSA Series in race two at the Circuito de Navarra a year later.

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His racing career really began to hit the heights in 2013 when he became French GT champion, before, in a bid to test himself further, Barthez entered the gruelling Le Mans 24-hour race in 2014.

In 2016, he set up his own team, Panis Barthez Competition, with the aim of racing at Le Mans.

He got his wish in 2017 but sadly the team was forced to retire just three hours before the end of the race as they failed to overcome a clutch issue.

Speaking on his motorsport adventure, per The Sun, Barthez likened racing at Le Mans to playing football at the highest level.

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"I know the course very well. The atmosphere, the spirit," he said in a documentary.

"I spent three months learning everything I could. It was a passion that turned into an obsession.

"It was just like football, in terms of preparing, the way the pressure mounted, you see the ground and the stadium, the pressure mounts, everything came back to me."

While at first glance, hopping from football to motorsport might seem like a big leap, you can't help but feel that Barthez' elite mentality will have gone a long way to helping succeed on the track.

The man has won a World Cup after all, so knows the dedication and commitment needed to excel in any sporting endeavour. 

Credit: The Football Terrace 

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