Finland spoiled Marcus Thuram’s party on Wednesday after beating France 2-0 on the day the Borussia Moenchengladbach attacker emulated his father Lilian Thuram by making his debut for Les Bleus.
Thuram was picked by Didier Deschamps for the friendly at the Stade de France over 22 years after his dad won the World Cup at the same ground, but despite a strong performance on the left wing he could not stop the Finns from coming out on top.
The 23-year-old hit the bar with less 15 minutes gone and soon after flashed a difficult volley over as he and Lucas Digne caused continual problems down the left flank for the away side.
However, Marcus Forss stunned the hosts when he collected the ball after a Moussa Sissoko mistake and rammed home at Steve Mandanda’s near post.
France barely had any time to react before Onni Valakari doubled the away side’s lead with a stunning effort after being left to stroll towards goal.
Deschamps brought on Antoine Griezmann, Anthony Martial and N’Golo Kante just before the hour mark but could not break down the well-organised Finns.
The result will disappoint Deschamps but he will likely have been happy with the performance of Thuram, who made more of an impression than some of the more established international players on display, including Paul Pogba and Olivier Giroud.
“It was a good first half despite the goals,” Thuram told TV channel M6.
“I’m trying to learn a lot alongside the other internationals... and to gain as much experience as possible. I hope that will continue.”
He could be in contention for World Cup holders France’s upcoming Nations League matches against European champions Portugal and Sweden.
Deschamps said last week that the son of his old France teammate had “gone up a level” since joining Moenchengladbach from French side Guingamp in July 2019.
Thuram has scored three times in 11 appearances for the Bundesliga side this season and was the first footballer in Germany to take a knee in protest following the death of the 46-year-old African American George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis.
Lilian Thuram is the most-capped player in the history of the French national team with 142 appearances and as well as winning the ‘98 World Cup also triumphed alongside Deschamps at Euro 2000.
Cristiano Ronaldo continued his quest to snatch the all-time record for most international goals when he struck his 102nd Portugal goal in their 7-0 win over Andorra. -AFP