Marcus Thuram: Who is the Borussia Mönchengladbach and France sharpshooter with a World Cup-winning dad?


The son of a FIFA World Cup winner, Marcus Thuram is writing his own story in the Bundesliga and beyond with Borussia Mönchengladbach.

bundesliga.com sheds some light on the youngster who plays nothing like his father…

Marcus Thuram

Age: 23
Club: Borussia Mönchengladbach
Position: Striker/winger
Country: France (3 caps)

Key stats

Making his professional debut for Sochaux at the age of 17, it took Thuram just a few months to claim the first silverware of his career. He scored the second goal in a 2-0 final win over Lyon at the Stade de France as Sochaux lifted the 2015 Coupe Gamberdella – France's national U19 cup competition.

The son of a FIFA World Cup winner Lilian, Marcus Thuram is making waves at Borussia Mönchengladbach. - 2019 Getty Images

After two further years in the French second tier, Thuram joined Guingamp in 2017, scoring his maiden Ligue 1 goal – once again against Lyon – on just his second start in the league. While the 2017/18 season was about finding his feet in the top flight, 2018/19 saw him star despite Guingamp's struggles. They would finish bottom of the league but Thuram made a name for himself with nine goals, representing almost a third of his team’s total.

Thuram is the son of France legend Lilian Thuram. The most capped player in the history of les Bleus, Lilian won the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000 in a career that saw him regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation. It's a large shadow to step out of, but Marcus began to do so in January 2019 when he made headlines in the Coupe de la Ligue quarter-final. Minutes after he missed a penalty against Paris Saint-Germain, Guingamp fell behind. Thuram was unperturbed and stepped up from the spot again in the 93rd minute to inflict PSG’s first defeat in the competition over six years. Guingamp went on to reach the final of the tournament, but were beaten on penalties by Strasbourg.

He has also featured in three international tournaments for France at youth level and played eight matches across the UEFA European Under-19 Championship in 2015 and 2016, lifting the trophy in the latter edition. He then competed at the FIFA U20 World Cup in 2017, scoring one goal in his four appearances before featuring at the European Under-21 Championship in 2019.

Thuram's upward career trajectory has continued apace at Gladbach. Under Marco Rose, the forward formed part of a new-look frontline alongside Alassane Plea and Breel Embolo, with Thuram hitting 10 goals and laying on eight assists in his first season as the Foals finished fourth to clinch a Champions League spot. Although Gladbach slipped to eighth last term, Thuram still had a hand in 15 goals - and 23 in all competitions - which included his brace in the Group B 2-2 draw with European heavyweights Real Madrid in the Champions League. They were his first goals in just his second UCL appearance - meaning he already has more Champions League goals than his dad managed (one) in 113 games. Thuram reflected: "I didn’t even know until now that he even scored a goal in the Champions League, but I’m pleased for him!"

Plays a bit like: Anthony Martial

Thuram may be slightly taller than the Manchester United forward and possess a bulkier frame, but that makes him no less dangerous than his fellow Frenchman of Guadeloupean descent - indeed, he has made France's Euro 2020 squad ahead of him. Quick, direct and with the upper body strength to brush opponents out of the way, the sight of Gladbach’s new man running at you is enough to make any defender reconsider their profession. With Lilian world class as both a centre-back and right-back, one can only assume Marcus honed his skills as a left-winger against his famous father in the back garden growing up.

A powerful left winger reminiscent of Anthony Martial, Marcus Thuram provides pace and direct running out wide. - imago images / ZUMA Press

Did you know?

Thuram was born in Parma during his father's five-year spell at the Italian club, which included a UEFA Cup title in 1999 when Marcus was just two. While Lilian didn't want his children simply to copy him and go into football, encouraging them to try the likes of judo and fencing, neither Marcus nor younger brother Khephren listened and both are now professional footballers. Khephren remains eligible to play for either France, Italy or Guadeloupe (where Lilian was born) at international level, although Marcus's international future is now bolted down.

What they're saying

"He's improving. It's promising. He plays as a second central striker and is one of the players we're following. Even if his dad wasn't called Lilian, we'd follow him anyway." – France coach Didier Deschamps, a teammate of Lilian

"I believe that Marcus is far from the end of his development. There's a lot more to come from him. Marcus is a footballer who benefits greatly from his physique and stature. He's also a fine technician, who can always deal with situations in tight spaces." - Gladbach coach Rose

"He's going to be a great player. He's going to have a great future." – Former Saint Etienne coach Jean-Louis Gasset

"He's a fast, robust and dangerous forward who fits very well in our squad, and we are sure he will make his way in the Bundesliga." - Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl