Barthez rules out career end after Nantes fight

May 3, 2007

PARIS, May 3 (Reuters) - Fabien Barthez, who has left his Nantes club after getting into a fight with a supporter, has ruled out ending his career.

'It is out of the question,' the former France goalkeeper said when asked whether he now intended to quit.

'I feel I still have two good years left in me,' the 35-year-old told French sports daily L'Equipe in an interview published on Thursday.

Barthez traded punches with a Nantes fan on Saturday after a 2-0 home defeat by Stade Rennes that left the eight-times champions on the brink of relegation.

The next day, the former world and European champion turned in the keys to his club house and drove out of the Atlantic port city with his family.

'I will never play for Nantes again,' Barthez told L'Equipe. 'It's too complicated. I don't want to take any risks. I don't want my son to see his father all messed up'.

Barthez said 'five or six' Nantes fans had blocked his Porsche as he was trying to leave the Beaujoire stadium after Saturday's game.

'They were very aggressive, violent,' he said. 'They were banging on the windscreen, kicking the car. And I had my stepfather with me.

'One of them opened the door and tried to kick me. If I had not got out of the car, they would have blown my head off.'

Barthez, who has filed a legal complaint after the incident, said he had no immediate plans.

'If there's something nice to do, I'll do it,' he said.

Barthez was hailed as a saviour when he came out of retirement in mid-December to try and help Nantes in their bid to escape relegation.

But the shaven-headed keeper has committed some embarrassing blunders reminiscent of his worst days at Manchester United.

He has also stirred controversy, notably after conceding a clumsy goal in a 1-0 defeat at home to lowly Sedan last month. After being substituted with an injury, he left the stadium without waiting for the end of the game.

Barthez then earned more unwanted headlines with a dangerous tackle on team mate Dimitri Payet in training last week.