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The former defender has spoken positively about the team he represented for two years, and believes Pep Guardiola's men have an advantage over rivals Real Madrid

Former Barcelona defender Lilian Thuram has claimed that the Catalan club's unique footballing philosophy is good for the world game.

The Frenchman featured for the Liga giants between 2006 and 2008 before retiring due to a heart condition, and the 40-year-old is still very fond of his former team.

"Barca have a philosophy of play and behaviour that is not common. I hope people take them as an example because the club is a good thing for world football," Thuram is reported as saying in Sport.

Barcelona are currently seven points behind rivals Real Madrid in the Primera Division table, yet Thuram believes Pep Guardiola's men are a better team than Los Blancos and was keen to explain why.

"The difference between Barcelona and Madrid is that [Barca] are a team that have stayed true to their playing philosophies. The Barca players play together for a long time, too, and this is the difference," he added.

Thuram enjoyed a successful playing career, representing Monaco, Parma, Juventus as well as Barcelona, while also making 142 appearances for the France national side, becoming the most-capped player in his country's history.

Starting in November and continuing through to the middle of February, is publishing exclusive extracts from Graham Hunter's highly-anticipated new book, 'Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World'. The last extract looked at how Barca suffered rare disappointment at the hands of Real Madrid in a gripping finale to last season's Copa del Rey. Don't miss it!