Biography and family
Thomas Benoit Lemar (born 12 November 1995) is a French professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for La Liga club Atlético Madrid and the France national team. He is known for his versatility, being able to play on both wings and through the centre. Features of his game include dribbling and passing ability. Lemar began his senior career at Caen in 2013. He played 32 times for the club before moving to Monaco for £3.4 million in 2015. In 2018 he signed for Spanish club Atletico Madrid where won the UEFA Super Cup in his debut season. He has represented France at every level from U17 to U21 and made his international senior debut in 2016 against the Ivory Coast. He was a member of the team that won the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Lemar made his Ligue 2 debut in the opening game of the 2013–14 season on 2 August 2013, replacing Jérôme Rothen after 78 minutes in Caen’s 3–1 home win over Dijon.
On 1 July 2015, Lemar officially joined Monaco for an undisclosed fee. He scored his first goal for the club on 22 August 2015, scoring in a 1–1 draw with Toulouse. On 20 September, he scored in the club’s 2–3 home loss to Lorient. Four days later, Lemar scored in Monaco’s 3–2 win over Montpellier at the Stade de la Mosson. On 17 January 2016, Lemar scored in Monaco’s 2–0 away win over Lorient. On 4 March, Lemar scored the opening goal in Monaco’s 2–2 draw with his former club Caen.
On 14 September 2016, Lemar scored his first goal of the season in Monaco’s 2–1 away win over English club Tottenham Hotspur. Three days later, he scored twice in Monaco’s 3–0 win over Rennes. On 1 October 2016, he scored the opening goal in Monaco’s 7–0 away win over Metz. On 21 October, he scored the fifth of six goals in Monaco’s 6–2 win over Montpellier, and on 18 November, he scored in Monaco’s 3–0 win over Lorient. On 22 November 2016, Lemar scored the winning goal in Monaco’s 2–1 win over Tottenham Hotspur, scoring in the 53rd minute with his goal coming one minute after Tottenham had equalized through Harry Kane in the 52nd minute. On 3 December, he scored in Monaco’s 5–0 win over Bastia. On 15 January 2017, Lemar scored in Monaco’s 4–1 win over Olympique de Marseille, which moved Monaco to the top of the table. On 1 February 2017, Lemar scored in Monaco’s 5–4 win over Championnat National club Chambly. On 1 March 2017, Lemar scored the winning goal in a 4–3 extra-time away win over Marseille in a 2016–17 Coupe de France round of 16 match just two minutes after Rémy Cabella had leveled the score to 3–3 in the 111th minute. On 1 April, Lemar scored in the Coupe de la Ligue Final against Paris Saint-Germain, scoring the equalizer in the 27th minute, but Monaco eventually would lose the final by a scoreline of 4–1. On 29 April, Lemar scored in Monaco’s 3–1 win over Toulouse, and a week later, on 6 May, he scored in their 3–0 away win over Nancy. Lemar finished the season with 14 goals in all competitions.
In the 2017 summer transfer window, Lemar was heavily linked to Premier League clubs Liverpool and Arsenal, though a successful agreement between Monaco and one of the two clubs was never reached. On 29 June, Monaco reportedly rejected a £31m bid from Arsenal, and in late August, Liverpool reportedly had a bid of £65m rejected, having earlier had a bid of €55m rejected. On 28 October 2017, Lemar scored his first goal of the season in Monaco’s 2–0 win over Bordeaux. On 15 December, Lemar scored the second goal in Monaco’s 4–0 win over AS Saint-Étienne. On 9 January 2018, Lemar scored in Monaco’s 2–1 away win over Nice in the 2017–18 Coupe de la Ligue quarter-finals.
On 18 June 2018, La Liga club Atlético Madrid confirmed that a preliminary agreement had been reached with Monaco for the transfer of Lemar. On 27 July 2018, Lemar successfully passed his medical, officially joining Atlético Madrid for a reported fee of €60 million. On 22 September 2018, Lemar scored his first league goal for Atletico Madrid against Getafe CF in a 2–0 away win, where he also hit the shot that resulted in an own goal for Getafe keeper David Soria.
Lemar was called up to the senior France squad to face Sweden and Ivory Coast in November 2016 after Kingsley Coman withdrew through injury. He made his debut on 15 November against the latter, replacing Adrien Rabiot for the final 12 minutes of a home friendly match that ended in 0–0 draw. His first international goals for the senior team came in a 2018 World Cup qualifying match against the Netherlands, scoring twice as France won 4–0. On 17 May 2018, he was called up by manager Didier Deschamps to the 23-man French squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. He made his only appearance of the tournament in France’s final group match against Denmark on 26 June, which ended in a 0–0 draw. On 15 July, France won the World Cup for the second time in their history after defeating Croatia 4–2 in the final of the tournament.