World Cup legend Just Fontaine dies at 89
The great French footballer who scored a record 13 goals in the 1958 World Cup has died.
Just Fontaine’s former club Stade de Reims and the French Football Federation confirmed the French player’s death on Wednesday after an impressive tally of 259 goals from 283 club appearances.
Fontaine scored a record 13 goals in one World Cup. It took him six games to achieve his feat in the 1958 tournament in Sweden, shortly after winning the French Championship and the Coupe de France for his team.
“Justo was and will remain a legend of the French team,” said French head coach Didier Deschamps.
Participating in the World Cup tournament, the Moroccan-born Fontaine was a little-known striker outside the French league. And yet, he tormented opponents with his speed and finishing – and even with other people’s boots. He had to borrow a pair of boots after he damaged his own boots in training.
Fontaine scored four goals in the third-place match against West Germany, but could have scored five had he converted a penalty.
In addition to his exploits with the national team, Fontaine won the French Championship four times, the Coupe de France and reached the final of the 1959 European Cup during his club career with USM Casablanca, Nice and Reims.
After retiring, Fontaine co-founded the French players’ union and served as its chairman for several years. He also briefly coached the French national team before working with Luchon, Paris Saint-Germain, Toulouse and the Moroccan national team.
“An icon of French football has passed away and Paris Saint-Germain would like to pay tribute to the man who led them to the first division some 50 years ago,” PSG said in a statement, referring to Fontaine, who took the club to the big leagues. , after winning the playoffs in 1974.
The French Football Federation said there will be a tribute to Fontaine across France this weekend with a “minute of homage” that will also be celebrated on Wednesday before the Coupe de France games in Toulouse, Marseille and Nantes.
“The death of Juste Fontaine plunges French football into deep emotion and immense sadness,” said Philippe Diallo, acting president of the French federation. “He was an iconic figure with his incredible record of 13 goals in the 1958 World Cup.” He wrote one of the most beautiful pages in the history of the French national team.”
Fontaine’s meteoric rise as a scorer saw him score 200 goals in 213 games. He scored 30 goals in 21 games for France.
Fontaine’s career came to an abrupt end when he was only 28 years old. The Frenchman, known for his lightning speed and ruthless finishing, suffered a horrific leg fracture after an untimely tackle in March 1960.