At the age of 89, Just Fontaine, who held the record for the most goals scored in a single World Cup, passed away.
France finished third at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden thanks to Fontaine’s 13 goals in just six games.
He shares fourth place with Argentina’s Lionel Messi among all World Cup goal scorers.
“A great of French football, an exceptional striker, a renowned Reims player,” claimed his old club Stade de Reims.
Paris St-Germain, another of his former teams, issued the following statement: “A thought for Just Fontaine, an icon of French football who has left us.”
Fontaine was referred to as “the perpetual goalscorer” and “a legend of world football” by the French Football Federation (FFF).
Philippe Diallo, temporary head of the FFF, remarked that Just Fontaine’s passing caused “deep grief and tremendous regret” within French football.
He penned one of the French team’s most exquisite pages in its annals.
Didier Deschamps, the manager of the France squad, stated that the passing of Fontaine will “sadden everyone who loves football” and that he “is and will be an icon of the France team.”
All French football stadiums will observe a minute of silence in Fontaine’s honor beginning with Wednesday’s French Cup games.
prodigious striker who holds records
The fact that Fontaine only participated in the 1958 World Cup makes the fact that just three players have scored more goals at World Cups all the more impressive.
If Thadee Cisowski and Rene Bliard, two other forwards, hadn’t been hurt, he wouldn’t have been been on the field.
The striker continued to score, scoring four goals in a 6-3 victory over West Germany in the third-place play-off. He also scored in every game in Sweden.
Between 1953 and 1960, Fontaine made just 21 appearances for France, scoring 30 goals overall.
He played for Stade de Reims for the majority of his club career, scoring 145 goals in 152 appearances, winning three Ligue 1 championships, and making it all the way to the 1959 European Cup final, when they fell to a Real Madrid team that featured Alfredo di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas.
He also played for Nice and the Moroccan team USM Casablanca, but a double leg injury caused him to retire in 1962 at the age of just 28.
Prior to guiding Paris St. Germain to their subsequent promotion to the top flight in 1974, where they have remained ever since, Fontaine managed France for two games in 1967.
After a brief stint at Toulouse, he took command of Morocco, the nation where he was born, and guided them to third place at the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations.
Fontaine is also renowned for his role in establishing the UNFP, the French players’ association, and serving as its inaugural president in 1961.
He was listed as one of the top 125 active football players in 2004 by Brazilian football star Pele.