The French Fountains onlythe player who holds the record for goals with 13 in the same World Cup finals has died at the age of 89, his family informed AFP on Wednesday.
Fontaine broke the record at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, a championship in which France managed to reach the semi-final for the first time in its history, being beaten by Pelé’s Brazil, then winner of the tournament.
With Fontaine’s death, only three French players from that 1958 epic remain alive (Dominique Colonna, Robert Mouynet, Bernard Chiarelli).
Born in Marrakech, Fontaine was not destined to play in that World Cup because he was overtaken in the hierarchy of the team by Thadée Cisowski, who was injured at the last moment.
In addition to his record 13 goals and that historic World Cup semi-final with France, Just Fontaine won four French club football league titles (one with Nice, three with Reims), two French Cups (Nice in 1954 and Reims in 1958) and a European Cup final (the current Champions League), lost in 1959 2-0 against the great Real Madrid of Di Stéfano, Puskas and Kopa.
Fontaine’s playing career was abruptly cut short in late 1962 at just 28 after a double leg break.
After retiring from the field, Just Fontaine became manager, but his career on the bench was much more discreet.
With the French national team he had a much less glorious job as a coach than as a player: he lasted just two games in charge of the national team in 1967, before being sacked after two defeats in friendlies.
His experience as coach of Paris Saint-Germain (1973-1976) was more fortunate, with promotion to the first division in 1974. He ended his coaching career in his homeland, in Morocco, giving the team from that country third place in the 1980 Cup of Africa.
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