One of the heroes of France’s charge to the 1958 World Cup semi-finals, Just Fontaine, has passed away aged 89.
French football legend Just Fontaine has died at the age of 89.
The former striker was a renowned talent in his prime, sitting joint-fourth on the all-time World Cup scorers list alongside Argentina captain Lionel Messi. He scored 13 goals in six games during the 1958 tournament alone. To this day, it still stands as the record for the most goals scored in a single World Cup competition.
Only German icon Gerd Muller (14), Brazil great Ronaldo (15), and ex-German frontman Miroslav Klose (16) scored more World Cup career goals.
Fontaine also had success at the club level. The Frenchman won the Ligue 1 and Coupe de France with Nice until 1956. He played the final six years of his career at Reims, winning a further three league crowns, two Trophee des Champions titles, and another Coupe de France.
The World Cup Golden Boot winner finished third in the 1958 Ballon d’Or behind France teammate Raymond Kopa and West Germany forward Helmut Rahn.
After an injury forced him into retirement aged 28, Fontaine became a coach. He managed Paris Saint-Germain, Toulouse, and the Moroccan national team.
Incidentally, PSG were among the clubs to send their condolences to their former manager after news of his passing emerged on Wednesday.
RIP Just Fontaine.
A legend of French football who has sadly left us and a sad day for all at Paris Saint-Germain, a club he led to the first division 50 years ago. pic.twitter.com/HovqldRTir
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) March 1, 2023