RIP Just Fontaine: France loses a legend
France soccer legend Just Fontaine has died at the age of 89. The former striker holds the record for most goals scored at a single World Cup. He scored 13 goals in just six games with France at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden when France finished in third place.
The legendary France striker Just Fontaine has passed away, aged 89.
Having scored 30 times in just 21 international appearances, he is globally renowned as the top goalscorer at a single World Cup finals with an incredible 13 goals in 1958 in Sweden.
Rest in peace, ‘Justo’. pic.twitter.com/rZstuIzOWJ
— UEFA (@UEFA) March 1, 2023
Fontaine is the joint fourth all-time World Cup goalscorer alongside Argentina’s Lionel Messi, which is incredible considering he only played in one World Cup ever, the 1958 tournament. He nearly didn’t even play in that World Cup, only coming in due to injuries sustained by his teammates Thadee Cisowski and Rene Bliard. He went on to score in every game in that tournament, including four in a 6-3 victory over West Germany to win third place.
He scored 30 times in just 21 games for Les Bleus and won four French titles. On the club level, he spent much of his time with Nice and Reims, finishing as the top goalscorer twice. With Reims, he scored 145 goals in 152 games, won three Ligue 1 titles, and took the rteam to the 1959 European Cup final, where they lost to Real Madrid. Fontaine was forced to retire due to an injury at the young age of 28 years old.
“A star of French football, an outstanding striker, a legendary Reims player,” said Stade de Reims.
Fontaine went on to be the manager of France for two games in 1967 before heading to Paris Saint-Germain, where he brought the club to the top of their division in 1974. He eventually managed the Moroccan national team, the country where he was born, and led them to third place in the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations.