- Just Fontaine, a legendary French footballer who scored a record 13 goals in the 1958 World Cup, passed away at the age of 89.
- The striker played for France between 1953 and 1960 and scored 30 goals in 21 international matches.
- Although Reims lost to Real Madrid, Fontaine finished as the competition’s top scorer with ten goals.
- Fontaine’s career was cut short at the age of 28 due to injury, but he continued to coach the French and Moroccan national teams and Paris Saint-Germain.
Only Fontaine’s death and death records were not shared by the family.
Just Fontaine, a legendary French footballer who scored a record 13 goals in the 1958 World Cup, passed away at the age of 89.
The striker played for France between 1953 and 1960 and scored 30 goals in 21 international matches.
Fontaine’s success was not limited to international play, however, as he scored 259 goals in 283 appearances for his club teams.
Fontaine began his career at USM Casablanca before moving to Nice in 1953.
Three years later, he joined Stade de Reims, won three French top-level titles and reached the European Cup final in 1959.
Although Reims lost to Real Madrid, Fontaine finished as the league’s top scorer with 10 goals.
Fontaine’s standout performance came at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, where he scored a hat-trick against Paraguay in France’s first group stage match.
He followed this up with two goals against Yugoslavia and one against Scotland.
He also scored twice in France’s quarter-final victory against Northern Ireland to level them in their semi-final against Brazil.
However, Brazil, inspired by a 17-year-old Pele, ran out 5-2 winners.
Fontaine crushed four past West Germany in the third place play-off, which France won 6–3. His 13 goals put him in joint fourth place in the all-time Men’s World Cup top scorers list, alongside Argentina’s Lionel Messi.
Fontaine then managed Paris Saint-Germain between 1973 and 1976, which saw them promoted to Ligue 1 in 1974. PSG described Fontaine as a “monument of French football”.
Fontaine’s death has sparked an outpouring of tributes from around the footballing world. Didier Deschamps, the France national coach, said: “The death of Just Fontaine saddens me, as it will inevitably sadden all those who love football and our national team. ‘Justo’ is and will remain a legend of the team. ‘Justo’ was a man of great kindness, very “respectful to the generations that succeeded him with Les Bleus. His attachment to the French team was strong and sincere. I extend my thoughts to his family, his loved ones and all our great elders who are in pain today.”
The interim president of the French Football Federation (FFF), Philippe Diallo, said: “The death of Just Fontaine plunges French football into deep emotion and immense sadness. Just Fontaine left his mark on football in France and abroad. He was an emblematic figure, with an incredible record of 13 goals in the World Cup of 1958. He wrote one of the most beautiful pages in the history of the French national team.”
Former club Stade de Reims also paid tribute to Fontaine, saying: “A star of French football, an unparalleled goalscorer, a legend from Reims. The SDR sends its sincere condolences to his family and friends.”
Fontaine’s career was cut short at the age of 28 due to injury, but he continued to coach the French and Moroccan national teams and Paris Saint-Germain.
In 2004, Pele named Fontaine on his list of the 125 greatest living footballers.
Fontaine’s legacy will be felt in the football world for years to come. He will be remembered as a true great of the game, not only in France but all over the world.