Striker of the France team of the 60s, the French legend Just Fontaine died on Wednesday March 1. Four-time French champion, winner of the Coupe de France, but above all top scorer for the Blues at the 1958 World Cup by scoring 13 goals in a single competition, a record, Just Fontaine wrote the history of French football. Died at the age of 89, Just Fontaine is buried this Monday, March 6 in Toulouse.
After the many tributes from French football throughout the weekend, “Justo” will be entitled to a final tribute at Saint-Etienne Cathedral in Toulouse. According France Blue Occitanie, the Saint-Etienne cathedral will be packed with at least 1,400 people. Among the personalities Philippe Diallo, interim president of the FFF will be present this Monday in Toulouse to attend the funeral as Alain Giresse or Jean-Claude Darmon. “He is an important personality for the city and for sports. This of course requires organization. We usually have 980 places but we can go up to 1,400 for such ceremonies. We are not closing the doors, we will welcome people who come to collect themselves” explained the Abbot.
After the announcement of the death of Just Fontaine, many tributes were posted by various players in French football. PSG notably greeted its former coach on social networks. “A thought for Just Fontaine. It is a monument of French football who has left us, and a sad day for the lovers of Paris Saint-Germain, a club he led to the first division 50 years ago” . Toulouse, where Just Fontaine died, also pays tribute to his legend. “Our pain is immense at the time of learning of the disappearance of Just Fontaine. He had trained US Toulouse and carried our city in his heart, where he was installed, recalls the club. TéFéCé sends its most sincere thoughts to Arlette, his wife, as well as to his relatives.”
Phillipe Diallo, president of the FFF until June and the next elections, indicated that there would be a minute of tribute on all football fields in France this weekend. “The death of Just Fontaine plunges French football into deep emotion and immense sadness. Just Fontaine left his mark on French and international football. He was an emblematic figure, with his incredible record of 13 goals in the Coupe du world of 1958. He wrote one of the finest pages in the history of the French team. Beyond his immense playing career, Just Fontaine played a major role in the influence of French football. , coach, he is also at the origin of the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) of which he was the first president. Professional players, all generations combined, owe him a lot.”
Emmanuel Macron also paid tribute to the “myth” in a tweet while the Minister of Sports spoke of a “legendary player of the Stade de Reims, tireless defender of the heritage of the French team and holder, since 1958, of the record of 13 goals scored in the World Cup. Condolences to his family and loved ones.”
With Kopa, they wrote the first epic of French football. Just Fontaine will forever be our founding myth. pic.twitter.com/08HmBeq8XS
—Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) March 1, 2023
Finally, Didier Deschamps, current coach of the Blues, also paid tribute to “Justo”. “The disappearance 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 French team. The striker who, by scoring 13 goals during a final phase of the World Cup, that of 1958, signed a record still unequaled during the first great epic of the Blues in the World Cup. Players then coach, I had the chance to meet him on several occasions Especially at home, in Toulouse, in September 2017. Justo was a man of great kindness, very respectful of the generations that succeeded his in the Blues.His attachment to the France team was strong and sincere. I address a friendly and moved thought to his family, his loved ones and all our great elders today in pain.
Short biography of Just Fontaine – Just Fontaine is a French footballer born in Marrakech, Morocco. Playing as a centre-forward, he entered the history of world football in 1958 by scoring 13 goals in 6 games during the final phase of the World Cup in Sweden.
He began his professional career in 1950 at the Moroccan US in Casablanca. Three years later, he was recruited by OGC Nice. He then revealed his scoring skills by scoring 42 goals in 3 seasons. In 1956, he signed at the Stade de Reims. He has the delicate mission of filling the void left by Raymond Kopa. Despite a serious injury which sidelined him for almost a year, he scored 122 goals in 6 seasons, finishing top scorer in the championship twice (1958, 1960). His club lost in the final of the European Cup of Champions Clubs in 1959.
During his first selection for the France team against Luxembourg in December 1953, he made a sensational start by signing a hat-trick. With a ratio of 1.43 goals per match with the Blues (21 selections, 30 goals), Just Fontaine confirms his great efficiency during the World Cup in Sweden in 1958 (13 goals in 6 matches). He notably scored 4 goals against the FRG which allowed France to finish in third place.
Injuries forced him to end his playing career prematurely in 1962. After a brief experience as coach of the France team, he became the coach of PSG, which he managed to raise to the first division. In 1978-1979, he coached Toulouse FC and was appointed coach of Morocco to compete in CAN 1980, where he obtained a fine third place. In 2013, he was made an officer of the Legion of Honor.
Just Fontaine’s 1958 World Cup
In 1958, Just Fontaine played his first and only football World Cup in Sweden. Aligned alongside Roger Piantoni and Raymond Kopa, the striker reveals himself to the eyes of the whole world thanks to a performance that will surely never be beaten. Indeed, Fontaine literally walks on his opponents, notably scoring a hat-trick against Paraguay. Above all, he is the author of a legendary quadruple against the FRG, which allows France to win third place in the world. In total, Just Fontaine scored 13 goals in 6 games. Half a century later, he is still the fourth goalscorer in the history of the World Cup, but is the only holder of the number of goals achieved in a single edition.
Just Fontaine’s record
Just Fontaine is very famous for being the holder of the number of goals scored in a single World Cup. In 1958, in Sweden the number 17 of the blues put the ball in the back of the net at each meeting (Yugoslavia, Paraguay, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Brazil). In pool and in the final phase, the striker finished the competition with 13 goals. This record is unmatched until now and may still be for a very long time. The main interested party had even had fun with it over time. Whenever we asked him the question, he had fun answering “In 2000 years, if we are still playing football, it is very possible that we will still be asking this question. And it is likely that the answer will be ” not yet “.
Just Fontaine and PSG
After his career as a player, Just Fontaine turned into a coach. Between 1973 and 1976, for example, he allowed Paris-Saint-Germain to climb into the French first division, which has never come down since. He was in the capital very appreciated in particular by his players with whom he shared moments of life as he has specified many times. “I was playing cards with them. It was not liked. A career does not hold much”.
Just Fontaine in Reims
The period 1956-1962 is undoubtedly the peak of the career of Just Fontaine in selection with the 1958 World Cup but also in club with the Stade de Reims. With 122 goals in 131 games and 6 seasons, the French striker marked the history of the club by twice finishing as top scorer in the Championship in 1958 and 1960.
To his family, his loved ones, the SDR sends its most sincere condolences #JustFontaine #LegendSDR pic.twitter.com/0oFAIKJ9AB
— Reims Stadium (@StadeDeReims) March 1, 2023
The origins of Just Fontaine
“Justo” was born in Marrakech in the district of Guéliz. Her mother was Spanish. His father was French and a civil servant at the Régie des Tabacs. He started football in the Maghreb by becoming a professional there before joining France where he became a legend.
Just Fontaine’s record as a player
In three years at the US Moroccan, striker Just Fontaine did not leave hands free by winning 5 trophies including the Moroccan Championship in 1952. In France, he lifted 8 trophies with OGC Nice and the Stade de Reims. In the national team, he could not taste the joy of lifting the Jules Rimet Cup, even if in 1958 he arrived with his teammates third in the World Cup.
- Moroccan Championship: 1952
- Opening Cup: 1950 and 1952
- North African Championship: 1958
- North Africa Cup: 1953
- French Championship: 1956, 1958, 1960 and 1962
- French Cup: 1954 and 1958
- Champions Challenge: 1958 and 1960