France and Reims legend Just Fontaine passes away at the age of 89

According to AFP, Just Fontaine, the legendary former striker for Stade de Reims and the French national team has passed away at the age of 89. Fontaine holds the record for the most goals scored during a single World Cup tournament, having scored an incredible 13 goals during the 1958 World Cup, where France reached the semi-finals. Though his career as a player was cut short by injuries at the age of 28, his legacy on the pitch remains immense.

He was a key player for Stade de Reims during their golden era in the 1950s, helping them reach two European Cup finals, and scored 121 goals in six seasons for the Champagne side. In total, Fontaine scored 165 goals in 200 matches in Ligue 1 and won the league on two occasions. As of 2022, Fontaine is tied with Lionel Messi as the fourth top-scorer in FIFA World Cup history.

Off the pitch, Fontaine went on to found the National Union of Professional Football players in 1961, before a managerial career which momentarily saw him at the head of the French national team in 1967 before going on to manage Paris Saint-Germain, Toulouse, and the Moroccon national team. With the Atlas Lions the Marrakech-born Fontaine managed to reach 3rd place in the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations.

GFFN | George Boxall

 

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