The player who scored the most goals in a single World Cup, with 13 goals in the 1958 edition, Just Fontaine died at the age of 89 on Wednesday, March 1.
In 1958, Just Fontaine broke a record never equaled and almost unrivaled. And yet, the striker had been called up at the last minute to replace the usual center-forward, injured before the World Cup. He even plays the competition with the shoes of another. “He was always on the lookout and he scored with his left foot, his right foot, his head. He was someone very skillful in front of goal, a kind of surface fox”, describes Jacques Vendroux, sports journalist.
A broken career at 27
With Raymond Kopa and Roger Piantoni, ‘Justo’ embodies the first golden generation of French football. A prolific goalscorer for the Stade de Reims, his career was shattered at the age of 27 with a double tibia-fibula fracture. A year later, he relapsed and had to stop scoring. “The second time, I cried with rage, because I knew I couldn’t come back,” he said. After his football career, Just Fontaine pushed the song, created the first players’ union, and coached, notably at PSG. He still received letters from all over the world, congratulating him on his 13 goals, a record he takes with him, perhaps for eternity.
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