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French footballing legend & World Cup record holder Just Fontaine dies aged 89

French footballing legend and World Cup record holder Just Fontaine has passed away at 89 years of age, with his impressive record at the 1958 World Cup still standing.

Fontaine’s skill and presence on the pitch are remembered fondly by football fans around the world, both as a player and as a manager. He was a symbol of a golden era of French football – an era that may never be matched by despite the nation having a strong footballing presence to this day.

His career highlights, including his World Cup record were made all the more impressive considering that it only lasted for 7 years. Before retirement in 1962 at the age of 28, due to an injury, Fontaine still managed to make an impact on both club and international stage.

He earned 21 caps for France between 1953 and 1960, scoring an impressive 30 goals in the process. His legacy will continue to live on through his incredible record at the 1958 World Cup where he scored 13 goals in just six matches – a record that is yet to be beaten.

france 1958 world cup
Fontaine celebrates with teammates at the 1958 World Cup. Image credit: The Mirror

His achievements on the club level are also impressive, winning four league titles and two cup competitions with Stade Reims. Fontaine will be remembered as a legend of French football, whose records may never be matched. His impact on the game will continue to live on through his legacy and those who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Apart from his achievements on the pitch, Fontaine was also an important figure off of it. After retiring in 1962, he went on to have a successful career as a manager – taking charge of clubs such as Luchon, PSG and Toulouse as well as leading the Moroccan National Team to third place in the 1980 African Cup of Nations.

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Fontaine as manager of PSG. Image credit: Paris Saint-Germain

He was the first ever French international to be born outside of France (in Morocco) and his career accomplishments are a testament to his ability and determination. His legacy will live on through his achievements, both on and off the field, as we pay tribute to a true legend of the sport.