'France Legend' and World Cup record holder Just Fontaine dies at age 89
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Football legend Just Fontaine has passed away at the age of 89.
The Frenchman holds the record for most goals scored in single World Cup finals with 13 goals for France at the 1958 tournament.
AFP reports via Fox Sports, that this family confirmed the news on Wednesday (March 1).
The French Football Federation published comments made by national team coach Didier Deschamps.
He said: “I am saddened to hear of the passing of Just Fontaine, as will be all those who love football and our national team.
“’Justo’ is and will remain a France legend.”
The late legend made up a wonderful attacking trio of himself, Roger Piantoni, and Raymond Kopa.
His 13 goals scored in the Sweden World Cup propelled France into the semi-finals for the first time in their history.
Ultimately they lost in the penultimate game to Brazil led by a 17-year-old Pele.
Away from the national team, Fontaine won four French league titles, one with Nice and three with Reims when they were at the height of their powers.
He played a part in the 1959 European Cup final for Reims against a Real Madrid team filled with Alfredo di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas, and Kopa.
He was forced into early retirement at the age of 28 after suffering a double leg fracture.
He moved on to management where he coached the national team for just two games in 1967, before eventually moving to Paris Saint-Germain in 1973.
He led the Paris team to promotion to the top division of France in 1974
PSG released a statement, saying: “A monument of French football has left us.
“It is a sad day for all those who love Paris Saint-Germain, a club he led into the first division 50 years ago.”
His former side Nice, whom he scored 52 goals in 83 matches for, said they will hold a tribute for the great player ahead of their Ligue 1 fixture against Auxerre.
A legendary player with a World Cup record that has stood the test of time, Fontaine believed his own achievement to be out of reach in modern football.
He told AP in 2006: “I don't think it can ever be done.
"The person who wants to beat me has a massive task, doesn't he? He has to score two goals per game over seven games."
Pele named him as one of the 125 Greatest Living Footballers at the 2004 FIFA Awards ceremony.
Featured Image Credit: Matteo Omied / Alamy. Abaca Press / Alamy.
Topics: Football, France, Pele, Football World Cup