The first day of spring 2023 was overshadowed by the sad news of the death of Juste Fontaine, the famous French striker, the record holder for the number of goals scored in one World Cup. The ex-footballer was 89 years old. Paying tribute to the memory of the legend, Dailysports.net offers to recall the main milestones of his glorious football biography.
Fontaine was born in 1933 in Moroccan Marrakesh, then under the protectorate of France. His football career began in local clubs. The driven striker quickly attracted the attention of French scouts and moved to Europe at the age of 20. During the 3 seasons that he spent at Nice club, Juste scored 52 goals in 84 matches. Together with the team, he won the cup and the national championship, but in 1956 he moved to Reims club, where he spent his entire subsequent career.
Unfortunately, Juste Fontaine had to stop performing very early. In 1960, he suffered a double leg fracture in a championship match. Having recovered from the injury, the striker returned, but after a few months the same leg was broken again. In the 1960/61 and 1961/62 seasons, Juste took the field several more times and even managed to score 9 goals, but soon ended his career at the age of 28.
Despite his early retirement from the sport, Fontaine managed to achieve quite a lot with Reims:
- champion of France – 3;
- winner of the French Cup – 1;
- UEFA finalist – 1;
- the title of top scorer in France – 2;
- UEFA top scorer title – 1.
In total, the striker scored 145 goals in 152 matches for Reims (according to Daily Sports Net).
Fontaine made his debut for the French national team in December 1953. In the match against Luxembourg, the forward scored a hat-trick, but even this was not enough to convince the coaching staff of his effectiveness. He had to wait for the next call for almost 3 years. Before the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, at which Juste forever entered his name in history, he played only 5 matches for the national team.
Fontaine went to the main tournament in his life as a substitute, but due to an injury to one of the main forwards, he got a place at the core team from the first match. This turned out to be exactly the case when misfortune helped. Yesterday’s understudy scored in every match of the tournament:
- 1 round – 3 goals to Paraguay;
- 2nd round – 2 goals to Yugoslavia;
- 3rd round – 1 goal to Scotland;
- 1/4 – 2 goals to Northern Ireland;
- 1/2 – 1 goal to Brazil;
- match for 3rd place – 4 goals to Germany.
Fontaine’s 13 goals helped France win the bronze medal. Juste continued to shine in the qualifying tournament for the first ever European Championship in 1960, scoring 5 goals in 2 matches, but a serious injury that soon followed did not allow him to fully enjoy this brilliant career. In total, Juste Fontaine scored 21 times in 30 matches for the national team. In 2013, his services to the country were awarded the Legion of Honor, the highest distinction in France.