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Football: Just Fontaine, a legend in numbers


FIG DATA - The French striker, record holder for the number of goals scored in a single World Cup (13 in 1958), died on Wednesday at the age of 89. Leaving behind him a shower of unparalleled exploits.

French football is in mourning.

Just Fontaine, one of its most eminent representatives, died this Wednesday, at the age of 89, in Toulouse where he resided.

A brilliant attacker with formidable efficiency in front of goal, he symbolized the first great generation of the tricolor football.

In Reims, he reached the final of the European Cup of champion clubs in 1959 - defeat as in 1956 against Real Madrid.

With the Blues, the same year, Just Fontaine finished third in the World Cup, only beaten by Pelé's Brazil in the semi-finals.

Above all, he scored thirteen goals in the final phase.

A record, among many others, which still stands.

13 goals at the 1958 World Cup

A hat-trick against Paraguay, a double against Yugoslavia and a goal against Scotland to get out of the group stage.

Then two achievements against Northern Ireland to take the Blues to the semi-finals.

And a single goal that will not be enough to counter Brazil.

Finally, a quadruple in the form of a masterpiece against West Germany offering the podium to an extraordinary French team.

That of Raymond Kopa, "Ballon d'Or" that year, and Roger Piantoni, trained by Albert Batteux.

Such is the incredible record of Just Fontaine at the Swedish World Cup in 1958.

Read alsoJust Fontaine, thirteen goals for eternity

A feat never equaled.

Only the German Gerd Müller came close in 1970 by scoring ten goals.

On the tricolor side, Kylian Mbappé, with his eight achievements in Qatar in 2022, flirted, but from afar, with his glorious elder.

The distribution of his goals says well the complete player that was Fontaine: nine with the right foot, three with the left foot and even one with the head!

2.17 goals per game in the World Cup

Despite only one participation and six small meetings at the World Cup, the native of Marrakech (Morocco) is still among the most prolific attackers in history in this competition.

For example, Leo Messi had to play 26 games to score as many goals as "our" national Just Fontaine.

Pelé, he never reached this figure, stuck at twelve.

Considering only the ratio between the number of games played and the number of goals scored, the former Stade de Reims player is only beaten by the Hungarian Sándor Kocsis.

On the other hand, he greatly surpasses all the other legends of the round ball such as the Brazilian Ronaldo.

1.43 goals per game in the French national team

Same principle with the blue jersey.

If Just Fontaine still remains in the Top 10 of the best tricolor scorers thanks to his 30 achievements, he nevertheless only has 21 selections on the clock.

The leader of this ranking, Olivier Giroud, needed 70 games to join the star striker of the 1950s. Of course, football has evolved a lot, but that says a lot about the sense of goal of someone who also went through the 'OGC Nice.

Read alsoJust Fontaine, a legend of French football in 10 shots

Thus, his average of 1.43 goals per game with the Blues will surely never be equaled.

Kylian Mbappé, yet very prolific in selection, is at 0.55, or just over one goal every two games.

Michel Platini and Jean-Pierre Papin therefore remain the two closest players.

164 goals in 200 Division 1 games

The talent of Just Fontaine was not confined to the only selection.

In club, in Nice then at the Stade de Reims, he scored 164 goals in 200 games.

A ratio that places him on the podium of the most effective post-war attackers, along with the Croatian Josip Skoblar and the Swedish giant of Paris Saint-Germain Zlatan Ibrahimović.

And allowed him to win four championships and two French Cups.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2023-03-01

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