Just Fontaine (89), the man of 13 goals at one World Cup, died

Just Fontaine (89), the man of 13 goals at one World Cup, died

NOS Soccer

Just Fontaine (89), the man of 13 goals at one World Cup, died

Just Fontaine died on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday at the age of 89. The former soccer player is most famous for the thirteen goals he scored at the 1958 World Cup, still a record.

At the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, France finished third, thanks largely to Fontaine’s unprecedented scoring drive. It would remain the striker’s only World Cup. In 1962, at the age of 28, he had to quit because of a double leg fracture.

Just Fontaine in 2014

On the list of all-time World Cup top scorers, Fontaine shares fourth place with Lionel Messi. German Miroslav Klose (16 goals), Brazilian Ronaldo (15) and former West Germany’s Gerd Müller (14), who died in 2021, scored even more goals, but they needed several World Cups to do so.

In 21 international games, Fontaine accounted for the incredible thirty goals. He was also considered a goal scoring machine in the French league, scoring 164 goals in 200 games.

Coach’s career

Fontaine, son of a Spanish mother and a French father began his career in his native Morocco with USM Casablanca. In France, he played at Nice and Stade Reims, one of the most successful clubs in Europe in the 1950s and 1960s.

With Nice, Fontaine grabbed one national title and with Stade Reims he added three championships. In 1959 he lost the final of the Europa Cup I to Real Madrid with Reims. With ten goals he did become top scorer of the tournament.

Five years after injuries forced him to quit, Fontaine briefly served as France’s national coach. He also trained the clubs Luchon, Paris Saint-Germain and Toulouse.

He led current top club PSG to promotion to the highest level in France 50 years ago, but otherwise Fontaine was not very successful as a coach. From 1979 to 1981 he was national coach of Morocco, his last official position in soccer.

Fontaine in 2013 with the Golden Shoe as top scorer of the 1958 World Cup

After that, Fontaine lived a life away from publicity. If he appeared sporadically in the media, he was often asked if his record of thirteen hits at a World Cup would ever be broken.


To that, Fontain once replied with a big smile as follows, “We are living in the year 4000 AD. Archaeologists are digging up a mummy that is still moving. The man inside is still alive, unbelievable.”

“When the mummy is freed, the first thing he asks is, ‘Has Just Fontaine’s World Cup record been broken yet?’ The archaeologists answer, ‘No, still not’.”

Kayleigh Williams