Saturday, June 21, 2014

21 June 1955 - A Legend In His Own Time (And Mind)

On 21 June 1955, renowned French midfielder Michel Platini was born in the tiny commune of Jœuf in northeastern France.

The three-time European Footballer of the Year and former captain of the French national team once told a reporter "I was born in football. My father was a very good football player, and as an Italian immigrant was always passionate about the game. Football is a fantastic and intelligent game which teaches us how to live together, how to share when you are better than others. Football is an extraordinary education for life."

He played his youth football with his hometown side, A.S. Jœuf, from 1966 to 1972, when he signed a senior contract with nearby A.S. Nancy. He won the first major trophy of his career with Nancy, defeating Nice in the 1978 Coupe de France Final. He also started to earn individual recognition, being named France Football Magazine's French Football Player of the Year in 1976 and 1977. He played for Nancy until 1979, then moved to Saint-Étienne, where he helped win the Ligue 1 title in 1981.

In 1982, Platini transferred to Juventus, where he would become one of the world's most distinguished footballers. When being introduced in Turin, the rarely-humble Platini told the crowd "I began by playing for the biggest club in the Lorraine region, went on to the biggest club in France and ended up with the biggest in the world." During his time with Juventus, he earned a string of individual and club honors, including two Serie A titles (1984, 1986), the European Cup Winners Cup (1984), and the European Cup (1985). He also led France to the 1984 European Championship trophy. Individually, he was named European Footballer of the Year in 1983, 1984, and 1985.

Platini retired from playing in 1987 and spent four years as manager of the French national team from 1988-92. He is currently president of UEFA.

2 comments:

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