Tuesday, August 18, 2015

18 August 1933 - Just The Best

On 18 August 1933, French striker Just Fontaine was born in Marrakech, French Morocco. He is best remembered for his record-setting performance at the 1958 World Cup when he scored 13 goals - the most goals scored by an individual at a single World Cup.

Fontaine started his professional career with USM Casablanca, but moved to France in 1953 to play for Nice. After three seasons, in which he scored 44 goals for Nice, he moved to Stade de Reims, where he won the 1958 and 1960 Ligue 1 titles.

Before moving to Reims, Fontaine had been capped only once for France, in 1953 (though he scored a hat-trick in that debut). After one more cap each in 1956 and 1957, he had his annus miribilis in 1958 - scoring 18 goals in 12 appearances for the French national team, including 13 in that year's World Cup. He scored four of those in the third-place match, as France defeated West Germany, 6-3. Despite the fact that he played in only one World Cup, those 13 goals tie him for the fourth most goals in World Cup competitions, with the three players ahead of him (Ronaldo, Gerd Müller, and Miroslav Klose) playing in multiple tournaments.

He last played for France in 1960, and remained with Stade de Reims until 1962, when injuries forced his early retirement.

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