Search icon


01st Mar 2023

French football mourns as legendary World Cup star Just Fontaine dies

Charlie Herbert

He holds the record for the most goals in a single World Cup

Legendary France footballer Just Fontaine has passed away at the age of 89.

Tributes have poured in from across the world of French football for the striker, who is best known for scoring the most goals in a single World Cup after he netted 13 times in just six matches in the 1958 tournament in Sweden.

Having been born in Morocco, he started his career at USM Casablanca before going on to enjoy prolific spells with Nice – where he scored 42 goals in 69 appearances for the club – and Reims, netting 122 times in 131 games.

He represented France at international level, scoring a remarkable 30 goals in just 21 games for the national side.

His playing career ended up being cut short by injuries, and Fontaine retired from the game at the age of just 28.

But he went on to manage in the game, having stints in charge of Les Bleus, Luchon, PSG, Toulouse and Morocco.

French football magazine l’Équipe paid tribute to Fontaine, describing him as a “legend of French football.”

PSG said that a “giant of French football has left us,” and described it as a “sad day” for the club.


Despite his relatively short playing career, Fontaine left a huge legacy.

In 2004, Pele named him as one of the 125 greatest living footballers, and in 2003 he was selected as France’s best player of the last 50 years by the French Football Federation.

With his 13 goals in 1958 – a tournament that France exited at the semi-final stage – Fontaine is fourth in the list of all-time World Cup goalscorers, level with Lionel Messi.

He was awarded a special Platinum Boot in 2014 for his record-breaking feat.

Related links: