World Cup 2014 - 13 days to go: Just Fontaine

30 May 2014 08:48

In 1958 an inexperienced French striker who wasn't even wearing his own boots set a goalscoring record that we are unlikely to see broken anytime soon when he scored 13 goals in one World Cup.

Like a number of France’s greatest players Fontaine was not born in France and instead was born to a Spanish mother in Marrakech which was then part of French Morocco. He started his career at USM Casablanca before moving to Nice and then Reims. Fontaine was a squat, powerful natural finisher, able to strike with both feet and similar in style to another great striker, Gerd Muller.

Fontaine’s incredible goal-rush started with a hat-trick in a 7-3 win over Paraguay and was followed by 2 against Yugoslavia and then a further goal against Scotland making 6 (Generally the number that will bag you the golden boot at a World Cup). In the Quarter-final he netted another 2 against Northern Ireland and then 1 more in defeat against Brazil in the semi-finals making it 9. Incredibly he then scored 4 in the third place match against defending champions West Germany which they won with a 6-3 scoreline and raised the 9 (1 more than Ronaldo managed in 2002) into an incredible 13.

Fontaine has rebuffed any suggestion that goals were easier to come by in his time suggesting that if anything it was more difficult as strikers are offered greater protection in the modern era and the backroom staff were much more amateurish.

Due to a recurring injury Fontaine was forced to retire early and his record for France finished with 30 goals in just 22 appearances, a strike rate of 1.43 goals per game. Fontaine went on to manage several teams including the national squad and is now retired in Toulouse.

Fontaine had no presentation for this goalscoring feet and no honour was bestowed on the Frenchman until Gary Lineker presented him with a Golden Boot some forty years later as part of a television programme.

Source: DSG