Just Fontaine Biography

Wed 24 November 2021 | 10:00

He is one of the best strikers in the history of French football and the only player in the world to score 13 goals in a single World Cup tournament. In this article, we will take a look at Just Fontaine biography.

Just Fontaine, born 18 August 1933 in Marrakech, Morocco, is a French retired footballer and coach. Fontaine played as a striker and is considered one of the best forwards in French football history. Pelé selected him as one of the 125 greatest footballers of all time in the world in the FIFA 100 list.

Fontaine started his career in 1950 in his native country with USM Casablanca. He was then signed by the French club OGC Nice in 1953, where he managed to score 44 goals in his first three seasons. Fontaine joined Stade de Reims in 1956 to replace Raymond Kopa. During his six seasons at Reims, he scored 121 goals. Altogether, he scored 165 goals in 200 matches in the French league and went on to win two league titles with Reims in 1958 and 1960.

Nevertheless, Fontaine is most widely remembered for his contribution to the French national team. He scored a hat-trick in his international debut on 17 December 1953 against Luxembourg. Fontaine became a legend at the 1958 World Cup, where France finished in third place, when he scored 13 goals in his six matches, still the record for a single player in a single World Cup. He played a total of 21 international matches and scored 30 goals.

All You Need to Know About Just Fontaine Biography

In 1962, Fontaine had to end his playing career due to injury. He tried his hand at coaching the French national team in 1967 but was sacked after losing two friendly matches. Following this unsuccessful spell with the

France national team

, he managed other teams including the

Paris Saint-Germain

, Toulouse and the Morocco national team until 1981.

Just Fontaine Information

Now that we know the French coach much better, in this section of

Just Fontaine biography

we will share more general information about him such as

Just Fontaine nationality

to let you know him even better.

Just Fontaine Bio

  • Full Name: Just Louis Fontaine

  • Nickname: Justo

  • Profession: Professional Football Coach

Just Fontaine Physical Stats

  • Weight: 70 Kg

  • Height: 1.74 m

  • Eye Color: Brown

  • Hair Color: Grey

Just Fontaine Football Information

  • Position: Striker

  • Jersey Number: 8

  • Professional Debut: 1950

Just Fontaine Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 18 August 1933

  • Birth Place: Marrakech, French Morocco

  • Zodiac Sign: Leo

  • Nationality: French

Now stay tuned to this section of

Just Fontaine biography

as we want to share some info about

Just Fontaine childhood


Just Fontaine Early Life

Born in Marrakech in the Atlas region to a father from Normandy and a mother from Spain, he started his professional career with US Marocaine de Casablanca. For three years, he demonstrated his talents as a striker and scored 62 goals in 48 games. Such performances caught the eye of

OGC Nice

who was quick to bring him to France.

OGC Nice

On the Cote d'Azur, Fontaine was crowned French Cup winner in 1954 and league champion in 1956 and established himself as one of the best players in France. During his three seasons with the OGC Nice club, Fontaine played a total of 83 matches and scored 51 goals.

Now stay tuned to this section of Just Fontaine biography as we want to share some info about his

Stade de Reims


Stade de Reims

He subsequently joined the leading club of the time, Stade de Reims, to make up for the departure of Raymond Kopa to

Real Madrid

. The gamble paid off, as Fontaine experienced his finest hours in the Reims shirt, where he won everything on the national stage.

In 1958 he clinched the league and cup double, finishing as the league's top scorer with 34 goals in 26 games. In 1960, he won the league again and in 1959, he participated in the final of the European Cup, which he lost to Real Madrid (2 goals to 0). All in all, he scored 122 goals in six seasons, including a season spent treating a serious leg injury.

His last title with the French club came in 1962. The instinctive player scored 164 goals in 200 first division matches (an average of 0.825 goals per game) and was twice the top scorer in the league in 1958 and 1960 (and twice second in 1957 and 1959).

French National Team

In the blue shirt, his statistics are even more impressive. For example, on his first international appearance on 17 December 1953, he scored three goals against


in an 8-0 victory. He scored 30 goals in just 21 appearances (1.43 goals per game) until 1960, which culminated in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, where he finished as top scorer with 13 goals in just six matches, not including penalties, a historic and still unrivalled record.

While he was originally supposed to be on the substitutes' bench, Fontaine made the most of the injuries to Ciswoski and Bliard to become a starter and make his mark on the competition. Fontaine's form was impressive, despite the fact that he damaged his shoes in training and had to borrow Stephane Bruey's boots for the rest of the tournament.

In the first match, Fontaine scored a hat-trick against Paraguay (7 goals to 3), followed by a double in the defeat of Yugoslavia (2 goals to 3) and one of the two goals in the final group stage victory over


(2 goals to 1, the other being a Kopa goal). He scored another double against Northern Ireland in the quarter-finals (4 goals to 0). The Frenchman then became the first player in the 1998

World Cup

to beat the Seleção goalkeeper, Gilmar, in the semi-final.

However, with captain Robert Jonquet out injured, France lost 5-2 to the Brazilian stars, despite another goal from Roger Piantoni. In the match for third place, Mr Fontaine managed to score four goals against the Germans, while Kopa and Douis rounded off the scoring with a 6-3 win that will be remembered in the history books.

France finished with style in a competition they had started on the edge of their boots... His remarkable partnership with Raymond Kopa was of great benefit to Just Fontaine: he made history and will never forget it.

He was a prolific player, but one who was altruistic and clear-minded, who was not obsessed with finishing as top scorer, and who knew what he owed to his team-mates, who carried him high at the end of the competition: "It was only at that moment that I realised my performance. But thirty seconds after this mini-tour of honour, everything was forgotten. I would rather remember our third place than my first."

It was Fontaine's fantastic performances in Sweden that earned him third place in the 1958 Ballon d'Or, behind Helmut Rahn and team-mate Raymond Kopa. Fontaine scored his 29th and 30th international goals two years later against Chile in Paris, his final goals for France.

Meanwhile, he was badly injured when Sekou Touré of Sochaux made a late tackle at the Stade Bonal on Sunday 20 March 1960 in a league match against Sochaux and broke both his tibia and fibula. He returned to the forefront of the game through courage and hard work, however, on 1 January 1961, his leg fractured again in the same place during his comeback match against Limoges in a collision with Henri Kowal of Limoges.

The broken leg was reduced after a bone graft and Fontaine was given assurances that he would be able to play again. Nevertheless, after a few games at the end of the 1961-1962 season, he was forced to give up his career. At the age of 27, Fontaine's career officially came to an end on 5 July 1962 during a tour of South America and Guadeloupe with Stade de Reims.

Now stay tuned to this section of

Just Fontaine biography

as we want to share some info about his coaching career.

Just Fontaine Profile

After retiring from football, he started a coaching career and took charge of the French national team. While the player Just Fontaine is well remembered, the coach has been somewhat forgotten. And for good reason: his career as France coach was extremely short.

Coaching France National Team

He had one of the shortest careers in the history of French national team coaches. Fontaine only managed two official matches for the Tricolores, one against


and the other against the USSR in 1967. There were also two unofficial matches against a Corsican team and the German club Hannover.

He then took charge of Paris Saint-Germain, with whom he reached the French top flight in 1974, Toulouse FC and then the Moroccan national team between 1979 and 1981, before retiring from the game for good. Despite this, he still holds an eternal place among the legends of the World Cup thanks to a record that he himself described as a "grandiose gag".

The French team was managed by a duo of coaches, Jean Snella and José Arribas, since the end of the 1966 World Cup, where they were knocked out in the group stage. It was a temporary solution until the committee in charge of the national team was able to find a single full-time coach. That person was appointed in January 1967 and he was Just Fontaine.

The top scorer at the 1958 World Cup was only 34 years old, although his playing career had been cut short by injury four and a half years earlier. He may have acquired a coaching diploma, but he has never coached a team before. There was some thought of bringing in Albert Batteux to assist him, but in the end, Henri Biancheri was appointed as his assistant, even though he was only slightly older than Fontaine (35) and had no more experience on the bench.

The enthusiasm of Just Fontaine and his still very recent international experience was expected to boost a struggling France team. Fond of attacking play, the former centre-forward's system of play was the 4-2-4 of the Hungarians and then the Brazilians of the 1950s, with a zone defence that made use of offside.

Fontaine made the decision to cut all players who did not fit into his game plan. He had high hopes for central defenders Jean-Claude Piumi and Louis Provelli from US Valenciennes. He placed the two wing-backs from Stade Rennais, Jean-Claude Lavaud and Louis Cardiet, on the flanks. Meanwhile, his attacking department had a strong backbone from Nantes (Jacky Simon, Bernard Blanchet, Philippe Gondet...), which he rounded out with newcomers like Jean-Pierre Dogliani and Charly Loubet.

They played their first match on 29 February 1967 in


against a Corsican team. The island team, led by Paul Sinibaldi, won against all odds (2-0). While the French defence was completely disrupted, it remained unchanged for the friendly match against Romania at the Parc des Princes on 22 March 1967.

The team conceded a goal after the first fifteen minutes and lost Louis Provelli in the 20th minute, who was substituted by Robert Budzynski. There was little change in the attacking area, which was hardly more effective, and the French team consequently suffered a 2-1 defeat.

The turning point

The French team welcomed the Soviet Union to the Parc des Princes on 3 June 1967. Fontaine was the only one to stick to his decision to play the French team in a 4-2-4 formation with a zone defence. Since the FC Nantes players were the best at this system, six Canaries (the goalkeeper, two defenders, an attacking midfielder and two strikers) entered the field against the Soviets.

There seemed to be a success at last when the Tricolores led 2-1 at half-time after Gondet and Simon, both from Nantes, who overcame Lev Yashin. However, the house of cards collapsed in the second half and the Soviets won 4-2, proving too much for the Federation, who then decided to sack Justo and bring Louis Dugauguez to initiate a complete change of direction.

Two home games, two defeats, Just Fontaine's record is beyond doubt, especially as the play was mediocre despite the team composition, which was based on the addition of several players from the same club. His two additional matches (against the Corsican national team in Marseille and then against Hannover in Rouen) were also disappointing, with the draw (3-3) against the German club eventually being Fontaine's best result.

Later coaching career

Just Fontaine was to guide the fortunes of the still very young Paris Saint-Germain, first as sports director, then as a coach with Robert Vicot and finally without Robert Vicot. The Paris club was promoted to the first division. Justo then coached second division side US Toulouse (1978-1979), which became TFC, and then the Moroccan national team (1979-1981), with whom he had more success than with Les Bleus. Henri Biancheri was called up by AS Monaco, where he was sports director for many years.

Now stay tuned to this section of Just Fontaine biography as we want to share some info about his playing style.

Style of Play

During his prime days, Just Fontaine was probably the best striker in French football. With his rather small stature, Fontaine was a very quick and technically gifted player who was able to score many goals both on the club and international level. The French striker was impressive in his ability to score in any position, with both feet and even with his head, because of his extraordinary sense of positioning, inherited from the art of basketball jumping.


The name of Frenchman Just Fontaine comes up every four years on the occasion of the World Cup: when he scored 13 goals in the 1958 edition, he established a record that is not about to fall. With his career over at the age of 27, the French striker passed through the French national team like a hurricane. But today his mark still shines. According to many pundits, he will always be remembered as one of the best strikers in the history of French football.

Just Fontaine outside Football

Just Fontaine was not due to play in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden: after undergoing meniscus surgery in 1957, he was pushed out of the squad by René Bliart. However, before leaving for Sweden, Bliart suffered a sprained ankle. Fontaine was called up and the rest is history.

He is the founder of Justo Sport shops and during the 2006 World Cup launched his own blog. Fontaine also owns 2 Lacoste shops in Toulouse and Portet sur Garonne.

With Eugène N'Jo Léa and a lawyer named Maître Jacques Bertrand, they founded the Union nationale des footballeurs professionnels on 16 November 1961.

Just Fontaine Personal Life

In this section of Just Fontaine biography, we will take a deeper look into his personal life and share some information about things like

Just Fontaine life story


Just Fontaine religion

, stay tuned.

Family, Children and Relationships

Just Fontaine has been married to his wife Arlette for more than 60 years and the couple have two children together. In an interview, Fontaine described how he met his wife as follows:

“It was in Toulouse near the end of 1959. It was snowing. I went to warm up on a small field at the Stadium at about 1 p.m. And there I saw two pretty women, one of them a beautiful blonde, who had embraced Jean Wending, the international. I had spotted the green-eyed blonde from the back and I quickly saw that the place was worth the reverse! She looked like Grace Kelly. I can say it was love at first sight. Sometime later, on 17 October 1961 to be exact, we got married in Reims in a castle. The king of strikers had found his princess.”


Following his playing career, Just Fontaine has always been involved in many charity projects and as a renowned footballer, contributed to many charitable causes, especially in France.

Legal Issues

At the time of writing this article, there are no reports of any legal issues or disputes either in the French or English media regarding Just Fontaine.

Just Fontaine Career Statistics

In this section of Just Fontaine biography, we will take a look at his career stats on the international and club level.


During his rather short 12-year career, Just Fontaine played a total of 284 matches for three different clubs, scoring 256 goals. He has spent the biggest part of his career playing for Stade de Reims.


On the international level, Just Fontaine played a total of 21 matches for his country France and was able to score an incredible number of 30 goals, with 13 of them coming in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden.

Just Fontaine Honors

He has won many trophies during his career, including the


Championship – Cadets with AS Marrakech; Botola Pro1, Moroccan Super Cup, Season Opening Cup, ULNAF Champions League and ULNAF Winners Cup with the USM of Casablanca; Ligue 1, French Cup and Champions Trophy with OGC Nice and Ligue 1, French Cup and Champions Trophy and UEFA

Champions League

with the Stade de Reims.

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source: SportMob

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