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Just Fontaine, the record goal scorer in FIFA World Cup Finals, passes away at age 89


Just Fontaine, a legendary French striker who set the record for the most goals in a single World Cup, has passed away at the age of 89.

At the 1958 tournament in Sweden, Fontaine set a record by scoring 13 goals in just six games, helping France advance to the semifinals.

Before breaking the record, Fontaine was a last-minute call-up to the French team and largely unknown outside of France.

Since then, no player has even come close to beating Fontaine’s record. The last player to reach double digits at the World Cup was the late German forward Gerd Muller, who scored 10 goals for his country in 1970. Fontaine told The Associated Press in 2006 that he did not see his record ever being surpassed.

“surpassing my benchmark? I don’t believe it will ever be possible, “said he. “Anyone wants to beat me has a huge task ahead of him, doesn’t he? Over the course of seven games, he must score twice per game.”

Between 1953 and 1960, Fontaine scored 30 goals in 21 international games for France, but a fractured leg ended his playing days at age 28 and ended his career. He led the French club Stade de Reims to the 1959 European Cup final against Real Madrid while scoring 259 goals in 283 games for the club. “A star of French football, an amazing goal scorer, a Reims icon,” the squad proclaimed.

Paris Saint-Germain, whom Fontaine led to promotion back to Ligue 1 in 1974, and who he managed between 1973 and 1976, made the announcement of Fontaine’s passing. Fontaine was referred to as a “monument of French football” by PSG.

When France was eliminated from the 1958 World Cup by Brazil and the then-17-year-old Pele in the semifinals, Fontaine went on to score four goals against West Germany for the third-place victory.

With 16 goals scored throughout four World Cups, Germany’s Miroslav Klose holds the record for most goals scored in a World Cup career. Along with Argentina’s Lionel Messi, who needed five World Cups to reach that tally, Fontaine and Messi are tied for fourth place in the all-time men’s World Cup scoring rankings with 13 goals each.

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