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Platini “The King”

soccer-legend-michel-platini
soccer-legend-michel-platini

Platini was a successful footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. With a goal scoring ability and creativity; he earned the nickname “Le Roi”, which means “The King”.

Club Career

Michel was born in Jœuf on June 21, 1955. He started his career with joining the local club AS Jœuf in 1966, at the age of 11.

While playing in a Coupe Gambardella competition for the AS Jœuf junior side, Platini drew the attention of Metz coach. They invited him to a trial at Metz, but he missed the trial due to injury.

His father, Aldo was a footballer and the director of the club AS Nancy. Since he couldn’t play for Metz, Platini decided to join Nancy’s reserve side in September 1972.

Platini, playing for the reserve team, managed to display a great performance when he scored a hat-trick against Wittelsheim.

After signing his professional contract, Platini led Nancy to the 1978 French Cup victory, scoring the only goal of the final game.

Although Platini kept suffering from injuries from the beginning of his career, he could prove his talent with 98 goals.

He then signed with Saint-Étienne in 1979, after his contract with Nancy has expired.

During the 1979 UEFA Cup 2nd round Platini contributed to the 6-0 win over PSV with a brace. However, they got knocked out of the tournament by Gladbach in the quarter finals.

The 1980-81 season went better than the previous as Platini won the Ligue 1. They also reached the final of 1980-81 French Cup and finished the tournament runners-up to Bastia.

Although they won 6-0 over Hamburg in the 3rd round, Saint-Étienne again lost in the 1980-81 UEFA Cup quarter finals.

Platini participated in the 1981-82 French Cup and reached the final which was his last game for Les Verts. The match ended 2-2 as Platini scored the both goals of his side, and Paris SG won in the penalties.

Platini joined Juventus in 1982 after scoring 58 goals during his 3-year tenure at Les Verts.

In his 1st season, Platini reached the European Cup final in which they lost to Hamburg. He became the 2nd highest goal scorer of the competition with 5 goals, wearing the number 10 jersey.

Platini also contributed to the 1982-83 Coppa Italia victory, scoring 2 goals in the 3-2 final win over Verona.

Juventus won the 1983-84 Serie-A title with the guidance of Platini, as he became the top scorer of the league. They went on winning that season’s European Cup Winners’ Cup with a 2-1 win over Porto in the final.

Platini won the 1984 European Super Cup against Liverpool. After that, he went on winning the 1984-85 European Cup over Liverpool. The success led them to the 1985 Intercontinental Cup, facing Argentinos Juniors, in which Platini became the “man of the match”.

Platini played for Juventus until 1987, winning the Serie-A one more time in 1985-86 season.

Serie-A Top Scorer Award

During his successful tenure at Juventus; he won the Serie-A Top Scorer award for 3 consecutive seasons, from 1982 to 1985. 

International Career

Platini was a key player in the France national team.

He became popular after the 1976 Summer Olympics qualifiers, especially when he starred in the 4-0 win over Romania.

After France qualified for the Summer Olympics, Platini got called up to the national team for a friendly match. He scored a goal against Czechoslovakia in the 2-2 draw on March 27, 1976.

The King reached the 1976 Summer Olympics quarter finals, scoring a brace in the 4-0 win over Guatemala. However, they lost the tournament to East Germany with a 4-0 defeat in the quarter finals.

His performance in the 3-1 victory over Bulgaria on November 16, 1977 helped France qualify for the World Cup 1978. Platini later came 3rd for the 1977 Ballon d’Or voting, after the game in which he starred as a playmaker.

The friendly match against Italy on February 8, 1978 made Platini famous in France and also Italy. In the game that ended 2-2; he scored 2 free-kicks and left the goalkeeper glued to the spot. Platini later got offers from several clubs to sign a contract since his performance made tremendous impact in both countries.

Although Platini made an effort to progress, he couldn’t save his team from getting eliminated in the 1st round.

Since the Italy coach made a good plan to keep Platini in check, they managed to beat France 2-1. After the 2-1 loss to Argentina, France got knocked out of the tournament, even though they beat Hungary.

After the World Cup, Platini became the team’s captain and had the number 10 jersey.

During the qualification for World Cup 1982, he scored a free-kick, so France beat the Netherlands 2-0.

The King then advanced to the World Cup 1982 semi-finals, facing West Germany. The match ended a 3-3 draw as Platini scored their 1st goal. However, West Germany won the game 5-4 in the penalties.

The Euro 84 Glory

Platini showed great performance becoming the top scorer of Euro 84 with 9 goals in only 5 matches. Wearing the captain’s armband, he led France to their 1st major international title.

He started his European Championship glory with scoring the only goal in their opening match against Denmark. The King then scored a hat-trick in the 5-0 win over Belgium; and another hat-trick against Yugoslavia. Doing so, he helped France top their group and advance to the semi-finals.

In the semi-finals, France faced Portugal and won the match 3-2 as Platini scored their final goal. After the 2-0 victory over Spain in the final, Platini got named the Player of the Tournament.

World Cup 1986

Platinı scored 2 important goals during the World Cup, even though he was suffering from groin pain.

His 1st goal came in the round of 16 against Italy in which they won 2-0. The 2nd was the equalizer as the game ended a 1-1 draw, and France won the game in the penalties.

However, they lost 2-0 to West Germany in the semi-finals; and won 4-2 over Belgium in the 3rd place play-off.

Retirement

After appearing in his last match for France on April 29, 1987; Platini retired from his football playing career. The King has earned 72 caps and scored 41 goals.

On November 27, 1988 Platini played in a match for Kuwait but stayed in the game only for 21 minutes. The match ended 2-0 as Soviet Union beat Kuwait.

#France,#midfielder,#number-10-jersey,#teams-captain,#The-King,#AS-Nancy,#Ligue-1,#1979-UEFA-Cup,#1980-81-French-Cup,#1981-82-French-Cup,#1982-83-Coppa-Italia,#1983-84-Serie-A,#1983-84-European-Cup-Winners-Cup,#1984-European-Super-Cup,#1984-85-European-Cup,#1985-Intercontinental-Cup,#1985-86-Serie-A,#1976-Summer-Olympics,#World-Cup-1978,#World-Cup-1982,#Euro-84,#World-Cup-1986

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