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44 Very Interesting Facts About Michael Platini – Former French Footballer

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Platini is considered as one of the greatest player of all time. He is quick, versatile and intelligent offensive midfield player known for his penalty kick and free kicks. Here are 44 interesting facts about him:

Michel Platini
(Photo : liewig christian/Corbis via Getty Images) Michel Platini
  1. Platini is regarded as one of the greatest footballer of all time and was elected as the president of Union of European Football Association (UEFA) in 2007.
  2. He was born on June 21, 1955 in Joeuf, France to Aldo and Anna Platini. He has an older sister Martine. They are of Italian ancestry.
  3. He started his career as a junior with AS Joeuf in 1966 and attracted attention during the Coupe Gambardella tournament, a tournament for French U-19s football clubs. He was 16 years of age then.
  4. In the trials at FC Metz, he was diagnosed to have breathing difficulties and weak heart. He then joined his father’s club Nancy in September 1972 in the reserve team.
  5. In a match against Wittelsheim he scored a hat-trick for the reserve team of Nance made his claim for a place in the first eleven.
    Young French soccer player Michel Platini.
    (Photo : Universal/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images) Young French soccer player Michel Platini.
  6. He made his league debut against Nimes on May 03, 1973, but not before spending some anxious days in the substitute bench. He injured his ankle while playing for the reserve side and he was the target of objects thrown by crowd.
  7. He made his debut for the national team playing for the French amateur side on September 26, 1973.
  8. Platini missed of the 1974 season due a double fracture on his left arm sustained during a match against OGC Nice. This injury affected his teams and they were relegated from Ligue 1.
  9. In the 1975 season Platini helped his club Nancy’s promotion to French first division with ease. He scored 17 goals, mainly with free kicks.
  10. He became a free kick specialist and scored many of his goals with free kicks. He practiced this art with the help of his friend Jean-Michel Moutier and some dummies as defensive wall.
    French soccer player Michel Platini.
    (Photo : Universal/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images) French soccer player Michel Platini.
  11. His 1975 season was marred by injury and military service which made his availability to his club limited. He was injured for the second time in the season in a 1-4 loss to Marseille in the French Cup semi-final.
  12. In the summer of 1975, he was drafted into military service and assigned Joinville battalion as were all talented French sports persons. He represented French under-23s in 1976.
  13. His performance against full international Romanian side in the Olympic qualifying matches prompted national coach Michel Hidalgo to field him in the friendly against Czechoslovakia on March 27, 1976. He scored his first goal in a 2-2 draw.
  14. He represented France in the 1976 Montreal Olympics and was instrumental in his team reaching the quarter final stage. He scored 3 goals out of 9 goals scored by France in the tournament.
  15. After signing two years professional contract with Nancy, he won his major sporting trophy of his career leading his club to victory in the 1978 French Cup. He scored the only goal of the match and received the trophy from the President Valery Giscard d’Estaing.
    European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker (R) and the UEFA President Michel Platini (L) pose for the photographers during their meeting at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 10 September 2015.
    (Photo : Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker (R) and the UEFA President Michel Platini (L) pose for the photographers during their meeting at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 10 September 2015.
  16. His 30 yard strike in the role of playmaker against Bulgaria on November 16, 1977 secured France qualification for the 1978 World Cup. France beat Bulgaria 3-1. His performance that year earned him third spot in the voting for the 1977 European Footballer of the Year.
  17. On February 08, 1978 in a friendly against Italy in Naples his excellent form attracted number of clubs across Europe.
  18. His friendly matches in Italy drew the attention of Italian coach to devise a tactics of containing him in the 1978 World Cup match. Italy won the World Cup match 2-1. France was clubbed in the tough group along with Argentina apart from Italy.
  19. Platini was held responsible for French teams performance in the 1978 World Cup, where they were eliminated in the first round. This was attributed to lack of preparation for the World Cup after the national league. He was jeered in the following season.
  20. He is known for his sense of humor in spite of his injuries and jeers that would greet him. He would set off fire crackers and pretend to be dead or would squeeze tubes of toothpaste in to his teammate bed.

  21. His stint with Saint Etienne from 1979 to 1982 experienced mixed success and well short of expectation. They were eliminated in the quarterfinal of 1979-80 UEFA Cup, losing to Borussia Monchengladbach by 1-6. In the following season they were again eliminated in the quarterfinal to the eventual champion Ipswich Town 2-7.
  22. His two goals against Paris SG in the final of 1982 French Cup helped his club to restore parity before losing in the penalty shoot out. This was his last match for A.S Saint-Etienne.
  23. Although Platini was without a contract, he was signed up by Juventus FC for a nominal fee as per French regulation at the time.
  24. His first season with Juventus was difficult to adjust as he was the target of demanding Italian sport media. He helped his club to win the Italian Cup in his first season scoring two goals in the final against Verona. In the same season he was the second highest goals scorer in the European Cup with Juventus reaching the final.
  25. He led France in to qualifying for the 1982 World Cup finals in Spain with a win against Netherland 2-0. He scored a goal with his trademark free-kick. France reached semifinal before losing to West Germany 4-5 in penalty shootout.
    The Wedding Of Michel Platini With Christelle Bogoni
    (Photo : JARNOUX Patrick/Paris Match via Getty Images) The Wedding Of Michel Platini With Christelle Bogoni
  26. In the 1983-84 Serie-A season, he was the top scorer with 20 goals in 30 matches. Juventus won the championship with a match to spare. He was the top scorer in the following season too.
  27. He was part of the Juventus which won its 1984 European Cup Winners Cup and the European Super Cup.
  28. He led France to title in the UEFA Euro 1984 Championship defeating Spain 2-0 in the final. He was the top goal scorer with nine goals in five matches. It was France’s major International title.
  29. In the 1985 European Cup he was the joined top scorer including a winning goal in the finals against Liverpool. His hour of triumph was over shadowed by the death of 39 spectators in the Heysel Stadium disaster.
  30. Platini won the European Footballer of the Year 1983 with 110 points way ahead of second placed Kenny Dalglish with 26 points. He was again voted in 1984 and 1985 to record a hat-trick of title.
  31. He was voted player of the year by the World Soccer Magazine in 1984 and 1985. He pooled 54% of the vote in 1984 to record second highest number of vote in the history after Lionel Messi’s 60.2%.
    Portrait of French football player Michel Platini circa 1970.
    (Photo : Keystone-France/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images) Portrait of French football player Michel Platini circa 1970.
  32. Platini was instrumental in France reaching semi-finals of 1986 World Cup in Mexico with a goal each in pre-quarterfinal and quarterfinals. His equalizer against Brazil taking the game to penalty shootout was the last international goal. He missed his penalty kick.
  33. He made his final international appearance for France against Iceland in the 1988 European Championship qualifier. France failed to qualify for the 1988 Championship.
  34. He retired from football at the age of 32 in June 1987, after his match against Brescia in the Serie- A. He had scored 312 goals in 580 career club matches and 41 goals in the International appearance for France.
  35. He returned from retirement to represent Kuwait on November 27, 1988. He was requested by the Kuwaiti Emir and played for 21 minutes in 2-0 loss to Soviet in a friendly international match. He achieved a rare feat of appearing for two countries in a international matches.
  36. On November 01, 1988 he was appointed as the manger of French National side replacing Henri Michel after a draw with Cyprus 1-1. France failed to qualify for the 1990 World Cup.

  37. He marshaled his team in to qualifying for the 1992 European Championship with impressive record of winning all its eight group matches.
  38. He was named coach of the Year 1992 by the World Soccer Awards with record 19 match unbeaten run. He stepped down as the coach after string of losses in the warm-up matches and followed by first round exit in the European Championship.
  39. He served on the UEFA Technical Development Committee from 1988 to 1990. He was also the European member of the FIFA Executive Committee since 2002. In 2006 he became the chairman of the FIFA Technical and Development Committee.
  40. On July 2006, he confirmed his run for UEFA presidency. He defeated Lennart Johansson by 27 to 23 votes on January 26, 2007. Johansson held the post for 16 years.
  41. He was against transfer of under-18 players, which he considers as illegal a form of child trafficking. He also backed six home grown player to five foreign players in the top flight teams. He wanted reduce number of Italian, Spanish and English club team from four to three in the UEFA Championships.
    French soccer national team player Michel Platini (C) kicks the ball in spite of two Russian defenders, on October 08, 1977,at Paris, during the friendly match France vs. URSS.
    (Photo : AFP/Getty Images) French soccer national team player Michel Platini (C) kicks the ball in spite of two Russian defenders, on October 08, 1977,at Paris, during the friendly match France vs. URSS.
  42. Following the announcement of Sepp Blatter’s resignation, Platini made his intention of running for the post of FIFA President in 2016 special election. On January 07, 2016 he withdrew his candidature saying the timing was not good for me.
  43. Following the ongoing corruption case, Platini along with Blatter were placed under formal investigation by FIFA Independent ethics committee in September 2015.
  44. On October 08, 2015 he was provisionally suspended for 90 days before being barred from the sport for eight years after being found guilty on December 21, 2015.

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