the former coach of the France team …


Former France team coach Michel Hidalgo died on Thursday in Marseille. He celebrated his 87th birthday last Sunday.

According to those around him, his death was not linked to the coronavirus, but to a disease which had weakened him greatly in recent years.

With his disappearance turns one of the most beautiful pages of French football. He will remain the coach of the European champion team in 1984, the first major trophy in French football, and of “Seville 82”, this epic World Cup semi-final lost on penalties against Germany. At the head of a golden generation, Michel Hidalgo had built a team turned towards creation and the beautiful game leaning on the magic square formed by Michel Platini, Alain Giresse, Jean Tigana and Bernard Genghini.

The son of a Spanish metalworker, born in Leffrinckoucke in the North, Michel Hidalgo had led a rich playing career: after two seasons in Le Havre, this lively winger had joined Reims, led by Raymond Kopa. Champion of France in 1955, he participated and scored in the first final of the European Club Cup lost 4-3 by Reims to Real Madrid.

Shortly after the end of his coaching mandate, Michel Hidalgo was appointed by Bernard Tapie general manager of Marseille (1986-1991). An experience from which he will emerge bruised and will keep a deep bitterness, after his condemnation in 1998 to eight months in prison suspended and to a fine of 50,000 francs in the trial on appeal of the accounts of the Marseille club.

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