Michel Platini

     Michel Platini, grandson of an Italian immigrant, was born at Joeuf in 1955 and began with Nancy, where his father was coach. He played in the 1976 Olympics and that year made his full international debut, against Czechoslovakia. In 1979 after scoring 98 goals in seven years with Nancy, Platini moved to AS St. Etienne.

     In 1982, Juventus paid 1.200.000 for him and his goals helped win three Italian titles in four years as well as European honours. He skippered France to the 1984 European Championship, his nine goals including two hat-tricks, taking him past Fontaine's overall French record. In 1985 he won his third European Footballer Of The Year award and converted the penalty which beat Liverpool in the ill-fated European Cup final.

     Platini played in three World Cups from 1978. In 1982 he helped France to fourth place and in 1986 they finished third and Platini at last showed his true class. In August 1987 he played for The Rest Of The World against the Football League at Wembley and then retired, after 72 caps and 41 goals, to concentrate on his vast business empire. However after France failed to qualify for the 1990 World Cup, Platini took over as team manager. It was his first coaching job in football.

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