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Michel Platini in “Le Monde”, a legend of the round ball transferred to the justice section

Lhe life of Michel Platini took a disconcerting trajectory, like the free kicks brushed by the football player, the ball curving against the laws of physics to come and land in the skylight of the goal. By one of these improbable effects, the legend of the France team of the 1980s, the number ten who had largely contributed to remaking France a nation that counts in its sport, finds himself today before Swiss justice for “suspected fraud”.

The criminal court before which he appeared until June 22 was to examine the legality of a payment by the International Football Federation (FIFA), at the request of its then president, Sepp Blatter, of the sum of two million Swiss francs, officially for work whose veracity is disputed by the prosecutor. Verdict expected on July 8.

In ” The world “, Michel Platini thus suffered a false rebound from the sports section to that of justice. With a certain irony, it was already a question of money when his name appeared for the first time in this newspaper, on December 5, 1975. Gérard Albouy reported on a meeting of the French Olympic team, qualifying for the Games of Montreal, against communist Romania. It was largely a question of brown amateurism, of the illusion of sport for the sole beauty of sport that the Olympic movement still maintained against all evidence.

20 years old, and “the insurance of the old veteran”

The French coach had been drawn from the pool of professional training centers the backbone of“a team brimming with energy and ambition like Michel Platini who played his sixth match in eighteen days and his thirty-sixth since the start of this season”. Proof that the infernal pace of football business does not date from today.

The player was still 20 years old, four months later, when he joined the real France team on March 27, 1976. Gérard Albouy seems to have been on the pitch, at least in the locker room, when he described in the March 30 edition the Nancy player’s first goal in the blue jersey: world. » No sooner said than done. With the assurance and trickery of an old veteran, Michel Platini, who had received the ball from Henri Michel on an indirect free kick awarded in the penalty area, skillfully sent it into the Czechoslovakian goal, over seven defenders assembled in a derisory wall. » Forty other goals will follow in seventy-two selections in the national team, of which the most beautiful or the most decisive will capsize the French public with happiness.

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