Michel PlatiniLegendary France Footballer
- Date of Birth
- June 21, 2015
- Place of Birth
- œuf, France
- 1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)
- Playing Position
- Attacking midfielder
Michel François Platini (born 21 June 1955) is a former French football player and manager, and the president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) since 2007. Regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, he came sixth in the FIFA Player of the Century vote, and was chosen on the FIFA World Cup Dream Team. He won the Ballon d’Or three times, in 1983, 1984 and 1985, a record jointly held with Dutch internationals Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten. In 2004, Platini was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players.
During his professional football career, Platini played for the clubs Nancy, Saint-Étienne, and Juventus, and was a member of the French national team that won the 1984 European Championship, a tournament in which he was the top goalscorer and voted the best player. He also participated in the 1978, 1982 and 1986 World Cups, reaching the semi-finals in the latter two. Platini, Alain Giresse, Luis Fernández and Jean Tigana together made up the “carré magique” (French for “magic square”), the group of midfield players that formed the heart of the French team in the 1980s.
A versatile offensive midfield playmaker renowned for his control, technical ability, and vision, Platini is regarded as one of the best passers in football history, and one of the best penalty kick and free kick specialists. Despite primarily being a creative midfielder who provided assists, Platini was also a prolific goalscorer, renowned for his accurate finishing ability, winning the Serie A capocannoniere award three consecutive times between 1983-1985; he was also the top scorer of Juventus’s victorious 1984-85 European Cup campaign. Platini was the record goalscorer of the France national team until striker Thierry Henry surpassed the 41 goals mark in 2007; Platini holds the record for most goals (9) scored in European Championship final tournaments despite only appearing in the victorious 1984 edition. Due to his leadership, as well as his technical and creative attributes, he was given the nickname “Le Roi” (“The King”, in French).
Platini was named Chevalier of the Legion of Honour on 29 April 1985 and became Officier in 1988. He was the French national team coach for four years, and was the co-organizer of the 1998 World Cup in France. He has also been the chairman of the FIFA Technical and Development Committee, and vice-president of the French Football Federation.