French club Nice have suspended defender Youcef Atal after the Algeria defender allegedly posted a video on social media relating to the conflict in Israel and Gaza.

The Ligue 1 side say Atal, 27, has since deleted the post and apologised, with the Nice public prosecutor’s office and the French Football Federation set to investigate.

A statement on Nice’s website read: “As soon as he returned from Algeria national team duty, where he had been since October 9, Youcef Atal was contacted by the directors of OGC Nice for a conversation.

“OGC Nice understands that the player has acknowledged his error by quickly withdrawing the sharing of the publication and has offered a public apology in writing.

“Nevertheless, given the nature of the publication shared, and its seriousness, the club has taken the decision to take immediate disciplinary action against the player, prior to any action that may be taken by sporting and legal authorities.

“As such, the club has decided to suspend Youcef Atal until further notice.

“We would like to emphasise that OGC Nice’s reputation and unity are the result of the behaviour of all its employees, which must be in line with the values promoted by the institution.

“As OGC Nice expressed in its message last Friday, the reiterates its firm commitment to ensuring that peace prevails over all other considerations.”

Former Aston Villa winger Anwar El Ghazi was suspended by German club Mainz on Tuesday after also posting about the conflict.

Jeremie Boga’s stoppage-time goal earned Nice a 1-0 victory over Monaco in Ligue 1.

Boga fired home in the first minute of six added on in the battle of the two previously unbeaten sides, moving above their opponents at the top of the early standings before the rest of the weekend’s action.

Inaki Williams scored one and set up the other as Athletic Bilbao won 2-0 away to Alaves in LaLiga.

Williams opened the scoring in the 18th minute after being teed up by Mikel Vesga, and then turned provider for Oihan Sancet to make sure of the points 14 minutes from time.

Lecce continued their strong start to the Serie A season as they edged out the 10 men of Genoa 1-0 on Friday night.

Remi Oudin got the winning goal seven minutes from time with a left-footed strike from outside the area.

By then, Genoa had played more than half the match a man down, with Aaron Martin having collected two yellow cards inside the opening 36 minutes.

Salernitana and Frosinone shared the points from a 1-1 draw, with Simone Romagnoli scoring for Frosinone 13 minutes in before Jovane Cabral levelled for the hosts early in the second half.

Stuttgart came from behind to beat Darmstadt 3-1 as Serhou Guirassy scored a brace.

The visitors led when Dan-Axel Zagadou put through his own net 17 minutes in, but Enzo Millot levelled for the hosts five minutes later.

Guirassy then completed the turnaround before half-time, adding his second of the night in the final minute.

Paris St Germain fell to their first defeat of the season as Nice stunned the Ligue 1 champions with a 3-2 win at the Parc des Princes.

Terem Moffi scored a goal in each half for the visitors with Gaetan Laborde also on the mark as Francesco Farioli’s side raced into a 3-1 lead, after Kylian Mbappe had equalised in the first half.

Mbappe struck again three minutes from time to set up a tense finish but Luis Enrique saw his team succumb to a first loss of his tenure as Nice leapfrogged them into second place in the table, a point behind leaders Monaco.

It was the worst possible start to a run of three difficult matches that sees PSG kick off their Champions League campaign at home to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday before facing Marseille in the league next weekend.

They had been buoyed by the presence of Mbappe in the starting XI after he survived an injury scare whilst on international duty with France, but it was the striker who was at fault for Nice to take the lead in the 21st minute, giving the ball away in his own half and allowing Moffi to score with a deflected effort past Gianluigi Donnarumma on the break.

The 24-year-old made amends minutes later when Achraf Hakimi got clear down the right and cut the ball back for Mbappe to side-foot past the goalkeeper for his sixth goal in four league games and make it 1-1.

Moffi turned provider shortly after the restart as Nice regained the lead, another breakaway move seeing the striker hold the ball up well and cross for Laborde to volley home with Donnarumma stranded.

And the pair combined again as Nice went 3-1 ahead midway through the second half, Moffi playing a one-two with Laborde before making room to drill the ball into the corner despite the attentions of Milan Skriniar and Lucas Hernandez.

Mbappe set up a grandstand finish when he volleyed Randal Kolo Muani’s cross into the ground and up over the goalkeeper three minutes from the end.

But it was not enough to deny Nice a famous win at the start of Enrique’s toughest week in charge.

Luton have signed former Chelsea and Everton midfielder Ross Barkley on a free transfer.

Former England international Barkley, 29, spent last season at Ligue 1 club Nice following his departure from Chelsea by mutual consent.

Barkley – who played for England at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and also had a loan spell at Aston Villa – could make his debut for the Hatters in their opening Premier League match at Brighton on Saturday.

“Why Luton? Going from the Conference to the Premier League is a great story and for me personally to be back in the Premier League, it’s great motivation,” Barkley said on the Luton club website.

“I’m still relatively young and over the last couple of years I’ve not played as much as I’d have liked.

“But I’ve reserved a lot of energy and looked after myself, so it’s great to be here now as I’ve got a lot to show but I’m ready and feeling motivated.”

Luton manager Rob Edwards is confident Barkley can bring something different to his squad as their embark on a first Premier League campaign after winning the Sky Bet Championship play-off final.

“Ross brings loads of experience at the top level, has international experience and brings an X-factor,” Edwards said.

“He gives us something different, he has that ability to make something out of nothing and we need that in the Premier League. He’s got all the tools required to make a difference for us.

“It’s really exciting for the football club. We want the fans to be excited and they should be about Ross’ arrival.”

Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier has initiated legal proceedings after he was accused of making racist comments about players during his time as Nice boss.

The allegations, which Galtier strenuously denies, came in an email allegedly sent by former Nice football director Julien Fournier at the end of last season.

According to The Athletic, the email's recipient was Dave Brailsford, director of sport at INEOS, the company that owns Nice.

The contents of the email were first reported on Tuesday, with Galtier alleged to have told Fournier – in Fournier's words – that the club "could not have so many blacks and Muslims in the team".

Fournier and Galtier both left Nice after the end of last season. The latter's lawyer, Olivier Martin, has said the 56-year-old PSG coach "contests with the greatest firmness" the accusations made against him.

French media reported on Friday that police in Nice had launched an investigation.

Ahead of PSG's crucial Ligue 1 meeting with second-placed Lens, Galtier confirmed he was taking legal action.

In a prepared statement, Galtier told reporters: "I cannot accept my name and my family's name being tarnished in this way. I have therefore decided to take legal action against anyone damaging my reputation.

"I have confidence in the legal system in France. I have just found out that legal proceedings are beginning and I will not be making any further comments on this matter.

"PSG have a very important match tomorrow. All my energy and focus is on that game."

Galtier said he was "very shocked by the allegations that some people have irresponsibly made".

He has reportedly received threats this week since the email came to light, with PSG ensuring he has been allocated added protection.

Galtier added: "These allegations hurt me in the deepest part of my being. I grew up in the inner city and was brought up in a mixing pot, with the overwriting values of sharing and respect for others, regardless of their origin, skin colour or religion.

"My whole life as a man, footballer and coach has been underpinned by constantly looking out for, sharing life with and living happily alongside others."

Asked how the allegations had affected PSG's preparations for Saturday's clash, Galtier said: "It has been very tough, I have focused on my work with the players and staff, to prepare for a big match as well as possible.

"It is not pleasant, but the times I have had with the players, preparing for this really big game, have allowed me to forget for some periods. We have been working hard, my players are determined and committed."

Galtier disclosed he had not discussed the matter directly with his squad, but said the players "have given me the best responses by the way they have been training".

His comments came after PSG's press officer outlined the club's support of their coach.

"Christophe has clearly responded by denying them and he is going to take legal action," the press officer said. "The club supports Christophe in the face of these unacceptable threats and this matter will be dealt with legally.

"In a bid to protect the security and safety of everyone, the club asks everyone to take responsibility. PSG, the board, players and all employees have no tolerance for any form of discrimination on and off the pitch.

"The fight against racism and all forms of discrimination is a fundamental part of the club's ethos. The club has been shocked by this episode and everyone remains fully focused on Saturday's game."

Galtier has received support from some of his former players, such as Burak Yilmaz and Jose Fonte, as well as fellow coaches.

"I have received many messages, many pleasant ones, supportive ones," he said. "I have seen the public support from certain people, coaches, club officials, players, and have had many messages to my phone. These are very difficult moments.

"This is a matter away from football. When you become coach of PSG, you know that there will be a lot of pressure, comments, analysis, criticism. This is something away from sport, but that's how it is, it's what I am living through. I have to face up to it."

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Christophe Galtier has found support after being accused of making racist comments about players during his time as Nice boss.

The allegations came in an e-mail allegedly sent by former Nice football director Julien Fournier at the end of last season.

According to The Athletic, the email's recipient was Dave Brailsford, director of sport at INEOS, the company that owns Nice.

The contents of the email were first reported on Tuesday evening, with Galtier alleged to have told Fournier – in Fournier's words – that the club "could not have so many blacks and Muslims in the team".

Fournier and Galtier both left Nice after the end of last season, with Galtier cherry-picked to be coach of champions PSG.

Galtier's lawyer, Olivier Martin, said the 56-year-old PSG coach "contests with the greatest firmness" the accusations made against him. In a statement to AFP, Martin said Galtier "learned with amazement of the insulting and defamatory remarks".

Fournier allegedly also mentioned John Valovic, the agent and adopted son of Galtier, in the e-mail.

Valovic responded on Instagram, writing: "Thanks to everyone for your support. The accusations against me are false and intolerable. They will not remain without consequences."

Veteran Turkish striker Burak Yilmaz, who played under Galtier at Lille, said the claims of racism did not tally with his own experiences.

In a message posted on Instagram on Wednesday evening, Yilmaz wrote: "I read the news today and I felt like I have to say something. I worked with Galtier and never felt any negative behaviour from him about my religion or nationality.

"He is a great coach as well as a great person."

Defender Jose Fonte, who along with Yilmaz won the 2020-21 Ligue 1 title under Galtier at Lille, also stressed the claims came as a surprise.

"In three years working with Mr Galtier, he was always close to his players and above all, very respectful," Fonte wrote. "It is upsetting reading some news today. I have only good things to say about this man."

Jean-Michel Aulas, the long-standing president of Lyon, said he was "very sorry" for Galtier.

According to the Nice-Matin newspaper and other French media, security around Galtier has been tightened up since the allegations came to light.

Aulas, quoted by RMC, said: "I am very shocked and very sorry for Christophe, whom I know personally.

"I cannot imagine this kind of thing, but it's not for me to pass judgement. We see things happening in the public square that are so different from what we advocate in football.

"From the moment Christophe expresses his refusal to accept this type of information, he has every right to do so."

Nice issued a statement on Wednesday that read: “The facts related concern two people who no longer work for OGC Nice. This situation was treated with the utmost seriousness at the time of the events. The club will not comment further."

Fournier has firmly denied leaking the email, saying in a statement to Nice-Matin: "I am in no way responsible for the dissemination of this year-old internal information at the time of my departure from the club. The timing of these revelations revolts me as much as their content."

Galtier is expected to make a routine appearance at a PSG pre-match press conference on Friday, ahead of his team's top-of-the-table Ligue 1 game against Lens the following day.

Bayern Munich have reportedly fallen out of love with the idea of Tottenham striker Harry Kane and are instead prioritising Eintracht Frankfurt frontman Randal Kolo Muani.

Kolo Muani, 24, has been one of Europe's breakout forwards this season. After arriving on a free transfer ahead of the current season, he has scored a career-high 19 goals in 38 appearances.

The explosive striker was rewarded with an international call-up by France for the World Cup in Qatar, scoring his first senior goal in the semi-final against Morocco before having his potential tournament-winning strike saved by Argentina's Emiliano Martinez deep into extra-time in the final.

His rise onto the world stage has not gone unnoticed, and now Bayern view him as one of their top targets at the position.

 

TOP STORY – BAYERN NOW VALUE KOLO MUANI ABOVE KANE

According to Sky Sports Germany, Bayern are desperate to recruit a new star striker in the upcoming transfer window, but since the departure of Julian Nagelsmann "Harry Kane is no longer very popular" internally.

Another target mentioned is Napoli's Victor Osimhen, but an asking price well over €100million makes that an unrealistic proposition, while Benfica's Goncalo Ramos is also mentioned as a potential alternative.

But Kolo Muani is now supposedly at the top of the list, even though Frankfurt have informed them that they will have to fork out around €100m to pry away the talent after he recently signed an extension – with no release clause – tying him to the club until 2027.

 

ROUND-UP

– Football Insider is reporting Aston Villa have strong interest in 27-year-old Manchester City midfielder Kalvin Phillips, who would reportedly cost a club-record £45million.

– According to Foot Mercato, Paris Saint-Germain are big fans of 23-year-old Nice centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo and will make a run at him in the next transfer window.

Brighton and Hove Albion are confident 18-year-old striker Evan Ferguson will sign a new contract with the club despite interest from Manchester United and Tottenham, per the Daily Mail.

– Sport is reporting Barcelona's 19-year-old left-back Alejandro Balde is close to signing a new four-year contract that will include a £1billion release clause.

– According to Sport Bild, Arsenal and Chelsea are both investigating the price of 24-year-old Wolfsburg right-back Ridle Baku.

Christophe Galtier discussed his hostile return to Nice and hailed Paris Saint-Germain's resolve following their 2-0 victory on Saturday.

Goals from Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos ensured a return to winning ways after back-to-back losses for the Ligue 1 champions.

Defeats against Rennes and Lyon had seen the league leaders slip up in their title pursuit, marking out their trip to Galtier's old club as a must-win.

The former Nice boss was greeted with offensive banners upon his return – one of which targeted his mother to his understandable frustration.

"I went to thank them for this wonderful welcome," he told Canal+, before explaining his gesture towards the supporters.

"Why did I react like this? Did you see? Did you read? Did you hear? My mother, she's 83 years old, recovering from cancer."

On the match, Galtier added: "We obviously had a lot of pressure on our shoulders.

"[With] our underperformance, with the victory for [second-placed] Lens and especially against Nice, coming to win here was important.

"We didn't have our best game of the season, but we had a lot of solidarity and fighting spirit. We have three important points [as a result]."

Victory at Allianz Riviera saw PSG restore a six-point cushion between them and Lens, who they face next weekend in what is set to be a decisive clash in the title race.

Galtier stressed he will need his side to up their game against their rivals for the Ligue 1 crown, adding: "Next week, it will take as much fighting spirit, but we must be better on the ball.

"[We are] six points ahead. It's better to have them than to chase after them. We have an important game on Saturday."

Goals from Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos helped Paris Saint-Germain secure a much-needed 2-0 victory against Nice in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

Messi struck 26 minutes in at Allianz Riviera, before he supplied the cross from a corner for Ramos' second-half header.

Victory was a first in three games for Christophe Galtier's side after back-to-back defeats, although they were indebted to goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma as much as Messi.

Nice peppered the PSG goal either side of half-time, only to come away empty-handed against their former coach, suffering their first defeat under Didier Digard.

PSG had started the brighter, knowing a victory was required to restore a six-point cushion to second-placed Lens, and went close to an opener when Danilo Pereira's header beat Kasper Schmeichel but bounced back out off the post.

Four minutes later, Messi made the breakthrough when he finished into the roof of the net from Nuno Mendes' square pass inside the area.

Nice refused to back down, however, and Donnarumma made excellent saves to deny both Nicolas Pepe and Terem Moffi late in the first half.

That momentum continued into the second half, with Dante agonisingly close to a deserved equaliser when the ball bounced down off the crossbar and back out via the post without fully crossing the goal line.

Further Donnarumma saves followed, including another notable stop from Pepe shortly after Dante's effort, and Nice were made to pay for their profligacy when Ramos rose highest at the other end to meet Messi's corner.

Danilo then headed against his own crossbar in the closing stages, summing up Nice's rotten luck.

Christophe Galtier described Paris Saint-Germain's form as "unacceptable" as the champions look to prevent their lead atop Ligue 1 from being trimmed again.

After losing their last two games at home to Rennes and Lyon, PSG sit just six points ahead of second-place Lens, having already been knocked out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich.

Ahead of a trip to his former side Nice, who have not lost since early January, Galtier has made his feelings clear to PSG's star-studded squad.

"We have prepared well for Nice," he said at a press conference. "I spoke to my players the day after the [Lyon] game and I asked them to be more committed and show more personality.

"We also need to be more respectful of instructions during games. That relates to our setup and commitment, which were not enough."

He added: "We know we need to do more, and I mean everyone, including me. We need to do much more. We need to play better football and show more personality.

"We also need to be proud because at PSG, we need to perform well in every game, and the current situation is unacceptable... When the players are on the same page and are fully committed throughout the game, we know we can perform very well."

Having only lost four games in the whole of 2022, PSG have already been beaten eight times in 2023, leaving Galtier's future shrouded in doubt.

But the 56-year-old insists he is not feeling the pressure.

"Of course, when we lose, and that was the eighth one and it was a significant one, it is not about pressure," he said. "It is about analysing that moment and getting the analysis right so that there are no excuses.

"As to whether I feel comfortable, I do. But we need to get out of this spiral and put some wins together. We are after our 11th league title and this is what I said to the players as well. We have a six-point lead which may seem like a lot, but it can change quickly in football."

Galtier also drew a line under Kylian Mbappe's unhappy reaction to being used by the club in a promotional video for season ticket renewals without his knowledge.

"It is very difficult for me to talk about that," he said. "Kylian Mbappe has a relationship with the club and this morning he was very smiley and committed as always.

"He also has had a small hip problem, but that will not affect him playing on Saturday against Nice.

"Everyone has their own way of reacting. Kylian has been talking to the board and if we call that an incident, maybe there has been a misunderstanding, which has now been put to bed."

Paris Saint-Germain will be without Marco Verratti for Saturday's trip to Nice due to a hamstring injury.

The Italy international was notably absent during Friday's training session, which was being watched closely by president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and football advisor Luis Campos.

PSG subsequently confirmed Verratti has been struggling with a hamstring strain that required him to stay inside for treatment.

While the club did not give much of an outline about the injury's severity, they did state more information will be provided early next week.

As such, Verratti will seemingly be unable to feature for Christophe Galtier on Saturday as PSG look to end a slump against the coach's former employers.

Defending champions PSG have lost each of their past two Ligue 1 games, suffering successive top-flight defeats for the first time since September 2020.

Nice have not been in the finest of form themselves, drawing their previous four league outings, meaning PSG will likely be confident of avoiding losing three in a row in Ligue 1 for the first time in 13 years.

You have to go back another three years to the last time PSG failed to score in three consecutive Ligue 1 games (four), with Rennes and Lyon shutting the Parisians out either side of the March international break.

PSG remain at the top of Ligue 1, but the recent blip has seen their lead cut to just six points ahead of Lens, their next opponents after the trip to Nice.

Chelsea's dismissal of Graham Potter and decision not to rush into an appointment has generated speculation about their next permanent manager.

The Blues are destined to miss out on the Premier League's top four this season, thus will not qualify for the Champions League via the league.

As a result, there appears a lack of urgency as they look to get back on the right direction after sacking both Potter and Thomas Tuchel this term under new owner Todd Boehly.

TOP STORY – BLUES MULL OVER ENRIQUE, NAGELSMANN AND CONTE

Fabrizio Romano reports Frank Lampard will take over as Chelsea's interim manager, but that ex-Spain boss Luis Enrique is 100 per cent interested in the permanent position.

Enrique has flown into London for talks on the role, while the Blues will also continue talks with ex-Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann who is the leading candidate.

The Independent claims the Blues are also considering a shock return for Antonio Conte after initial contact between intermediaries.

ROUND-UP

– Football Insider reports Manchester United are keen on Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse. United may take advantage of the Saints' possible relegation to bolster their midfield with the 28-year-old free-kick specialist. Aston Villa and Newcastle United are also interested in him.

Liverpool are willing to cough up €40 million (£35m) for Atletico Madrid's Argentinian World Cup winner Rodrigo De Paul to bolster their midfield next term, reports Fichajes. Inter Live claims Tottenham are also interested in De Paul.

Arsenal are pondering an off-season move for Lazio midfielder Sergei Milinkovic-Savic who will be a free agent in 2024, claims Gazzetta dello Sport. The reported fee would be around €40m.

Luka Modric is disgruntled with his contract situation at Real Madrid, with his future not yet resolved with only a few months left on his deal, claims Goal.

– Fichajes claims West Ham, Leeds United and Nice are all circling for Real Madrid's Mariano who will be available on a free transfer at the end of this season.

Leicester City have shortlisted Ralph Hasenhuttl, Jesse Marsch and Oscar Garcia for their vacant managerial role according to Fabrizio Romano. The Independent's Miguel Delaney claims the Foxes are also interested in experienced pair Martin O'Neill and Rafa Benitez.

West Ham will face Gent in the Europa Conference League quarter-finals as they bid to reach a European semi-final for the second straight year.

The Hammers made it to the Europa League final four last season, suffering a heartbreaking 3-1 aggregate defeat to eventual champions Eintracht Frankfurt.

But they thumped Cypriot side AEK Larnaca 4-0 at home on Thursday to seal a 6-0 aggregate win, before being matched with Belgian club Gent in Friday's quarter-final draw.

If they can get past Gent, David Moyes' men will face either AZ or Anderlecht to reach the final on June 7 after those two were pitted against each other in the last eight.

AZ have avoided defeat in seven of their last eight European clashes with Belgian opponents, with Anderlecht looking to win their first game against the Eredivisie side in three attempts having lost their previous two meetings.

On the other side of the draw, Lech Poznan stand between Fiorentina and their first European semi-final since the 2014-15 season.

History does not bode well for Poznan, with Fiorentina winning four of their six encounters with Polish clubs in European competitions.

The winner of that tie will play either Basel or Nice to see who will take their place in the showpiece match in Prague's Fortuna Arena.

The first legs of the quarter-finals will be played on April 13 before the return fixtures on April 20.

It has been reported that Manchester United will look to maintain the momentum gained from this season with three major signings.

Manager Erik ten Hag is said to have an illustrious shortlist of priority targets, including numerous forwards.

But the Red Devils will likely want to bolster their midfield ranks to support Casemiro, Bruno Fernandes, Christian Eriksen and Fred.

TOP STORY – MAN UTD TO LAUNCH BUMPER CAMAVINGA BID

Fichajes reports Manchester United are planning a bumper £115million (€130m) offer for Real Madrid's French midfielder Eduardo Camavinga.

The report claims United are major admirers of Camavinga, who has not fully convinced since his move to Santiago Bernabeu in August 2021.

United view the 20-year-old as a major world-class talent, although Los Blancos may be reluctant to let him go.

 

ROUND-UP

– ESPN claims Harry Maguire is on the chopping block at Old Trafford with Manchester United looking to sell several first-players including the England defender. Newcastle United are the favourites to sign him while West Ham are in contention, reports 90min.

Paris Saint-Germain are circling for Newcastle United's Dutch defender Sven Botman, reports iNews. Botman previously spent time in France with Lille.

Vinicius Junior could leave Real Madrid, with president Florentino Perez open to letting him go in order to sign PSG's Kylian Mbappe, claims El Desmarque. Vinicius Junior and Madrid are yet to agree on a new deal with the Brazilian's contract expiring in 2024.

Eden Hazard will not exit Real Madrid anytime soon, with the Belgian midfielder intending to remain with Los Blancos until his contract expires in 2024, according to The Athletic.

– CBS Sports claims Arsenal's Reiss Nelson has drawn interest from French club Nice along with Premier League outfit Brighton and Hove Albion. Nelson netted a dramatic late winner in the Gunners' 3-2 victory over Bournemouth on Saturday.

Bayern Munich are on the verge of tabling new contract offers to Lucas Hernandez and Jamal Musiala , per Fabrizio Romano. Agreement on the Hernandez deal is imminent, while new Musiala's long-term contract is a priority.

Just Fontaine has been hailed as an "eternal goalscorer" whose mark on football "will forever be remembered" following his death at the age of 89.

The French Football Federation (FFF) confirmed on Wednesday that Fontaine had passed away overnight in Toulouse.

A minute's applause will be held in tribute to Fontaine at all French football grounds this week, starting with Wednesday's Coupe de France ties.

In a statement on their official website, the FFF described Fontaine as "the eternal goalscorer" and "a legend of world football".

FFF interim president Philippe Diallo added: "The death of Just Fontaine plunges French football into deep emotion and immense sadness.

"He wrote one of the most beautiful pages in the history of the French team."

Fontaine's greatest achievement came in 1958 when scoring 13 goals in just six matches for France at the World Cup as Les Blues went on to finish third.

That remains the highest number of goals scored in a single edition of the tournament, while his tally of 13 goals overall has been bettered by only three players in history.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: "Just was a footballing icon and his tremendous performance in 1958 cemented his legacy as one of the greatest World Cup players ever.

"Scoring 13 goals in a single World Cup is a record which, to this day, has never been equalled. 

"The mark he left on world football will forever be remembered, and this record will probably never be beaten. My deepest condolences to Just's loved ones at this difficult time."

Fontaine scored 30 goals in 21 appearances for France between 1953 and 1960 in a career that was cut short by injury at the age of 28.

Current France head coach Didier Deschamps said: "The loss of Just Fontaine saddens me, as it will inevitably sadden all those who love football and our national team. 

"'Justo' is and will remain a legend of the France team.

"As a player and then coach, I had the chance to meet him on several occasions.

"In particular at his home, in Toulouse, in September 2017. He was a man of great kindness, very respectful of generations that succeeded his with Les Bleus. 

"His attachment to the France team was strong and sincere."

At club level, Fontaine won the Coupe de France and Ligue 1 with Nice before joining Reims.

He won three more league titles with Reims, the Coupe de France and was twice victorious in the Trophee des Champions, while also reaching the 1958-59 European Cup final.

"A star of French football, an outstanding striker, a legendary Reims player," his former club said in a statement.

Fontaine scored 164 goals in 200 Ligue 1 matches.

He reached the 100-goal mark in the competition by the age of 24 years and eight months, which only Herve Revelli (23y 5m) and Kylian Mbappe (22y 3m) have bettered.

Fontaine later moved into coaching and took charge of Paris Saint-Germain, Toulouse and the Morocco national side.

During his time with PSG, he guided the club to their only promotion to Ligue 1 – they have not been relegated since.

"A thought for Just Fontaine. An icon of French football who has left us," PSG tweeted.

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