Platini Biography – Introduction -
Until Zinedine Zidane walked on the stage of professional soccer, Platini was undoubtedly France's biggest hero and best all-time player, but now the fight favors Zizou, since Platini only managed to bring France a European Championship, whereas Zinedine Zidane took it through a successful World Cup, a European Championship and helped France reach another World Cup final. Still, Platini remains an important figure in French soccer and most importantly, his career after retirement is equally impressive as the one he spent on the grass.
Michel Platini Biography – Youth Period and AS Nancy - Born in the town of Joeuf, in North Eastern France, Platini started learning soccer on the streets, together with the other neighborhood children. His father, Aldo, was a former professional soccer player and helped young Michel hone his skills and thought him the importance of anticipating his opponents (a skill that would become a trademark for Platini throughout his career).
He joined his first club, AS Joeuf, when he was 11 years old, for which Platini played for 6 seasons and during this time, he trialed for FC Metz' youth squad twice, Metz being his favorite childhood team. Unfortunately, he missed one of the trials due to injury and he had some breathing problems on his second, so he never managed to move to his favorites, instead he was accepted in the Reserve team of Nancy, a smaller team at that time.
His second season with Nancy was also pretty miserable, as Platini suffered an arm fracture that kept him off the pitch for a long time and to top it all, Nancy was also relegated in the second division. With Michel Platini back on the pitch, Nancy managed to get back in the first division after just one year, with the young player scoring 17 goals and having numerous assists. But his contract with Nancy was running short and in 1979, he decided to move to Saint Etienne, hoping for a fresh new start.
Platini Biography –
Saint Etienne and Juventus
His 3 seasons with Saint Etienne weren't necessarily memorable, but they did bring Michel Platini his first trophy, namely the league title in 1981. Although he also lost two French Cup finals with Saint Etienne, at last he had a break from his string of injuries and was finally able to show what he was capable of. In 1982, he made the move of his career, when Juventus Torino offered him a contract.
When the Frenchman joined Juventus, he found a star-studded team with many Italian players that were successful in the World Cup that just ended, so he had to fight hard to get a spot in the team. His first season at Juve was unimpressive, but in 1983 he became the Serie A top scorer with 16 goals and he was also named European Footballer of the Year due to his excellent performances in the league and European Cup.
1984 was probably his most impressive: he managed to win the Serie A with Juventus, become top scorer in Italy again (with 20 goals this time), bring the first international trophy for his national side, winning the European Championship practically by himself (he was named player of the tournament and was also top goalscorer of the tournament with 9 goals) as well as being named European Footballer of the Year again and also World Soccer Player of the Year. Take that for a successful year...
The next season would have been almost as successful, if not for the price this success came with...as Juventus with a top form Michel Platini reached the European Cup final; it should have been the moment of triumph he was waiting for. And indeed, Juventus won that final 1-0 against Liverpool at the Heysel Stadium, but a tragic event shadowed their success, as the stadium collapsed under the weight of both clubs' supporters, killing 39 people and injuring 600 more.
Besides this sad European Cup title, Michel Platini was again named European Footballer of the Year, World Soccer Player of the Year and won the Serie A top scorer competition yet again.
Unfortunately, at age 32, Michel Platini was getting worn down by his numerous injuries and the high pace he played most of his career in. After the 1986 Mexico World Cup, he played one more season for Juventus, before retiring in full glory.
After 1 year of break, he became the coach of France, Michel Platini staying with the team for 4 years. He took the France soccer team when its chances to qualify for the 1990 World Cup were already slim and failed to turn things around, but their qualifying campaign for Euro 1992 was brilliant and many thought Michel Platini would take France all the way to winning yet another European Championship, this time from a manager's posture.
Unfortunately, France was eliminated after the first round being hit by bad luck and bad form and Platini stepped down as a manager.
15 years later and after serving in several Administrative roles at UEFA and FIFA, Platini was elected to the UEFA presidency position On January 2007.