Former France coach Michel Hidalgo remembered for pushing creativity on the field

27 Mars, 2020, 06:26 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Michel Hidalgo

Michel Hidalgo, France's Euro 1984-winning coach, has died aged 87.

The French soccer federation said on its website that Hidalgo died Thursday.

Hidalgo was coach of Les Bleus from 1976 to 1984, leaving the job after hosts France beat Spain 2-0 in the final of the European Championship.

Two years prior to that success, Hidalgo took France to the semi-finals of the World Cup, where they were beaten on penalties by West Germany after a 3-3 draw.

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Soccer purists adored the way Hidalgo's teams were nearly fixated on creativity, even at the expense of defending.

Hidalgo made way for his assistant Henri Michel after the final, but remains a major figure in the history of French football as the architect of the "carré magique" (magic square): the supremely-creative four-man midfield of Platini, Alain Giresse, Jean Tigana and Luis Fernandez which dazzled the world.

A midfielder, initially with Le Havre, Hidalgo played for Stade de Reims in the first European Champion Clubs' Cup final in 1956, scoring in his side's 4-3 defeat by Real Madrid. "Through his style of play, his personality, his exemplary passion, he contributed to the influence of our sport at global level, and to its popularity in France".

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