PARIS, France, Mar 26 – Michel Hidalgo, the coach of the great France team that won the 1984 European Championship, has died at the age of 87, the French players union and the French Football Federation said on Thursday.
Hidalgo, who had been ill for a number of years, died “naturally of exhaustion” at home in Marseille, his family told radio station France Info.
He is best remembered for his eight years in charge of Les Bleus, which culminated with the great team of Michel Platini, Alain Giresse and Jean Tigana winning Euro 84 on home soil, beating Spain 2-0 in the final in Paris. It was their first ever major tournament success.
Prior to that, his France team had reached the semi-finals of the 1982 World Cup, losing on penalties to West Germany.
“As coach, Michel took the France team to its greatest heights, opting for a beautiful style of football which allowed each one of us to fully express our individual talents,” said Platini in a statement.
“Michel Hidalgo left a considerable legacy. He rebuilt French football at international level.
“His vision and his work still resonate today in every match our national team plays.”
Hidalgo also enjoyed a richly successful playing career.
He played for the great Reims side of the 1950s, featuring, and scoring, when they lost 4-3 to Real Madrid in the first ever European Cup final in 1956.
Hidalgo went on to win two league titles and two French Cups with Monaco in the early 1960s.