Stars of BTLM is another of our new regular features with each edition reappraising the career of one this blog’s favourite 20th century footballers. There’s some basic criteria that will underpin our choice of featured players as we try to focus on those whom we believe have not been as well served by history as they should have been. The reasons such players are underrated can be diverse: some had injury blighted careers, some played for the wrong club or the wrong manager at the wrong time and some have just been swept into a dark corner of football history through simple bad luck. Stars Of BLTM is our own modest attempt to recalibrate reputations to match the talents of our featured players.
It’s probably contentious to make a case that a man who remains to this day the fourth-highest scorer in World Cup Finals history can ever be underrated. But therein lies the problem. Fontaine’s career is almost exclusively defined by those 13 goals he scored in just 7 games during the 1958 World Cup. While his career was tragically cut short through injury, focusing solely on his exploits over a 3 week period in June 1958 does great disservice to a prolific striker who was one of the most complete centre forwards of his age. Continue reading