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  • "This is a very sad day. Another gift to us from above has come and gone. Platini will remain in our memories as one of Juventus' greatest ever players."
    Giovanni Agnelli, Juventus President, on Platini's departure from the club
  • "He didn't run a lot like Cruyff and didn't depend on his physique, but I liked how he was the brain organising things on the pitch. He was a player who used his head in the broader sense. The way he shone with France and Juventus, and his capacity for taking frMichel Platini with Pele and Maradonaee-kicks, made him the European footballer of the 1980s."
    Pele, world football legend
  • "Michel has never chosen to do things the easy way. He achieved everything in his career as a footballer and now he has unseated the man who controlled European football for many years. Okay, [managing to do that] wasn't football exactly, but it makes me realise how much he has achieved even more. I feel pride, of course, as does his mother. We're proud to have put a boy like him into the world, because he nonetheless gave us all sorts of headaches from a young age."
    Aldo Platini, Michel Platini's father
  • "He was exceptional because he never once looked up. When a player is as successful as he was, there's always the risk they'll end up doing something stupid, like Maradona. He, on the other hand, was always calm, quiet and friendly."
    Stefano Tacconi, Juventus goalkeeper (1983-92)
  • "Michel was one of those great players who saw fitness work as being a bit superficial. He used to say, 'We're not going to compete in the 5,000 metres at the Olympics, we have to play with our feet."
    Giovanni Trapattoni, former Juventus coach
  • "When I was a kid and played with my friends, I always chose to be Platini. I let my friends share the names of my other idols between themselves."
    Zinedine Zidane, France playmaker after Platini
  • "He was a great player who left a mark on his era, and it's always good when players take up positions in the higher echelons of the game. He knows everything there is to know about football."
    Lilian Thuram, France and Barcelona defender
  • "An hour with Marguerite Duras was harder for me than any match in my career. Sometimes, there were even questions I had difficulty understanding. (...) I've never been questioned by someone as ignorant of football matters." - in Libération, April 4, 1996
  • "I began by playing for the biggest club in the Lorraine region, went on to the biggest club in France and ended up with the biggest in the world." - at the Stadio Comunale Vittorio Pozzo of Turin, May 1987
  • "I was born in football. My father was a very good football player, and as an Italian immigrant was always passionate about the game. Football is a fantastic and intelligent game which teaches us how to live together, how to share when you are better than others. Football is an extraordinary education for life."
  • "If a FIFA World Cup tournament had been held every year between 1982 and 1986, France would have won two or three."
  • "The boring thing is that you always have to justify yourself. I spent more time explaining why I made such and such a choice than making the choice."
  • "The people who talked about a black, white, and Beur France were thirty years late. France has been black, white, and Beur for a long time. I was shocked by this discussion in 1998. I said to myself: "Look, people have discovered that France was like that." These people do not look around themselves very much. The thoughts of French people on immigrants have practically not changed at all for a hundred years. One day I was received by the deputy mayor of Belfort while coach of the French team. In his speech, the elected representative spoke of me as a good example of integration. I nearly insulted him. (...) I was very surprised because I never considered myself a foreigner. I had never spoken Italian, neither had my father. My grandfather spoke French too. I am third-generation. It was time I was integrated! The history of football is interesting to observe. When you look at the four French European Footballers of the Year, it is the history of immigration in France exactly. There is Kopa first, Platini, then, after Papin, Zidane. That perfectly sums up each era of foreign integration in France. By 1998, France had been black, white, and Beur for at least twenty years. I think that some of the people who lead us do not know their country. That is not playing politics, that is stating a fact." - L'Humanité, December 9, 2005
  • "The street is the best way to become a good footballer."
  • "What Zidane does with a ball, Maradona could do with an orange."
  • In the words of Bobby Charlton, "What a playmaker. He could thread the ball through the eye of a needle as well as finish."


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