"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."
Juventus President, on Platini's departure from
"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
free-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
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
- "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
- "If a FIFA World Cup tournament had been held
every year between 1982 and 1986, France would have won two or
- "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
- "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."