I used to love Michel Platini when I was young. I barely saw him play; Wold cups, and European championships aside, the odd European game was the only opportunity to see him play (I did see him play once ‘in the flesh’ against Man United in the European Cup Winners Cup 1984 at Old Trafford). Despite this I was in thrall to him. He was clearly a top player, he looked too cool for school and my United-poster-covered wall always had space for a few pictures of Michel.
Difficult as it may be for younger football supporters to appreciate, there was a time when Michel Platini wasn’t a fat-bellied, tight-suited rebublican who comes up with shit ideas for UEFA. Not only was he not a fat-bellied, tight-suited, etc…he was one of the finest footballers in the world with a touch that could make a ball sigh, the goal-scoring prowess of a striker and leadership qualities that put his teams at the apex of the game during his peak.
His delicate appearance and languid passing style seemed the antithesis of the hard-drilled- defensive Serie A he walked into but he dominated the game from his arrival and right up until his departure. He’s doing his best to ruin his legacy with every move he makes since stepping up to the top table of football governance (playing the European championships in a dozen countries at once being his latest brain-leak) but a glimpse of that frail frame in the coolest Juventus kit of all time can still set the heart-a-flutter.