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France's Euro 1984-winning coach Michel Hidalgo dies aged 87

17:06 GMT 26/03/2020
Michel Hidalgo France
The coach who guided the French national team to their first ever major international success died on Thursday, four days after his birthday

Michel Hidalgo, France's Euro 1984-winning coach, has died aged 87.

Hidalgo spent eight years in charge of Les Bleus after previously working as assistant, and he presided over their first ever major title success before stepping aside for Henri Michel.

Following Hidalgo's death, which was confirmed by his family, a post from the official Twitter account of the FIFA World Cup read: "France has lost one of its greatest figures.

"Michel Hidalgo was the brains behind the exhilarating side that reached the World Cup semi-finals in 1982 and won Euro 1984. RIP and 'merci' for the memories, Michel."

France hosted Euro 1984, sailing through their group thanks to wins over Denmark, Belgium and Yugoslavia, before then seeing off Portugal in the semi-finals.

Second-half goals from Michel Platini and Bruno Bellone secured France a 2-0 win over Spain at the Parc des Princes in the final, as Les Bleus lifted a major international trophy for the first time.

Two years prior to that success, Hidalgo took France to the semi-finals of the World Cup, where they were beaten on penalties by West Germany after a 3-3 draw.

As a player Hidalgo represented Le Havre, Reims and Monaco, where he featured for nine years and also spent the early part of his coaching career.

In his playing career he won the Ligue 1 title on three occasions - with Reims in 1955, and twice with Monaco in 1961 and 1963, along with the Coupe de France in 1960 and 1963 with the principality club. The 1962-63 season remains the only campaign in which Monaco completed the French domestic double.

Monaco, for who Hidalgo made 301 appearances as a player, posted a tribute on their website, describing him as "a man who has greatly contributed to our history."

As a manager, he became French assistant coach in 1972, before moving into the hot seat four years later.

He managed France for 75 games, earning victories in 41 of them - only current French boss and 2018 World Cup winning coach Didier Deschamps has triumphed in more matches.

Hidalgo's most recent job in top-level football was with Marseille, where he was a popular director of football for five years until 1991, going on to work as a pundit.