Michel Platini: who is the UEFA boss discussed in Netflix documentary FIFA Uncovered?
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Qatar’s successful bid to host the World Cup has been one of the most controversial moments in football history. The fallout from the tournament ultimately led to the demise of former UEFA president Michel Platini and former FIFA president Sepp Blatter.
The pair both became embroiled in a scandal for fraud as part of a wider bid to root out corruption from football’s governing body. It led to a trial in Switzerland in which Platini and Blatter were found not guilty of fraud.
But who was Michel Platini and what was he accused of doing in the new Netflix documentary FIFA Uncovered? Here is everything you need to know.
Who is Michel Platini?
Michel Platini is a French football player, manager and football administrator. To many football fans he is regarded as one of the most talented players in the history of the sport.
The football icon was born on 21 June 1955 and was a product of the Nancy academy in France. Platini made his first team debut for the club in 1972 as a teenager.
Platini in France
Within two years of making his first team debut for Nancy, Platini emerged as a key player for the club and his goalscoring instincts from midfield were crucial in helping the French side win promotion to the top flight in 1975.
Platini successfully made the jump up to Ligue 1 football and continued to impress for Nancy. In his first two seasons in the top flight he was amongst the top scorers in the division despite playing in a midfield role.
The French midfielder established himself as a Nancy legend during his time with the club and lifted the Coupe de France in 1978. In 1980, Platini completed a move to French giants Saint-Etienne and continued to stand out as one of the best players in the division in 1981 he helped the team to win the Ligue 1 title.
Although Platini enjoyed an incredible career in Ligue 1, his best was still to come and in 1982 he completed a move to Italian giants Juventus - where he would remain for the rest of his career.
Platini on the big stage
During his time with the Old Lady - Platini won two Serie A titles, one Coppa Italia title and the European Cup for the first time in the club’s history. Many people at the time regarded Platini as the most talented player in the world and the Frenchman was awarded the Ballon d’Or on three successive occasions: 1983, 1984 and 1985.
At international level Platini established himself as a legend for France and his most notable achievement was spearheading Les Blues to European Championship glory in 1984. Over the course of the tournament in 1984, Platini scored a staggering nine goals from midfield in just five tournament matches - including the opening goal in the final against Spain.
Platini made a total of 72 appearances for France - scoring 41 goals. He remains the second highest goalscorer in European Championship history despite only featuring in one tournament.
Was Platini a football manager?
Platini ended his professional career at Juventus in 1987 and just a year later he was appointed the manager of the French international team.
At the time Platini had inherited a squad lacking in form and confidence and Les Blues disappointingly failed to qualify for the 1990 World Cup.
Following this Platini shifted his focus to Euro 1992 and France cruised through qualification with an incredible 19 game unbeaten run. France entered the tournament in 1992 as huge favourites but surprisingly failed to make it out of the group stage with eventual winners Denmark beating them 2-1 in the final group game.
Platini stepped down from his role as manager at the end of the tournament.
When did Michel Platini join UEFA?
After his retirement from football Platini became an ambassador for French football and he played a major role in helping the country to organise the 1998 World Cup in France.
Over the years that followed Platini began to climb the ranks of UEFA and FIFA’s football administration. Platini was elected as the 6th president of football governing body UEFA in 2007.
Why was Michel Platini suspended?
Platini was president of UEFA from 2007 until 2015 when he was succeeded by Alexsander Ceferin. Platini is currently suspended from all football activity until 2023 after receiving an eight year ban on account of corruption.
The downfall of Sepp Blatter and his one time heir Michel Platini is explored in great detail during the course of FIFA Uncovered.
Platini was reportedly suspended from FIFA over a payment of two million Francs (£1.7 million) which took place in 2011. The news of the payment emerged following a huge investigation launched by the US Department of Justice into bribery, fraud and money laundering.
In July 2022 both Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini were found not guilty following their fraud trial in Switzerland. After the trial Michel Platini said: “Believe me, going from being a legend of world soccer to a devil is very difficult, especially when it comes to you in a totally unfair way.”