Michel Hidalgo, a man “endearing, who you could count on, who loved his players”, reacts Jacques Vendroux

“We always loved Michel Hidalgo. He was adorable even in defeat,” recalls the football consultant at franceinfo, after the death of the former France team coach at the age of 87.

Michel Hidalgo was a man “adorable, helpful, caring”, testified on Thursday March 26 on Franceinfo Jacques Vendroux, the football consultant of Franceinfo, after the death at 87 years of the former coach of the France football team. Michel Hidalgo was “someone very popular, like Aimé Jacquet”, who knew “bringing artists together”. When he was offered the Ministry of Sports in 1984, he refused, saying “I am better at being sad, at being happy, laughing, chambering”.

franceinfo: What image do you retain of Michel Hidalgo?

Jacques Vendroux: He was a very nice, adorable, helpful, caring person. He loved football, he loved his players. This title of European champion in 1984 was historic. At the Parc des Princes, France had beaten Spain with a free kick from Michel Platini. He was someone who loved the game for the game above all. That's why he got along well with all these artists of the time, Alain Giresse, Jean Tigana, Michel Platini, Bernard Lacombe. He was very endearing. It did not happen there by chance. He had a wonderful career as a professional player. He played at Le Havre, in Reims with Kopa, Fontaine and Piantoni. He ended his career at AS Monaco, the great AS Monaco of the 1960s. He was a very popular person, like Aimé Jacquet. We always loved Michel Hidalgo. He was adorable even in defeat. When France won, he was the happiest man in the world.

How did he do to create this collective, to create this team of champions?

A football team is a puzzle. He had the good idea to bring together players who were completely different. For example, in the 1984 team or the 1982 team, there were a lot of number 10. For football specialists, it was normally the playmaker. So there was Michel Platini, there was Alain Giresse number 10 in Bordeaux. There was Bernard Genghini, who was number 10 on the Sochaux side. He managed to get creators to play with each other, whereas normally, we have to play a number 10. And then after, there are what are commonly called water carriers. He played artists.

He succeeded in bringing artists together and above all, he made viewers, viewers, listeners happy.Jacques Vendrouxat franceinfo

Because his team from 1984 was very popular. We still remember the European champions of 1984 as well as the 1998 world champions or the 2018 world champions. They are eternal legends. They are very popular because these players, thanks to Michel Hidalgo, have restored the taste for victory, to France which has had a lot of crossing the desert. Before this 1982 semi-final against Spain, French football was in very, very bad shape. And Michel Hidalgo has cleverly rebuilt a team that still makes us dream.

What did he do after his time at the head of the Blues? It seems that he was offered a post of Minister of Sports?

It was in 1984. We were in the same hotel at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Michel Hidalgo comes to see us and says: “You know the last one? Laurent Fabius has just offered me the post of Minister of Sports. I thought it was a joke. I thought it was someone that made me dive. Not at all. He called me back and I thought about it. I thought about it and said no. I'm better with my football friends. I'm better in the locker room, I'm better to be sad, to be happy, to laugh, to chamber. I stay in football. ” Afterwards, he became general manager of Olympique de Marseille with Bernard Tapie. Michel Hidalgo has always been someone you could count on. Michel Hidalgo was the first player to create the so-called professional players union (in 1961). It is the first time that they have unionized with Philippe Piat, and Guy Lassalette. And Michel Hidalgo was one of those precursors to have established a kind of union in the professional world of football.


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