Robert Jonquet

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Robert Jonquet
Robert Jonquet (1949).png
Jonquet in April 1949
Personal information
Date of birth (1925-05-03)3 May 1925
Place of birth Paris, France
Date of death 18 December 2008(2008-12-18) (aged 83)
Place of death Reims, France
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position(s) Defender
Youth career
1937–1941 Robinson
1941–1942 Châtenay-Malabry
1941–1942 SS Voltaire de Paris
1942–1945 Reims
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1945–1960 Reims 502 (9)
1960–1962 Strasbourg 55 (3)
Total 557 (12)
National team
1948–1960 France 58 (0)
Teams managed
1961–1964 Strasbourg
1964–1967 Reims
1978–1980 Châlons-sur-Marne
1980–1981 Reims
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Robert Jonquet (3 May 1925 – 18 December 2008) was a French former football defender. He played the majority of his professional career for the club Reims, winning five French championships and appearing in two European Cup finals. He is considered as one of the best central defender of his time.[1]

Nicknamed "The Hero of Highbury" after an outstanding individual performance against England in London in 1951, Jonquet was integral to the French national teams of the 1950s, playing at the World Cup finals of 1954 and 1958.

Playing career[edit]


During his youth, Jonquet played in the surrounding countryside of southern Paris in Châtenay-Malabry, and afterwards for the Société Sportive Voltaire. In 1946/47, he played his first season at Reims in the division 1. He became a first-team player, and in the spring 1947, he was called up for the first time to the French national team. Jonquet was relatively short (1.76 m) for his playing position, but as a libero, played with elegance and talent in the number 5 shirt, rather than in the mould of a typical centre-back "destroyer".

In the 1948/49 season he won his first French championship, 1950 the Coupe de France, followed in 1953 by his second French championship and the Latin Cup. In the year after he participated with Les Bleus in its first World Cup finals in Switzerland; in 1955 he won the French championship again, the French Supercup, was finalist in the Latin Cup and the following year (1956) reached with Reims the final of the newly born European Cup, losing to Real Madrid 3:4. Two further high points of these years took place on international fields: in October 1951 with the France he played in London against England (which included Alf Ramsey and Billy Wright). Jonquet's superb game helped France obtain a 2:2 draw, and on the next morning a newspaper headline referred to him as "The Hero of Highbury".[2] The "hero" also played in a European selection which defeated England in a friendly match in 1955.

A main player in one of the best teams of Europe[edit]

Robert Jonquet's fellow players with Reims reads like a Who's Who of French football during the 1950s: between goalkeeper (Dominique Colonna) and offensive forces (Raymond Kopa, Michel Hidalgo, Léon Glovacki, Jean Vincent, Just Fontaine, Roger Piantoni, René Bliard) stood safe defensive players such as Roger Marche, Armand Penverne, Albert Batteux, Michel Leblond, Jean Wendling – and evenly over one decade for Jonquet, who is the only players who played in two finals of the European Cup as well as two finals of the Latin Cup. Albert Batteux by the way accompanied and supported Jonquet career over this time in three different ways: as a fellow players (until 1950), as a manager (1950–1959) and as French national football coach (starting from 1955).


The 1957/58 season held further titles but also included probably the blackest hour for Jonquet. With Reims he won the treble of the French Championships Cup and Super Cup. In addition he participated in its second soccer world championship, at 1958 FIFA World Cup in Sweden where France finished third. However its misfortune in the semi-final (see below) prevented Jonquet's participation in the match for third place (6: 3 against Germany).[3]

After the second European Cup final against rival Real Madrid (1959, 0:2) Raymond Kopa returned from Los Merengues to Reims – and Jonquet won his fifth French championship in 1960 and his third Super Cup. In this summer he retired at age 35 from France and moved to Racing Strasbourg in the second division, helping them to promote to the top division division 1 in 1961 – his final success as a player.

International career[edit]

Between April 1948 and July 1960 Robert Jonquet played 58 matches for France and captained them. He participated 1954 FIFA World Cup (one match) and 1958 FIFA World Cup (five matches as the team captain). In Sweden his injury in the semi-final against Brazil after 35 minutes, following an impact with Vavá, all but incapacitated him. In the half-time break – substitutes at that time not yet permitted – the team physician injected a pain-satisfying syringe, and Jonquet was able to stand on two legs. He spent the second half more or less useless and hobbling on the left wing. Indeed, he had broken its fibula.[4][5] But five months later he came back in the national team.[6]

He played his last match at Euro 1960 against Czechoslovakia.[7]

After his playing career he died[edit]

At RC Strasbourg, Robert Jonquet moved from the playing field to the coaching sidelines, enjoying a spell with Reims and afterwards with a small teams, Romilly-sur-Seine, Épernay and Châlons-sur-Marne.[8] He was very disappointed with the rise of money in football, missing his time at Stade de Reims.[9] He died on 18 December 2008.[10] His club Reims gave his name to a stand of their stadium Auguste Delaune.[11]




External links[edit]