The accidental guardian: Bruno Martini, “one of the greatest in France”, dies at 58 years old

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MONTPELLIER, France: Bruno Martini, who became “one of France’s greatest goalkeepers” only after a failed exam blocked the path to his career as a sports instructor, has died at the age of 58, has announced Tuesday his last club Montpellier.

Martini, who spent much of his days playing with Auxerre, suffered a heart attack as he returned to his car after a training session in Montpellier.

His career began at 19 in Auxerre, not far from where he was born and raised. Apart from two seasons on loan at Nancy, he remained at Auxerre for 14 seasons before ending his career in Montpellier.

“He was a real legend,” Auxerre said of the goalkeeper they ranked among the best in the country.

He made 31 appearances for France, including Euro 92 and a bench appearance at Euro 96.

While great international honors alluded to him, he was a member of the France U-20 team which won the world title in 1988 with Laurent Blanc and Eric Cantona.

“How sad, what a great man,” said former player and coach Luis Fernandez who now works in sports radio. “Football has lost someone of integrity, honesty and passion. ”

While his only club trophy was the 1994 Coupe de France with Auxerre, he set the record for the longest run without conceding a goal: 892 minutes in the 1986-7 season.

After hanging up his crampons, he coached France’s goalkeepers, helping Les Bleus win the Euro 2000 title and the 2006 World Cup final.

He played chess and loved classical literature and music.

“Mozart, Wagner, Bach but above all Handel”, he once said.

His last role was as a coach in Montpellier.

“We are crying for one of our own,” the club said.

If he had managed to pass his baccalaureate, he could have become a sports instructor and come under the influence of Guy Roux, the emblematic manager of Auxerre.

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