A discreet and appreciated man. The Montpellier club announced Tuesday, October 20 the death of Bruno Martini, former goalkeeper of the France team, aged 58. His death has given rise to many unanimous tributes, from French clubs as well as football personalities.
AJ Auxerre, where Bruno Martini has spent most of his career, was moved by the disappearance of “One of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of French football”, a “True legend” in Bourgogne. “The MHSC mourns one of its own”, responded Montpellier, where Martini held the post of deputy director of the training center.
It is with infinite sadness that we learned of the disappearance of Bruno Martini 🖤
We will miss you terribly Bruno, rest in peace 🙏https: //t.co/Y6trVA2xPx pic.twitter.com/PeJ6H2nJdr
– MHSC (@MontpellierHSC) October 20, 2020
“What a sadness, what a great man. Football loses a man of integrity, honesty and passion ”, bowed Luis Fernandez, ex-player and coach of Paris SG.
Victim of a cardio-respiratory arrest, Martini had collapsed at the beginning of last week while returning to his car after a training and had been evacuated in intensive care at the intensive care center of the CHU of Montpellier.
Invincible at Auxerre
Born in Nevers, he joined AJ Auxerre at 19 for 14 seasons (including two on loan from Nancy) and took over from Joël Bats, another emblematic goalkeeper of French football. He also ended up replacing his elder in the France team, aligning 31 selections between 1987 and 1996, playing in Euro-1992 and remaining on the bench in 1996.
Martini was also European Champion Espoirs in 1988 with Laurent Blanc, Eric Cantona, Franck Passi or Bernard Casoni. In a club, he has a Coupe de France to his name, the first for AJA and Guy Roux, won in 1994 against Montpellier (3-0).
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With the Blues, Bruno Martini participates in the Grand Slam qualifying for Euro-1992: eight wins in eight games under the direction of Michel Platini, who became a coach. But the Blues leave the Swedish Euro after the first round. After his long reign in Burgundy, he ended his career in Montpellier (1995-1999).
For more than 10 years, he then coached the goalkeepers of the France team (1999-2010). At the National Technical Directorate (DTN), Bruno Martini also worked on setting up training for high-level goalkeepers.
Chess player, great reader
Renowned for his great discretion, the one who lived in La Grande-Motte by the sea, near Montpellier, was a singular character in football in the 1990s. Chess player, lover of reading (he evoked Goethe, Gide, Céline or Montherlant), he also preferred the great ancients in music, citing “Mozart, Wagner, Bach but, above all, Handel”. He was also classic at his post, excellent on his line, reluctant to go out and play kicking like goalies do today.
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Bruno Martini almost did not become a footballer. Major in the competition to become a physical education teacher, he could not validate it because he failed his baccalaureate D. Spotted by Guy Roux at the AJA, he was loaned to Nancy to get tough. The start of one of the greatest careers in French football.