Bricklayer turned footballer Marcel Artelesa, who skippered France at the 1966 World Cup, has died at the age of 78, the French football federation announced on Friday.
Artelesa, nicknamed ‘Macon’ in reference to his time in the building trade and his reputation as a steely defender, turned out 21 times for Les Bleus, nine as captain.
“Marcel Artelesa is part of the history of the France team with whom he contested the 1966 World Cup in England,” noted federation president Noel Le Grat.
Under Artelesa’s stewardship France failed to make it out of the group stage, drawing their opener against Mexico 1-1, followed by defeats to Uruguay and eventual winners England.
Le Graet added, “He had a remarkable career as a defender in the first division in the 1960s. He notably won a French Cup with Monaco.”
He played his club football at Troyes, Monaco, Marseille and Nice. On his retirement Artelesa, who died overnight Thursday, took up coaching youngsters at modest French side USM Romilly.