Joseph Gonzales (Fußballspieler)

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Gonzales (7th from left/6th from right[1]) 1934 with the SC Fives

Joseph Gonzales (born 19 February 1907 in Béni Saf; † 26 June 1984 in Aubagne) was a French football player and coach.

Club career

Time as an amateur (until 1933)

A 178-centimetre tall defender, Gonzales grew up in the town of Béni Saf on the Mediterranean coast of French-occupied Algeria and began playing football for a local club in 1921. In 1926 he went to neighbouring Morocco, which was also under French rule, and played for a club from Oujda near the Algerian border. In 1931 he went to the far north of metropolitan France, where he played for UA Valenciennes-Anzin. With the team he failed to qualify for Division 1, which was created in 1932 as the country’s first league and established professional football in France. Although he did qualify for Division 2 in 1933, which opened a year after the first division and also offered professional football as a second division, Gonzales received an offer from neighbouring first division side SC Fives and decided to move there after two years with Valenciennes.

Professional career before the war (1933-1939)

Gonzales, who was 26 when he turned professional in the summer of 1933, immediately became a regular for Fives, forming part of a side that finished runners-up in the French league in 1934. He remained an integral part of the northern French side before being poached by southern rivals Olympique Marseille in 1936. After initially being seeded in the first eleven, he was out for an extended period in the first half of 1937 and thus only played ten games in winning the 1937 championship, which was the first title of his career. He then regained a regular place in the side, and Marseille reached the 1938 national cup final, where he started from the start and won the trophy in a 2-1 victory over Metz FC

War years and coaching career (from 1939)

The start of the Second World War brought a halt to regular football in 1939, forcing many players to suspend or end their careers due to military conscription. Gonzales, however, was able to continue playing and took part in the championship with Marseille, which continued to be held unofficially. In the cup, the team reached the 1940 final, but the defender failed to win the title for a possible second time, losing 2-1 to Racing Paris. From 1942 onwards, in parallel with his playing career, he also held the post of coach at Olympique. In this role as player-coach, he qualified for the 1943 Cup final and won the title for the second time by beating Girondins Bordeaux 4-0 at the third attempt

In the same year, the regular clubs were replaced by so-called Équipes fédérales, with Gonzales belonging to ÉF Marseille-Provence and continuing his duties as a player and coach. In 1944, the reintroduction of club teams allowed him to return to Olympique Marseille. In January 1945, he relinquished the coaching post but retained his role as a regular player. For the 1945/46 season, which saw the reintroduction of regular football, he was still in the squad at the age of 38, but did not make more than two appearances for the season. After playing his last game on 30 September 1945, in a 6-0 defeat to Rouen FC, he ended his professional career after 150 first-team games with two goals and 73 more unofficial first-team games with one goal. He returned to Algeria in 1948, where he ran a café with his brother in Ain Temouchent and coached a local club on the side. He later lived in the south of France and died there in 1984.[2][3][4]

National team

The player was named in the French squad for the 1934 World Cup but did not feature during the tournament. He did not make his debut for the French national team until 8 March 1936, when the 29-year-old played in a 3-0 win over Belgium. The match also remained his only appearance in his country’s shirt.[5]

Individual references

  1. Grandes Equipes SC Fivois,
  2. Joseph González complete profile(Memento of 28 November 2013 in Web,
  3. Joseph Gonzales – Fiche de stats du joueur de football,
  4. Joseph Gonzales,
  5. Joueur – Joseph GONZALES,