Alexandre Villaplane

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Alexandre Villaplane
Personal information
Date of birth 12 September 1905
Place of birth Algiers, French Algeria
Date of death 26 December 1944(1944-12-26) (aged 39)
Place of death Arcueil, France
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1921–1924 FC Sète
1927–1929 Nîmes
1929–1932 RC Paris
1932–1933 FC Antibes
1933–1934 Nice
1934–1935 Hispano-Bastidienne
National team
1926–1930 France 25 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Alexandre Villaplane (12 September 1905 in Algiers[1] – 26 December 1944 in Fort de Montrouge [fr], Arcueil) was a French football player, who played in the role of midfielder. Villaplane was also a Nazi collaborator who was arrested and executed for his actions during World War II.

In his career he played for FC Sète (1921–1924), Nimes Olympique (1927–1929), Racing Club de France (1929–1932), FC Antibes (1932–1933) and OGC Nice (1933–1934). He was capped 25 times for the France national football team and was the captain of the French side which went to the 1930 FIFA World Cup.[1]

He played for Antibes in the very first French professional championship in 1932–33. The League was divided into a Northern and a Southern section with each section made up of ten teams. Antibes finished top of the table in the Southern section and played Lille from the North for the Championship. Antibes won the match and the French league but were stripped of their title after being found guilty of match-fixing. The Lille manager was given a lifetime ban, but Villaplane, who was strongly suspected of fixing the matches, received only a small penalty.[2] Villapplane then joined OGC Nice for the 1933–34 season. Having lost interest in his career and having become a regular horse race-goer, he made one last attempt to resurrect his career with the Bordeaux Second Division club Hispano-Bastidienne, but he ended the season in prison, having been sentenced for his part in a horse race fixing scandal.

At the beginning of World War 2, Villaplane became involved in the Parisian black market and in racketeering the local Jewish population. He was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment for possession of stolen goods in 1940. Through his criminal background, he came to the attention of the French Carlingue, an unsavoury organisation formed by the RSHA to conduct counter-insurgency operations against the French Resistance. The group, which was made up of collaborating criminals, was known colloquially as the French Gestapo. It was jointly run by two Parisian gangsters, Henri Lafont and Pierre Bonny. Members utilised their criminal expertise and networks working for the Nazi security services in occupied France and Vichy. Villaplane specialised in the racketeering of gold merchants.

In 1942, he left Paris for Toulouse to escape the Germans he had been trying to flee. His former teammate Louis Cazal obtained new identity papers for him and he returned to Paris. He was arrested by the SS in 1943 for the theft of a quantity of precious stones and imprisoned at the Compiègne camp, although Lafont succeeded in obtaining his release.

Villaplane then became Bonny’s chauffeur and then, in 1944, head of one of the five sections of the North African Brigade, a criminal organisation made up of North African immigrants which collaborated with the Nazis through anti-Resistance activities.[3] The fierce character of his recruits earned him the unflattering nickname of "SS Mohammed". He obtained both the rank and uniform of an SS-Untersturmführer. His section was put in charge of finding Resistance members and their supporters in the region of Périgueux in the month of March 1944, and then in the region of Eymet in the following month. It was in Eymet that he negotiated for the lives of hostages for money. On 11 June 1944, the day following the massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane, he had 52 people executed in Mussidan.

He was sentenced to death on 1 December 1944 for his direct involvement in at least 10 killings. He was executed by firing squad on 26 December 1944 at the Fort de Montrouge.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Accueil > Equipe de France > Tous les joueurs > VILLAPLANE Alexandre" (in French). French Football Federation. Retrieved 17 November 2009.
  2. ^ Mishra, Samiran. "Captain, Leader, Nazi Collaborator – Alexandre Villaplane, Football's First French Villain". Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  3. ^ The forgotten story of ... the France football captain who murdered for Hitler Paul Doyle, Monday 16 November 2009 14.11 GMT
  4. ^ "Olympians Who Were Killed or Missing in Action or Died as a Result of War". Sports Reference. Retrieved 24 July 2018.

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