It was 1993… OM’s Champions League win
On 26 May 1993, OM won the first and so far only big-eared trophy in the history of French football against Grand Milan AC. As Marseille make their big comeback in Europe’s biggest competition this season, we take a look back at the Marseille club’s historic crowning glory, then hosted by the quirky Bernard Tapie.
Forever the first. Should PSG one day manage to win the Champions League, history will recall that it was indeed their greatest rivals, Olympique de Marseille, who were the first to manage to put the name of a French club on the list of most prestigious competitions in the league world. In 1993, at the end of an incredible epic, Bernard Tapies OM managed to defeat the great Milan of Maldini, Van Basten, Baresi & Co. in the Champions League final.
Consecrated after the 1991 disillusionment
Two years earlier, it was full of regret that Marseille had left the pitch of the Stadio San Nicolao in Bari. They had just lost easily in the final of the so-called European Champion Clubs’ Cup after losing on goal to Red Star Belgrade when Manuel Amoros missed a penalty. They didn’t know it yet, but fate would give them a second chance. Vengeful and empowered by the revelations of Marcel Desailly and Fabien Barthez, OM came back stronger a year later and presented themselves as serious underdogs in the competition at the start of the 1992/93 season.
After beating Glentoran FC in the round of 16 and Dinamo Bucharest in the round of 16, Marseille faced Glasgow Rangers, Club Brugge and CSKA Moscow in the intermediate group stage (at that point the competition featured two rounds before a group stage consisting of two groups, whose two winners competed against each other in the final). After an intense battle for first place, the Olympians finished first in their group by a narrow margin, a single point ahead of Glasgow Rangers, and joined AC Milan in the final of the competition.
The final will take place in the Olympic Stadium in Munich. On May 26, 1993, in front of more than 15 million French spectators, OM prepared to take on the greatest challenge in their history against what was arguably the best team in the world at the time. AC Milan, four-time European champions and winners of the 1989 and 1990 editions of the competition, are considered big favorites for this game. Led by its stars Franck Rijkard, Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, but above all its triple gold ball Marco Van Basten, the team coached by Fabio Capello is characterized by the youth and inexperience of the Olympic team.
Fabien Barthez, the guardian angel
With six of the eleven starters aged 27 or younger, Belgium’s Raymond Boethals’ side found themselves under pressure from the Milan steamroller early in the game. Then it takes a huge Fabien Barthez, author of several crucial saves, to keep the Marseille ship afloat. It was finally at their best as Basile Boli, who appeared injured a few minutes earlier, excelled by scoring the opener from a corner after one of Marseille’s rare forays into the Milan camp. It’s half-time, Marseille are 1-0 up with 45 minutes to go.
The second period coincides with the first. The Rossoneri are forced into a reaction, pushing for the equalizer. Jean-Pierre Papin, a figure for the Marseille club who moved to Milan last summer, comes into play to reverse the trend as attacks led by Rijkaard and Van Basten continue to pour in vain on Barthez’s cage.
“OM is the French team”
OM perseveres and struggles to achieve a historic victory against Europe’s best team of the past five years. It’s the culmination of an entire people united behind a group that, after the disappointment of the final in Bari two years earlier, believed in their lucky star to the end. On May 26, 1993, all of France celebrates at a time when May 1Time The 1998 star has yet to see the light of day. ” OM is the French team. Back then, the European champions’ club representative had the whole country behind him says Pascal Praud, TF1 reporter in charge of coverage of the Marseille club at the time.
One of the moments that sticks in my memory is the heartbroken Basile Boli two years earlier, lunging at his crowd at the final whistle and exclaiming: ” No crying this time “. But above all, this image is frozen in time. An image that no other player from a French club has been able to reproduce since. That of Didier Deschamps, accompanied by all his partners, proud of an overwhelming achievement, the most prestigious trophy that a club can win, high in the sky, on May 26, 1993, the big-eared trophy is brought back for the only time in French history, brought back by the aggressiveness and tenacity of the most passionate city in France, which with Certainly the best represents essence of French passion, Marseille.