This Friday, May 26, Marseille celebrates the 30th anniversary of its victory in the Champions League. On May 26, 1993, in the Olympic Stadium in Munich, Basile Boli’s famous header, after a corner kick from Abedi Pelé, allowed OM to beat AC Milan (1-0) and clinch the first – and only to date – European star of French football.
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30 years ago, Marseille lived a coronation in the Champions League during the 38th edition of the event, the first disputed under this name and no longer under that of the European Cup of champion clubs. On May 26, 1993, in Munich, the Phocaeans beat AC Milan (1-0). Since then, there is a star on the shirt and a sentence like a motto: ” Forever the first ! ” With this victory, OM gained popularity outside France, as did the only scorer of the game, Basile Boli.
” Marseille is the capital of French football »
” There was a force that stood out », ex-Olympian captain Didier Deschamps said today. ” As an individual and certainly a little selfish, it is the privilege to lift this trophy as captain. This is the moment that materializes success. But there is also everything that came after. The return to Marseille from the airport to the Vélodrome, the madness that it may have generated… The passion, the excitement that there can be in a club like Marseille when things are going well, it takes on proportions very important. Being able to share this happiness and this joy with all the Marseille supporters was fabulous. “, adds the coach of the France team. ” Marseille is the capital of French football. But by winning this match, we entered the history of international football. Abroad, it counts to have a Champions Cup. We are part of this elite “Said Jean-Pierre Bernès, at the time right arm of President Bernard Tapie.
The images of this coronation have been seen over and over again and told thousands of times. A painful start to the match against Marco van Basten, Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi and the stars of AC Milan, Fabien Barthez who pushes everything away, Bernard Tapie in the stands, walkie-talkie in his ear, a corner which does not is not really one, then Boli in the axis which is ahead of Frank Rijkaard for a historic goal. Then, there is a last big scare at the entrance of Jean-Pierre Papin, passed to the enemy the previous summer, then Didier Deschamps, the captain, who finally lifts the Cup with big ears.
A magnificent title followed by a descent into hell
That evening, Deschamps, Barthez and Marcel Desailly began to write their legend, which would carry them to the world title with the France team in 1998. Because if OM succeeded where they had failed in 1991, like Reims twice in the 1950s or Saint-Etienne in 1976 against Bayern Munich and the square posts of Glasgow, his success finally freed French football from selection.
The aftermath is obviously the VA-OM corruption scandal, born a few days before May 26 and which finally precipitated the fall of Tapie, imprisoned. Excluded by UEFA from the next edition of the Champions League and deprived of the European Super Cup and Intercontinental Cup in Tokyo against Sao Paulo FC, OM will also be demoted to D2 at the end of the 1993 season. 94. It will stay there for two years, rebuild itself and then experience as many low moments as good times, without ever approaching the peak of 1993 again.
In clubs, the feat has unfortunately remained without a future, with only two C1 finals since, lost by Monaco against Porto in 2004 and by Paris Saint-Germain against Bayern in 2020. PSG which, all the same, brought back France another European Cup: the Cup Cup, certainly less prestigious than the Champions League, in 1996 against Rapid Vienna.
The Marseille city will of course commemorate the 30th anniversary of this European coronation, during an evening which will start from 6 p.m. (4 p.m. UT) in front of the Town Hall on the Old Port. There will be a giant screen broadcast of the historic final at 8 p.m. (6 p.m. GMT).