mardi 12 avril 2016

French Clubs Feats on the European Stage (Part 2b)

PART 1 (1950-1985)
PART 2a (1985-1990)

Now, Part 2b :

The first half of Part 2 ended with the memorable Olympique de Marseille - Benfica 1990 when OM crushed the Lisbon players by 2 goals to 1. And the no less memorable Benfica - Olympique de Marseille and its cursed 83rd minute, the moment at which the Portuguese deprived the French team of an European Cup Final by the hand of Vata (the same cursed 83rd minute at which Huard, the goalkeeper of OM had broken his leg in the quarter-finals).

The same year, another French club, of the south of France, was semi-finalist in an European competition. AS Monaco, it was. After beating Belenenses (1-1; 3-0) and after smashing Dynamo Berlin 0-0, 1-1 and Valladolid in a penalty shootout after two 0-0, the princely club was amongst the last four ones that would compete for a spot in the Final of the Cup Winners Cup. Being semi-finalist of the Cup Winners Cup : sort of a new habit for the French clubs after the Girondins de Bordeaux in 1987 and OM in 1988. 
This time again, the Final will not be reached by our Frenches, stopped alongside their stroke by Sampdoria of Genova which won with experience. Once again, an Italian club represented a too big obstacle. Here for Monaco just as well as for the Auxerre of Scifo, author of a reversal of the situation against Dinamo Zagreb (like Saint-Etienne and Bordeaux had done the same before against Hajduk, respectively in 1974 and in 1983), and went through an European first round for the first time in its history, but which was finally stopped in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup by Fiorentina (Florence), by being beaten two times 1-0 (2-2; 0-2 for Samp against Monaco).

Still, the French clubs aligned two clubs in the European semi-finals, including the Champions Cup with OM. A first! Still, the presence of the French clubs in the last rounds of the different European Cups was more sensible, presaging, assuringly, a brighter future.

That was the time of the semi-finals. Now we enter the time of the Finals.

1990-1991 : OM continues its ascent.

Number one at the domestic level again, Marseille is running in the European Champion Clubs' Cup with the objective to do better than in the precedent edition, i.e reaching the Final, and winning it. This ambition is not a secret.

However, once discarded the quite modests Dinamo Tirana and Lech Poznan, Poznan still winning his match at home but having been in the end more a sporting partner like Tirana than anything else (5-1, 0-0 with the Albanians and 2-3 away, 6-1 home with the Polish), a major obstacle stands on the road of OM this time as soon as the quarter-finals with no more no less than the best team in Europe and in the World, the Italians of AC Milan.

Raymond Goethals, the Belgian coach of OM, presents a very compact team in San Siro for the first leg with a 5-men defence, 2 defensive midfielders...but also a fantastic trio of attack Waddle, Papin, Abedi Pelé in order to play quick counter-attacks.

Caught in the grip : Casoni, Mozer, Boli Gullit, Maldini, Pardo, Germain

The match long-awaited arrived. Let's see where OM locates exactly in comparision with the crème de la crème. Or, more exactly, with the lone absolute king in Europe.

6 march 1991, San Siro, Milan.
Quarter-finals of the Champion Clubs' Cup, 1st leg.


Attendance : 80.051.

Lineups :

ACM : Pazzagli - Tassotti, Costacurta, Galli, Maldini - Donadoni, Rijkaard, Ancelotti (Simone 58'), Evani - Gullit, Massaro (Carbone 59'). Coach : Sacchi.

OM : Olmeta - Amoros, Boli, Mozer, Casoni, Di Meco - Germain , Pardo - Waddle, Papin, Ab.Pelé. Coach : Goethals.

A condensate of the match in 8 mins. :

Final score : 1-1.
Goals : Gullit 15', Papin 27'.

Focus on the goal scored by Papin :

Papin, scorer in San Siro

Wonderfully served by a curved pass of his English teammate Chris 'Magic' Waddle, consecutive to a rush of the Ghanean Abedi Pelé, Papin scores a precious goal in San Siro. The power trio has perfectly functioned. On the contrary, Milan, which deplores the absences of Baresi and van Basten, in spite of  an early goal by Gullit that followed an error of Mozer, weakened also by a goalkeeper of a very modest level (OM knows the importance of having a good goalie since his last European campaign and the injury of Huard, now replaced by the crazy and great Olmeta) appears to be beatable for what will be the second leg, in Marseille.

Milan however registers the return of Baresi in defence for this match, and equally places its hopes in a young keeper, Sebastiano Rossi, instead of Pazaggli, in order to avoid any other goal by the terrific Papin who accumulates it on all the grounds that year, in club and with the French National Team.

Stade Vélodrome, Marseille.
20 March 1990.
Quarter-finals of the Champion Clubs' Cup, 2nd  leg.


Attendance : 80.051.

Lineups :

OM :  Olmeta - Amoros, Boli, Mozer, Casoni, Di Meco - Germain , Fournier (Vercruysse 81') - Waddle, Papin, Ab.Pelé. Coach : Goethals.

ACM : Rossi - Tassotti, Costacurta, Baresi, Maldini - Donadoni (Simone 74'), Rijkaard, Ancelotti (Massaro 56'), Evani - Agostini, Gullit. Coach : Sacchi.

1) the full-game.
2) the  goal.

Simply one of the greatest game ever.
Final Score 1-0
Goal : Waddle 72'.

Focus on the goal :

This time it is Papin who serves Waddle with a very well inspired deviation with the head for a no less inspired volley-shoot in full stroke by the English man. Since several minutes, Waddle was suffering a head trauma but that, he would only know after the match, once examined at the hospital. Really, the man was playing in the stars this night.

Waddle could have even add another goal at the 89th minute after a fantastic rush through the defense of Milan which suffers more and more during those last minutes. A rush started in his own camp that ends as he falls down, duelled by Rossi whose intervention was regular. And coup de theâtre. While the English winger was running at the Italian goals, two of the four floodlights of the Vélodrome had ceased to work. At the end of this action of play, the match is interrupted. Five minutes later the light appears again but the players of Milan refuse to reenter the pitch to continue the game. After a stop of the match that finally lasted 15 minutes due to the Milaneses' behaviour, the referee put the ball on the visitor team's six-yards line. He whistles a goal-kick. As the team of Milan is absent of the pitch to play it, the referee whistles three times. It's over. The goal scored by Waddle at the 75th minute will suffice. The match will be even awarded 3-0 to OM by the UEFA.

What was also presented as a match between the presidents Berlusconi and Tapie clearly turned to the advantage of the latter. The occasion to remember what the French buisnessman and politician said after the match in Lisbon in the precedent edition of the European Cup, perhaps.

But is is also and maybe before all, a victory obtained on the pitch with first a good draw in Milan, then a 1-0 lead in Marseille at a handful of minutes, even seconds, of the final whistle.
The victory of a technician, Goethals, who had replaced Beckenbauer on the bench in January : for the first time, a team, OM in this case, dared to play zonal defence against Milan, the master in this domain. With a 5-men defence but in line, without a libero, a role held by Mozer previously that Tapie himself said to be outdated. The role of libero, not Mozer, who like Waddle, after a disapointing World Cup in Italy, appeared to be now one of the top players in Europe.

This OM is now clearly seen as one of the best teams of the continent, strong in all its lines. But if they have made the feat to beat the great Milan, it remains to be seen if they can succeed to the Lombards as Champions of Europe.

The road to the Cup seems well cleared in any case : the semi-finals will see competing Red Star Belgrad against Dynamo Dresden when OM will have to beat Spartak Moscow to come closer of its objective, the dream of the whole people of a whole country which is now all behind Marseille like he was in the past behind... Saint-Etienne (pass over the rivalry between the two clubs).

The teams from Eastern Europe did not caused trouble to OM until now, and Spartak Mocow will not make exception.

Abedi Pelé leads the troops to the Final

10 April 1991, Luzhniki, Moscow.
Semi-finals of the Champion Clubs' Cup, 1st leg.


Attendance : 103.000 (estimation).

Score : 1-3. Scoreline : Ab.Pelé 27' served by Waddle, Papin 31' served by Waddle, Shalimov, header served by Mostovoï, Vercruysse 89', header on a cross by Papin.

Lineups :

SM : Cherchesov - Pozdyniakov, Bazulev, Popov, Kulkov - Ivanov (Perepadenko) - Karpin,  Mostovoï, Shalimov - Radtchenko, Shmarov. Coach : Romantsev.

OM : Olmeta - Amoros, Boli, Casoni, Di Meco - Fournier, Tigana (Vercruysse 75'), Germain - Waddle, Papin, Ab. Pelé. Coach : Goethals.

Ambiance + the goal of Vercruysse :

All the goals :

After a first leg that was not that supposed to be that easy in the stadium of the ones who had defeated Naples and Real Madrid, but wich had been difficult only in the first minutes finally, Marseille makes a new demonstration of its power in Stade Vélodrome in front of its boiling public.

24 April 1991, Stade Vélodrome, Marseille.
Semi-finals of the Champion Clubs' Cup, 2nd leg.


Attendance : 37.500.

Score : 2-1. Scoreline : Abedi Pelé once again, 34', Boli 48', Mostovoï on pen., 58').

Lineups :

OM: Olmeta - Amoros, Boli, Mozer, Casoni, Di Meco (Fournier 81') - Tigana, Germain - Waddle (Vercruysse 83'), Papin, Ab. Pelé. Coach : Goethals. Tigana was playing here one of his last matches.

SM: Cherchesov - Pozdyniakov, Bazulev, Kulkov - Ivanov (Karpin 52'), Perepadenko, Popov - Mostovoï, Shalimov (Bushmanov 83') - Radtchenko, Shmarov. Coach : Romantsev.

The video. In Italian now, why not :

OM and Abedi Pelé prevail on the Spartak of Mostovoï
 With an Abedi Pelé literally on fire, him who was not supposed to be a starter in the beginning of the season, OM reaches the European Cup Final. It's the second time in the French clubs history, 15 years after AS Saint-Etienne.

In the Final, Olympique de Marseille meets a team wich, a bit like themselves, has qualified for the semi-finals in quite extraordinary conditions : Red Star Belgrad it is, and they were awarded a 3-0 victory after their 2nd leg match away against Dynamo Dresden had been stopped at the 78th minute due to troubles caused by Dynamo fans in the bleachers and who were throwing objects onto the field. Like OM against Milan, Red Star was however sportively qualified and well, leading by 2 goals to 1 in East Germany after a win 3-0 in Yugoslavia. In the semi-finals, they were winner of Bayern Munich thanks to a victory 2-1 in Bavaria and a 2-2 at Marakana Stadium.

With more experience in European Cup with his semi-final in '89-90 and his victory over Milan in the quarter-finals, the presence of a Mozer who plays European top level matches since his passage at Benfica in the late 80s and the demonstration of offensive power the trio Waddle-Papin-Pelé made again in the semis against Spartak, OM is the clear favorite against a younger and maybe limited team who had triumphed "only" of a Bayern, always orphan of Matthaüs, but which despite this fact on the other hand, 8 times on 10 would have beaten Red Star. At a more technical level, the Yugoslavian team has certainly shown great  things when in possession of the ball though, but will it be enough against an OM which seems to be a more complete team, good with the ball as well as on counter-attacking? Clearly, Belgrad is the challenger.

It remained still to see how Marseille can hold this statute of favorite...

29 May 1991, San Nicola, Bari.


Attendance : 56.000.

Score : 0-0 a.e.t.

Lineups :

RS : Stojanovic - Marovic, Sabanadzovic, Belodedici, Najdoski - V. Jugovic, S. Mihajlovic - Prosinecki - Binic, Savicevic (Stosic 84') -  Pancev. Coach : V. Petrovic.

OM : Olmeta - Amoros, Boli, Mozer, Casoni, Di Meco (Stojkovic 111') -  Germain, Fournier (Vercruysse 75') - Waddle, Ab. Pelé - Papin. Coach : Goethals.

...and well aware of the rapidity of the French team on counter-attack, Red Star simply refused the game and left the ball in the feet of the Marseillais who...did not really know more what to do with it. Unwilling to take much risks themselves, less inspired than usually in front of a real red and white wall, unable to convert the few occasions they had when flaws appeared in this "wall", a penalty shootout would decide of the OM's destiny at the end of this competition where they had impressed until now, until that final. A no-match in the lineage of what could have been seen at the last World Cup.

OM had well some occasions under the impulsion of Boli and Papin, but to dominate is not to win.
We can see the two or three big chances to win the match by Papin, by Waddle and by Boli in this 14 minutes lenght video of regrets and sadness :

Stojkovic, had been hired to replace Francescoli (judged too slow), but was injured for the most part of the season. His (too) late entry on the pitch changed nothing. Then, he refused to make the list of the shooters of penalties. In the end, his presence would have not even bring luck to his new team wich was facing here... his former one. Maybe one of the reasons why he has been elected "Star of Red Star"? Nooo, of course not.

3 or 4 clear chances to a little one for OM in the 120 minutes and a victory 5-3 on penalties for the new generation of Yugoslavian football who wins it like a bunch of old scammers when the experience was sensed to be on OM side. French football has still much progress to do, assuringly. And we can ask if that OM team will be able to rejuvenate and find again an occasion like this one to be European champion one day.

At the local scale, before dreaming of an European win again, Marseille, for the third time champion of France in a row and...runner-up of the European Cup, still equals here the great Reims and Saint-Etienne entering definitively in the circle of the best French clubs ever.
Will Tapie be content with that? Certainly not. One more time, will Marseille be able to reach a Final again? For now, let's dry our tears. And we'll see that.

Before all, we'll take note that in this same season 1990-1991, another French club has been also talked about. And this one has even beaten a former winner of the European Cup too. Even two. It is Montpellier-Hérault Sporting Club of the colourful president Louis Nicollin also known as "Loulou".

Montpellier, winner of the French Cup in May 1990, with Aimé Jacquet as the coach, represents its country in the Cup Winners Cup1990-1991. With now the French-Polish Henryk Kasperczak on the bench (he who was the defeated coach of the last Cup Final with Racing Paris).

While OM was tranquilly entering the competition in Champions Cup, the Montpelliérains will give to the French public its first big emotions of the season.

With a difficult draw as soon as the first round with PSV Eindhoven, all is here to why not live some big moments. Moreover motivated by the maneers of the PSV directors who asked the French club to welcome well the big club they are, the Montpelliérains will be presents and well at the rendez-vous.

19 September 1990, La Mosson, Montpellier.
1st Round of the Cup Winners Cup, 1st leg.


MHSC : Barrabé - Baills (S. Blondeau 81'), Thétis, L. Blanc, Lucchesi - Lemoult, Suvrijn - Guérin, Valderrama - Xuereb (Ferhaoui 87'), Ziober. Coach : Henryk Kasperczak.

PSV: Van Breukelen - De Jong, Valckx, Popescu, Heintze - Koot, Chovanec (K. Bwalya 81') - Vanenburg, E.Koeman - Bosman, Romario. Coach : Bobby Robson.

The hero of the match : you have in the thousand, the Polish number 11, Jacek Ziober and his wonderful haircut. What a duo with the Colombian Valderrama!

In the second leg in Eindhoven, the European champion 1988 and its new star Romario will be definitively shutted down after a heroic match : 0-0. Montpellier qualifies!

The libero Popescu has been well blocked by Suvrijn who was playing here against numerous teammates of the Dutch National Team

In the second round, Montpellier inherits of another recent European champion at the draw : the Romanians of Steaua Bucharest!

Let's see this new feat on video before all, then the lineups etc. :

24 October 1990, La Mosson, Montpellier.
2nd Round of the Cup Winners Cup, 1st leg.

MHSC - Barrabé - Baills, Der Zakarian, L. Blanc, Lucchesi - Lemoult, Suvrijn - Ferhaoui (L. Castro 11'), Valderrama - Xuereb, Ziober. Coach : Henryk (or Henri) Kasperczak.

SB - Stangaciu - Iovan, Bumbescu, Petrescu, Munteanu, - Minea, Sedecaru - Dumitrescu, Stan - Lazar, Popa. Coach : Costica Stefanescu.

Montpellier 5, Steaua 0 : Ziober 27', Xuereb 51', Blanc 56' (pen.), Ziober 63', Castro 81'.
Red cards : Popa 22', Petrescu 79'.
Injury : Ferhaoui (ligaments broken on a severe, "uncontrolled" tackle by Munteanu).

Overwhelmed on a rain-soaked field, Steaua will receive the same punition in Romania : 0-3 with goals by Colleter, Garande, Guérin. And two assists by Valderrama on the two first goals. Garande served Guérin for the third.

The very offensive libero Laurent Blanc

The draw continues to be generous with Montpellier with the mythical club Manchester United at the program for the quarter-finals. And Montpellier continues to surprise the whole Europe by obtaining a draw game 1-1 in the no less mythical Old Trafford.

Hughes trapped in the central hinge Blanc-Der Zakarian

6 March 1991, Old Trafford, Manchester.
Quarter-finals of the Cup Winners Cup, 1st leg.

Goals : McClair 1', Lee Martin o.g 5' on a cross by Ziober.
Red card : Baills 48th after a simulation by Hughes who managed to obtain at least that in this game.

Lineups :

MAN : Sealey - Blackmore, Donaghy, Pallister, Martin (D. Wallace 58') - Phelan, Robson, Ince, Sharpe - McClair - Hughes. Coach : Alex Ferguson.

MHSC : Barrabé - Baills, Der Zakarian, Blanc, Lucchesi - Guérin, Lemoult, Suvrijn (Brouard 88'), Colleter - C. Garcia (Xuereb 84'), Ziober. Coach : Henri Kasperczak.

The new feat by Montpellier in motion picture, in what was more a hostile environment than "the theatre of dreams" at this moment :

A "tactical" match or more exactly a "war of position" from which Montpellier could have even raised as the winner with two last chances first by Garcia, then by his substitute in this evening Xuereb, unfortunately missed in the last the minutes. Montpellier lacked assuringly of a centre forward in good form here, alongside Ziober.

Now moreover deprived of his very commited defender Pascal Baills, Montpellier must make the difference at home.
But a catastrophic scenario takes place in the injury time of the first half of the match with a feeble shot on free-kick by the Welsh man Blackmore that Barrabé does not manage to stop. The confidence of the Montpellierains fades when then, in the first minutes of the second half, Manchester obtains a penalty-kick transformed by Steve Bruce, back in the team, at the 51st minute. Incidentally, Mark Hughes acts up again by obtaining the expulsion of Manuel Thétis thanks to some provocations and an altercation with the French defender who played here in replacement of Baills, sent-off in the 1st leg for the same reasons, as we can remember.

A beautiful adventure that ends with always the same feeling : too much naivety. But a course in Europe with two previous champions in the bag that will forever remain in the memories. Most of all towards Montpellier who has never knew such exploits again until today.

"I think that we're able to play a better football than the English men" said Laurent Blanc...
..but it is well Bryan Robson's Manchester United that will win the Cup Winners Cup that year.

In the UEFA Cup, Monaco and Bordeaux (which starts to know some difficulties, the club will be relegated administratively in '92) had been piteously eliminated  in the round of 16 by Torpedo Moscow and AS Roma.


This season, the main stage for French Football will be the Cup Winners Cup as Marseille, probably at the end of a cycle, is beaten early in the Champions Cup, by Sparta Prague, in the second Round (3-2; 1-2).

The last winner of the National Cup, Monaco, already semi-finalist in this competition in 1990, this time will push its course until the Final, a first for French football in this competition.

AS Monaco runner-up of the Cup Winners Cup 1991-1992

The players :
Ettori (9 apps/ no goals) - Sonor (9/ 0), Sivebaek (2/ 0), R. Mendy (9/ 1), P.Blondeau (2/ 0), Thuram (4/ 0), Valéry (5/ 1) - E. Petit (7/ 0), Puel (8/ 0), Dib (9/ 0), B. Clément (1/ 0) - Rui Barros (8/ 4), G. Passi (8/ 2), Gnako (7/ 0), Djorkaeff (7/ 1) - Weah (9/ 4), Fofana  (7/ 1), C. Robert (3/ 1). Coach : Arsène Wenger.

The route to the Final :

1st Round :
Swansea City - AS Monaco : 1-2 (Passi 8' pen., Barros 27', Legg 71')
AS Monaco - Swansea City : 8-0 (Weah, Fofana, Barros, Passi, Harris o.g, Djorkaeff, Weah, Passi)
2nd Round :
IFK Norrköping - AS Monaco : 1-2 (Mendy 18', Hellström 22', Weah 48')
AS Monaco - IFK Norrköping : 1-0 (Robert 26')

Quarter-finals :
AS Roma - AS Monaco : 0-0
ASR (not ordered) : Zinetti, Carboni, Nela, Aldair, Bonacina, De Marchi (Garzya 46'), Di Mauro, Hässler, Salsano (Carnevale 52'), Völler, Rizzitelli. Coach : Ottavio Bianchi.
ASM (same as for ASR) : Ettori, Valéry,  R. Mendy, Sonor, Petit, Puel, Dib, Passi (Djorkaeff 79'), Barros, Weah, Fofana (Gnako 70'). Coach : Arsène Wenger.

Monaco hitted the woods twice by Weah and Barros.

And, AS MONACO - AS ROMA : 1-0 (Barros 45'). Phew! Monaco beats the impressive Italian team (on the paper) thanks to the former Juventus Gil Rui Barros. Totally deserved, but it remained to be done. Ottavio Bianchi is beaten for the second time by a French club after his loss in Toulouse with Naples in 1986.

The fantastic goal of Rui Barros, at 7:15 :

On kick-off, the first attack of Monaco leads to a surprising goal by all means as it is the small Barros (very small, 1.59 m.) who is at the reception of a cross by Sonor and makes the Frenches to take the lead. It's also the lonely goal during the two matches that sees ASM to qualify for the semi-finals.

The lineups  (not really ordered here again) were :

ASM : Ettori, Valéry,  R. Mendy, Sonor, Petit, Puel, Dib, Passi (Thuram 84'), Barros, Weah, Fofana (Gnako 74'). Coach : Arsène Wenger.
ASR : Zinetti, Carboni, Nela (Comi 46'), Aldair, Garzya, Piacentini (Giannini 53'), Di Mauro, Bonacina, Hässler, Völler, Rizzitelli. Coach : Ottavio Bianchi.

Gil Rui Barros, little big man of Monaco in this European campaign 1991-1992
In the semi-finals, AS Monaco will play somewhat with fire against Feyenoord. The Feyenoord of Rob Witschge (but also Ed de Goey, the experienced John Metgod, the former SC Toulon Bosz, the former Ajax Scholten, the trio of attack Blinker-Kiprich-Taument and also the right back Ulrich Van Gobbel, the tough midfielder Fraser and alternatively Toost and Heus in defence).

Semi-finals of the Cup Winners Cup 1991-1992 :
AS Monaco - Feyenoord : 1-1 (Witschge 9', Valéry 26'). Thanks to the usual substitute Valéry, Monaco is still in the race.
Feyenoord - AS Monaco : 2-2 (Weah 34', Barros 50', Witschge 52', and the sub' Damaschin 88'). Thankfully, Feyenoord which filled its delay of two goals, stopped there at 2-2. Monaco is in Final. They will meet Werder Bremen in Esadio de Luz, in Lisbon.

However, this Final will be far to be a football feast. The day before the Final, a terrible catastrophy happened in Stade de Furiani before the semi-final of the French Cup SC Bastia-Olympique de Marseille with the collapse of a provisional tribune, built in a hurry and carelessly for the event. To this horrific drama those terrifying numbers : 18 deaths, and more than 2.300 injured. The price that costed the will to increase the capacity of the stadium by 50 per cent.

No French Cup Final will be played this year. For the anecdot, Monaco was qualified for the Final. And no Cup Winners Cup Final will be really played, as the players of Monaco, under the shock like thousands of people in France will barely put in an apperance, in Lisbon. At Estadio da Luz, where, as a sign of support for victims, the players (of both teams) wear a black armband. Werder scores 2 goals and win the cup in a gigantic and empty stadium.
Several years will be necessary to see only a part of the responsibles of the drama of Furiani to be condemned.

No, here are all the goals scored by Monaco in the competition before that it became derisory to continue playing football.

Music : "All those friendly people", by Funeral Suits. Compilation made by FZisback4football.

 In the UEFA Cup, Lyon, Cannes and Auxerre didn't pass the second round. Auxerre had however its chance after they had beaten Liverpool in Stade de l'Abbé Deschamps.

Let's take a note of this real good performance and take a look at this "on film".

Prunier and Rush
23 october 1991, Stade de l'Abbé Deschamps, Auxerre.
2nd Round of the UEFA Cup, 1st leg.

AJ Auxerroise - Liverpool FC : 2-0 (Ferreri 42', Kovacs 60').

AJA : Martini - Kaczmarek (Darras 46'), Roche, Prunier, Mahé - Ferreri, Dutuel, Guerreiro - Cocard, Kovacs, Vahirua. Coach : Guy Roux.
With Kaczmarek dropped back in defence, and the attacking midfielder of forward Ferreri behind the usual trio of attack. A very offensive team.

LFC : Grobelaar - Ablett, Nicol, Burrows - McManaman, Houghton, McMahon, Redknapp, Tanner, Walters - Rush. Coach : Graeme Souness.
Souness had much injured players like Barnes. Also, he had to do do with the rule of the time that limited the number of non English players to 4.

Great victory for Auxerre against a historical European giant. Before to be beaten 3-0, in Anfield.

It will be much better for our French clubs in the next UEFA Cup edition. At least in the UEFA Cup.


All started well this season with a feat as soon as the first round of the UEFA Cup with a newcomer on the European scene, Stade Malherbe de Caen. The team of Normandy beats Zaragoza, of Aragon, and largely favorite before the game, even if played at "Stade de Venoix" (Stade Claude Mercier), the stadium of SM Caen until 1993 and the inauguration of Stade Michel d'Ornano.

The team of SM Caen that lined against Zaragoza in the first leg

Here it comes, the match Caen-Zaragoza! With first a 21 minutes report then, only the goals.

15 September 1992, Stade de Venoix, Caen.
1st Round of the UEFA Cup.
Attendance :  around 5.000.

Stade Malherbe de Caen - Real Zaragoza : 3-2 (Paille 7', Gravelaine 17', Sanjuan 30', Paille 37', Pardeza 79').

SMC : Montanier - Lebourgeois (J. Germain 28') - Avenet, H. Fournier, Point - Dangbeto (Rouissi 76'), Cauet, Görter, Calderon - Paille, Gravelaine. Coach : Daniel Jeandupeux.

Real Zaragoza, coached by Victor Fernandez counted in his ranks : the well-known German international player and world champion Brehme and also a duo wich consisted of the Romanian Mateut (golden shoe '89) and Pardeza former Real Madrid and member of the famous Quinta del Buitre.

After they lead at the score by 2-0, then rejoined at 2-1, then lead 3-1, this very seductive SM Caen managed to finally win a match during which 5 goals have been scored (as Pardeza, after a foul on Montanier, scored the 2-3, when it's Caen which could have had added some). Paille had scored the decisive third served by an exceptional Gravelaine who could have scored a fourth goal in the second half but missed this chance playing a bit too strongly a lobbed ball above the keeper Cedrun.

However, that would not have changed much things as in the second leg played in Spain...Zaragoza beats Caen 2-0 thanks to Andreas Brehme and the former Grenoble player Gustavo Poyet (who didn't play in Caen).
Maybe also thanks to trio of Russian referees, according to the French players like Dedebant who has affirmed that "the referees had been well cared by the Spanish club", as  "they reeked of alcohol on the pitch". So maybe some off-sides forgotten for the local team or imaginary ones whistled against Caen here and there, among other things. It had already started in the 1st match. Not of the responsability of Zaragoza or of the referees though, the decision of Jeandupeux to innovate this night in Spain by placing the striker Paille at the position of libero in a 5-men defence.

No European match will be ever played in Stade d'Ornano as here are the two sole European appearances of Caen in its history.

Above, a real collector ticket as only 5.000 spectators or so were present at Stade Venoix.

It is the elimination but operation seduction completed anyway. Caen-Zaragoza will be elected match of the year by the French press.

 But it was only a beginning as the two other clubs running in the UEFA Cup, Paris Saint-Germain and Auxerre will offer some memorable nights their turn and not the lesser ones.

(the orientation of the cradle was inverted in '92-93)

Let's follow the route in UEFA Cup of both clubs in parallel.

Note : Weah (AS Monaco 1988-92) has been hired by PSG.

1st Round of the UEFA Cup 1992-1993 :
PSG - PAOK Saloniki : 2-0 (Weah 13', 24').
PAOK Saloniki  - PSG : 0-2 (Weah 15', Sassus 32'). Match stopped after 51 minutes of play and finally awarded 0-3 due to pitch invasion. The test in a boiling stasium has been successful.
Lokomotiv Plovdiv - AJA : 2-2 (Baticle 4', Sadakov 33' pen., Vidolov 58', Cocard 73').
AJA - Lokomotiv Plovdiv : 7-1 (Baticle 7', Cocard 11', Prunier 12', Sadakov 22', Vahirua 26', Prunier 48', Baticle 66', Laslandes 80'). No comment.

2nd Round :
AJA - FC København : 5-0 (Baticle 15', 40', C. Martins 53', Baticle 80', Otokoré 90')
FC København - AJA : 0-2 (Cocard 64', Bonalair 88')

PSG was meeting SSC Napoli, its first European big rendez-vous at the beginning of this new era for the club owned by the private TV channel Canal +. A new ere for Napoli as well with no Maradona anymore in the team, but his supposed successor Zola. But always with its centre-forward Careca, albeit aging and missing much his former number 10 Argentinian teammate and best friend.
A good challenge has raise for this new PSG and his President Delegate Michel Denisot, and a challenge that they will meet as soon as the first leg played in the San Paolo.

21 october 1992, San Paolo, Naples.
Attendance : 30.000 (only).

SSC NAPOLI - PSG : 0-2 (Weah 16', Weah 35').

NAP : Galli - Ferrara, Corradini (Policano 84'), Pari, Francini - Zola, Mauro, Thern, Crippa - Careca, D. Fonseca. Coach : Claudio Ranieri.

PSG : Lama - Sassus, Roche, Ricardo, Colleter - Le Guen, Valdo, L. Fournier, Guérin - Weah (Calderaro 82'), Ginola (Bravo 89'). Coach : Artur Jorge.

The powerful Weah gives any satisfaction against the Italians and their "catenaccio".

Careca remained mute. Like the Uruguyan Fonseca who had however scored 6 goals in the precedent round against Valencia, including 5 in one game. As for Zola, he was not especially at his ease in a more or less role of right winger, what we can understand with a name like his one.

It has confirmed in the second leg that Careca was not the Careca who worried France so much at the mundial '86 anymore and that Zola, even though very talented, was not as effective as Maradona in his best hours.
Strong with a good defensive base with Ricardo (who had impressed Denisot against OM with Benfica, two matches that he commented) and a good Lama in the woods who seems to reach a new level, the team of the experienced Artur Jorge (European champion '87 with Porto) will qualify thanks to a 0-0 in Parc de Princes in the second leg.

Good upfront, good at the back, this PSG seems promising. But some toughest opponents waits for them.
The next round will show being more difficult for PSG as the pressure steps up a notch, as well as the experience of their opponents in such competitions grows higher. That's the case with the RSC Anderlecht's players, who plays in the different European cups every year.

The first leg match, at the "Parc" don't start the best way with the expulsion of the striker Ginola after two fouls that were not obligatory and two yellows (22'). The Belgian international defender Philippe Albert will be sent-off his turn 30 minutes later for a true assault on Valdo, the handyman midfielder of PSG. 
In the end, PSG 0, RSCA 0 for globally a pleasant match. PSG had one big chance by half with Valdo then Fournier. But into those conditions, it remains a goos result before to go to "Parc Astrid", in Brussels.

PSG will however play the second match without Ginola (suspended) but also Weah (injured) who are replaced by a duo Bravo-Calderaro. And it is well the Dutch Johnny Bosman, served by is fellow countryman Van Vossen who open the score with a header just before one hour of play.
And here comes a page of the history of PSG in European football with the entry of Antoine Kombouaré for Jean-Luc Sassus (a defender for a defender) at the 66'. Less than 10 minutes later, Kombouaré beats De Wilde with a header on a corner-kick by the unmissable Valdo.

The images of the  last 15 minutes of the match :

Final score 1-1. De Wilde and Boffin on his line avoided the Parisian to add a second goal, unless it's the PSG players who were maladroit. But with that away goal, the team which had more chances of scoring on the two games finally managed to qualify for the quarter-finals.
Just a few minutes before the match, Kombouaré told his about his desire to leave as he had demonstrated all his frustration and anger of not playing to his President Delagate Denisot. Denisot responded to him : "we'll see and you'll spit all to me tomorrow". Of course well aware of the affair, Jorge bet on Kombouaré, and it worked. The defender who was not especially known to score goals, was here at the reception of the ball played by Valdo. Kombouaré will burst into tears at the end of the match.

At the same time, although their 2nd leg was televised just after Anderlecht-Paris, Auxerre was eliminating Standard de Liège with a 2-1 victory at home (Dutuel 71', Baticle 81' and  Wilmots 88') after a 2-2 away (Goosens 2' and 48' for Standard, then Verlaat 55' and Baticle 71' for AJA).

Quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup 1992-1993 :

PSG encounters now the legendary Real Madrid CF. To write his own legend.

In Santiago Bernabeu, PSG takes the general price of 3 goals against, overwhelmed by the teammates of Butragueño who have for names Michel, Milla, Sanchis or Zamorano. PSG saw here the distance that remained between them and the biggest clubs. They nevertheless scored once by Ginola. A header. On a corner-kick by Valdo, set-pieces-master.

The second leg will be an unforgettable match.

18 March 1993.
Quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup 1992-1993, 2nd leg.
Attendance : 46.000.

The exquisite Valdo
PSG : Lama - Sassus (B. Germain 76'), Kombouaré, Ricardo Gomes, Colleter - Le Guen, Guérin - Valdo, Ginola - Weah, Simba (Bravo 74'). Coach : Artur Jorge.

RM : Buyo - Ramis, Ricardo Rocha, Hierro, Nando, Lasa - Prosinecki, Michel, L. Enrique (Alfonso 81') - Butragueño (Villaroya 63'), Zamorano. Coach : Benito Flores.

The once unhappy, then more lucky now happy again Kombouaré...anyway, in short he plays. In replacement of Roche, sent-off at the match of Madrid.
We find again Prosinecki, an old acquaintance of OM, who knows some difficulties in Madrid but who must be always redoubtable. We know well how well he can launch counter-attacks.
PSG will play in a very unusual offensive formation for the conservative Jorge with the striker Simba (sort of revenant) to accompany Weah upfront and Valdo-Ginola in support. Real Madrid plays with 4 defenders plus a libero (Hierro).

Incredible, fantastic, wonderful PSG!
1) the whole game.
2) the goals in a short retrospective with comments (in French) by Denisot, Ginola, Platini, Henry...and Kombouaré.

As said by Lama in the first video presented above, Paris, due to a lack of experience, and because "too respectful" with regards to that team of Real and all what it represents, had totally missed his entry into this double-confrontation. With spirit of revenge, and carried by his public, PSG turns the situation around.

33' : Weah scores with the head. On a corner-kick by...Valdo, of course.
PSG dominates until half-time, but Real parries the blows.
At 10 minutes of the final whistle it seems that the threat that the Parisians dreamt about was daing away and that Real Madrid, with its precious advantage won in Bernabeu was on the road to the semis.
But at the 81' the term of a beautiful action : an action amorced by Valdo, who transmitts to Weah, Weah who with a lightning control and a aerial pass serves Bravo in the axis...Bravo, back to the goals , puts the ball back with the head ...Ginola looms to suddenly strike the ball in the back of the nets with a beauty of a half-volley! 2-0. If the referee whistles the end of the match now, Real is still qualified.
But time is like suspended now, and some minutes later, the jewel of the night with the goal of Valdo! The Brazilian, served by Ginola, realizes a somptuous feint shot...Ricardo Rocha jumps, Buyo can't regain his footing, Buyo is beaten with a simple interior of the foot as the difference had been made 1 second before with that wonderful piece of skill...which is the feint shot. 3-0! PSG is qualified. It is the 89th minute.
But at 90+2, "patatra"...Zamorano scores for Real Madrid. It's 3-3 on aggregate and in a very visible maneer, the confidence swithes camps.
Then the magic operates. 90+6 : on a free-kick played by Valdo, slighlty on the right of the box of Real, Kombouaré looms to score the goal of the 4-1! Fantastic! Once again with the head, same as against Anderlecht! Kombouaré striked again to qualify PSG, this time against the mighty Real Madrid, this time to qualify for the Semi-finals!

"Casque d'or"
Kombouaré will be forever remembered as "casque d'or" (golden helmet) the nick that will never leave him after this feat. Ginola, him, has been nicknamed "El Magnifico" by the Spanish press at the outcome of this match. And he has not finished to get hiself talked about towards Spain yet.

"El Magnifico"

For its part, Auxerre was playing against Ajax Amsterdam in those same quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup.
An Ajax invincible since 18 matches in Europe. Since 1989.

Martins, Laslandes, Litmanen, Alflen in AJA - AJAX '93
3 March 1993, Stade de l'Abbé Deschamps, Auxerre.
Quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup, 1st leg.
Attendance : 17.000

Goals : Petterson 3', Verlaat 16', Martins 43' fk, Vink 45', Vahirua 81' direct ck, Dutuel 90'.

AJA : Martini - Varlaat - Goma, Prunier (Bonalair 60'), Mazzolini - Guerreiro - Dutuel, Martins - Cocard, Baticle (Laslandes 80'), Vahirua. Coach : Guy Roux.

AJAX :  Menzo - Silooy, Blind, F. de Boer - Alflen, Vink, Jonk (Kreek 56'), Davids - Bergkamp, Overmars (Litmanen 85') - Pettersson. Coach : Louis van Gaal.

An early goal by Ajax launched the game. The former Ajax Verlaat equalizes against his maybe sufficient former teammates, something wich the Auxerrois may have take note. And Auxerre continues to attack. Martins on the free-kick for the 2-1. A Dutch quick reaction by Vink follows. At 10 minutes from the final whistle, goal on direct corner-kick by Vahirua for Auxerre! Then, while Ajax was pushing to score a new equalizer, Auxerre adds a fourth goal at the scoreboard, what is always better before playing in Amsterdam. 4-2. Auxerre was at the rendez-vous of this wonderful event. Auxerre was facing here its 14th adversary in European competition as Guy Roux underlined it well before the match. A sign. Not a sign of luck for Ajax, for now.

But Ajax could not do better than a 1-0 win in the second leg at home (goal by F. de Boer 60'). Well putted in place, always potentially dangerous on counter-attack with its wingers against a 3-men defence, the formation of Guy Roux qualifies after his feat of  l'Abbé Deschamps.
A feat somewhat eclipsed by the second match of PSG against Real in spite of the fact that this Ajax was the holder the UEFA Cup while Madrid had not win any European trophy since the mid-80s (UEFA Cups 1984-1985 and 1985-1986). The scenario of PSG-Real certainly played into that.

Anyway, PSG and Auxerre accomplished the unbelievable, with the maneer, the goals, and our two clubs are now in semi-final of the UEFA Cup. Where they join Juventus and Dortmund.

The Auxerrois face Dortmund. And all starts wrongly with 2-0 away loss against AJA.

But for the second leg in Stade de l'Abbé Deschamps, Guy Roux and his flock are decided to make a new feat from a French club in European Cup.

 Cocard and Vahirua, the two wingers of Auxerre in action

20 April 1993, Stade de l'Abbé Deschamps, Auxerre.
Semi-finals of the UEFA Cup, 2nd leg.
Attendance : 18.500

Lineups :

AJA : Charbonnier - Verlaat - Goma (Saïb 100'), Prunier, Mahé -  Guerreiro - Dutuel, Martins - Cocard, Baticle (Laslandes 106'), Vahirua. Coach : Guy Roux.

BvB : Klos - M. Schulz, Zélic (Grauer 104'), B. Schmidt, Kutowski - Lusch (Mill 74'), Zorc, M. Rummenigge, K. Reinhardt, Karl - Chapuisat. Coach : Ottmar Hitzfeld.

8' : Martins, 1-0. The Germans are stuck. Then Auxerre continues its domination assaulting the goals of tefan Klos. Dutuel finds...the cross-bar! It's not finished with Cocard...but the right winger spends to much time at controlling the ball and a German defender can clear the ball in this heated situation. The temperature drops a bit in Bourgogne, what a chance it was! A bit later, on a counter-attack (Dortmund has totally abandonned the ball to Auxerre in this match) Chapuisat is not much more adroit than Cocard, and it's still 1-0. That has the merit to re-launch the match, and the tension will never cease to grow higher and higher since then.
However, the Germans plays for time. By means of some simulations. Guy Roux cries out in the direction of the referee (Serge Muhmenthaler of Switzerland) : "It's Italians, it's not each time...I never saw so much injured players!". That did not touch our referee, but at least it had for effect to remotivate his troops. And to AJA to go back on the attack., Klos is well here on the trajectory. the gloves of the goalie. Cocard in his work on the right wing...and it's a free-kick (what a horrible foul by the way). It's the 72nd minute and it's the left foot of Vahirua...and a header by the Dutch libero Verlaat! 2-0, 2-2 on aggregate. Auxerre is well at the rendez-vous! The little stadium of Auxerre is about to explode! Let's finish the work now!
And Auxerre will multiplicate the chances to score. Dutuel with a lob...just off the bar. Baticle as the right winger for Cocard as the centre forward with the end of the's saved on their line by the club of the Ruhrgebiet. Laser pass of Martins for Dutuel on the right, Dutuel's cross for Vahirua...where is the ball? No, it's not's off the posts. It seems that Klos touched it unless it's the ball that striked Klos, but anyway, that's not in. Corner-kick. All the yellow jerseys of Dortmund are in the box, true bunker. Header of Cocard to deviate the ball in the is Prunier...Prunier's the bar. Vahirua : off the bar. it's extra-time now.
Baticle...Baticle for a one-to-one against Klos...Kutowski...tackle from behind. Red card and a free-kick which doesn't give anything. 106' : Raphaël Guerreiro is sent-off his turn. On his bench, Guy Roux is on fire, he's bounding...he cries out. And finally it's a penalty shootout.

No spoiler here, let's take a look at the video :

This one is for the Germans again (despit of a great display by the Frenches) as Stéphane Mahé misses his shoot, invaded by so much emotions. And we understand him.
Auxerre has never been so close of an European Cup Final, what a feat it would have been for the little town.

On its side, PSG was purely and simply swept-off by a Juventus which would make no details again against Dortmund in the Final - with once again a great Baggio, the man of this end of season in Europe.

During the same season 1992-1993...

...OM was playing the now "Champions League".

While PSG was at making dream the whole France of Football with its exploits (Naples, Real...) as well as Auxerre (Ajax...and Ajax), OM was playing the two first rounds then the group stage of the Champions League. A not so "sexy" group stage as we will see, but complicated enough.

1st Round :
Glentoran Belfast - OM : 0-5 (Völler 4', M. Vasquez 21' and 30', Sauzée 42' fk, Ferreri 84')
OM - Glentoran Belfast : 3-0 (Omam-Biyik 6', Ab. Pelé 12', Boli 72')

Omam-Biyik has just arrived that he leaves after one game in D1 in August and this European game of early September.

2nd Round :
Dinamo Bucharest - OM : 0-0
OM - Dinamo Bucharest : 2-0 (Boksic 32', Boksic 67')

Marseille qualifies for the group stage thanks to its brand new striker Boksic bought to Cannes with whom he did not play (1 match) the previous season due to injury. Scorer day after day in the League, having him seems pomising for he following. Most of all that, moreover, his partnership with other recruit, the 1990 World Champion Rudi Völler, scorer but also support forward, seems to work very well too in a mix of experience and of energy. They replace the duo Waddle-Papin which probably knew his peak in '91 against Milan and that after a season where Marseille had been eliminated early by Sparta Praha. The defender Marcel Desailly (from Nantes) is the other main recruit.

Thus for the second time, but for the first time under the name Champions League, the format of the competition is the following : 2 groups of 4, the two firsts of each group meet for the Final. And Marseille is in the Group A with Rangers FC of Glasgow, Club Bruges and CSKA Moscow.

In the first day match, the duo Völler-Boksic settle the arguments with guns very quickly. But in Ibrox Park, Rangers (who had eliminated the Leeds of former OM Eric Cantona, the enfant terrible) finally make up for obtaining the draw game. A mitigated entry in the competion for Olympique de Marseille.

1 point for each team. That was the initiation of the young goalkeeper Barthez from Toulouse (who took the spot of the Corsican Olmeta), his learning of the highest level.

Group stage (Group A) :
Day 1 : Rangers FC - OM : 2-2 (Boksic 31', Völler 57', McSwegan 69', Hateley 81')

In the Day 2, OM can finally make speak its physical power.

Day 2 : OM - Club Bruges : 3-0 (Sauzée 4' pk, Boksic 10', Boksic 25'). No problem.

Then, after a draw in Moscow, OM atomizes CSKA in Marseille.

Day 3 : CSKA Moscow - OM : 1-1 (Ab. Pelé 26', Faizulin 56').
Day 4 : OM - CSKA Moscow : 6-0 (Sauzée 5' pk then 34', Ab. Pelé 43', Sauzée again 49', Ferreri 71', Desailly 79'.

The Ghanean Abedi Pelé, sort of specialist of the European Cup at OM, is the man of this double-confrontation. Franck Sauzée, very efficient, also stands out.

But it will be more complicated, once again, against the Rangers which give well hard times to OM in this group.

Day 5 : OM - Rangers FC : 1-1 (Sauzée 16', Durrant 52'). Rangers, like OM are still unbeaten.

But in the last day match of the group A, while Rangers can only draw with CSKA at Ibrox Park (0-0), Marseille makes the difference, thanks to the inevitable Alen Boksic, very complete striker, and scorer again.

Day 6 : Club Bruges -  OM : 0-1 (Boksic 2' : Borkelmans for Ferreri, Ferreri for Boksic ). This time, Marseille manages to stay ahead. And everything ends well.

Only 2 years after, OM will play an European Cup Final again. They will meet an old acquaintance, AC Milan, still the top team in Europe, by far, and winner of the Group B (Göteborg, Porto, Eindhoven) with 6 victories in 6 games.

The official program of the first Champions League Final ever shows the ancient logo of OM (and not the current one with the motto "Droit au but"). Seems like OM is not taken seriously anymore after his fail in the 1991 Final and its early exit in the 1991-92 campaign.
Olympique de Marseille is clearly the challenger again against Milan despite the victory over the Italian giant in '91. For the specialists, OM had a better team back then, and Milan is always Milan.

Let's see now if the rossoneri take OM seriously in that Final. In any case, for its part, OM is very relax before this Final of Munich, not really working at the training, more joking with as special guest, their former teammate Chris Waddle. The best way to prepare this match according to President Tapie who rememeber well how much pressure his team had on its shoulders 2 years earlier against Red Star Belgrad. But this time, OM has the role of the challenger, maybe the role that fits them the best in Europe, so no panic.
Non content of having a clear idea about the mental preparation of his players, Tapie has also a clear tactical scheme in mind. Two days before the match he declares : "if Gullit plays, I have a big problem. If it's Donadoni, that damn suits me".

26 May 1993, day of the Final match : Cappelo and Milan will finally use Donadoni and Lentini on the sides and the very in form Massaro in attack. Gullit would not even be on the bench. The famous centre forward Marco Van Basten, unfortunate with injuries, will be well at the rendez-vous.

Aware of this, Goethals (very certainly under the recommandations of Tapie) and OM will align 3 central defenders plus two laterals with the mission to block the Italian wingers, wingers of the midifeld, the famous 4-men midfield of Milan who plays the 4-4-2 with zonal defence. In attack the trio Pelé-Völler-Boksic will have to exploit any situation that could present and we count much on Boksic' speed to make he difference against relatively slow duo Costacurta-Baresi.

Here are the lineups at the start of the match that takes place in Olympiastadion, Munich in front of 64.40 spectators :

OM (coach : Goethals)
__EYDELIE___________________________________________DI MECO__
_________AB. PELE____________BOKSIC__________VÖLLER_________
__________________MASSARO_______VAN BASTEN_________________

MILAN (coach : Capello)

Back to the question about knowing how much Milan would take OM seriously, no doubt that this team is the best in Europe, and not for nothing : very professional, obeying to their principles of the game, they largely dominate the Frenches in the first minutes. Van Basten, who's it is the come-back (he plays again since late April only, after his December's injury) doesn't seem really diminished, on the contrary it's like a real resurrection at which people are attending. But it's always 0-0 as Massaro is not able to finish the actions initiated by the Dutch master. On his way, this night, there's also a Fabien Barthez who from all of his 21 years (22 years in June) is here to save the house a couple of times even doing a double save on Basten and Massaro around the 20th minute. Minutes passes slowly however for OM who still persevere to defend for better of worse. In attack, for the rare occasions they had, they are sytematically ruled-out for off-side. Decidely, the plans of OM doesn't seem to affect greatly the Milan's game, and the Italians continue their domination throughout all the first half. Until the 44th minute : with courage, OM continued to attack as much as possible and obtained a corner-kick. Abedi Pelé, the instigator of this OM's attack limps to the corner-kick spot while watching back over his shoulder...this man seems to have something in mind. Pelé is at the set-piece. He strikes it. With half of the team of Milan hung to his jersey or charging him (Baresi, Rijkaard) Boli flies higher than everybody and propel a canon-ball under the cross-bar! 1-0 for OM at half-time.
Marseille succeeded into what Milan failed to do : scoring first. An advantage that would have been fatal for OM. Will Milan be able to come back in a game that looks like he has chosen his camp, here, just before the half-time?

Second half. This goal has for effect to elevate OM's game, more efficient than ever in defence now. 10 minutes of play and Capello decides to leave the traditional 4-4-2 of Milan (registered trademark) to launch Papin in the match, instead of Donadoni, totally neutralized by the "minot" (a "minot" is a kid from Marseille) Di Meco. Milan plays now with three strikers with Massaro, Van Basten and Papin, leaving a hole at midfield somehow compensated by Baresi who plays now higher on the pitch. The answer of Goethals intervenes with the entries of Thomas for Völler and of Durand for Angloma, both midfielders but here most of all two more defenders of OM's goals. Durand takes the left side and Di Meco will be in charge of Papin, as planned before the match. Van Basten bumps into Desailly, Papin bumps into Di Meco (unless it is Di Meco who willingly charges his former temmate). Papin tries to intimidate the young Barthez by stamping him. Without success. Di Meco doesn't miss to recall Papin to order. The intentions of the French centre forward of Milan are completely brought down. The left-side Maldini-Lentini (and Massaro) doesn't exist anymore. Despite everything, Milan, always in possession of the ball, is still dangerous in the axis but OM's players do not seem to want to let go. 

Capello doesn't know, is rendered unable to know how to proceed anymore in front of such determination and solidarity. 85th, the Italian coach decides to bring Eranio into the battle instead of...Van Basten. It would not change anything : Olympique de Marseille would be the first French club to win the European Champions Cup, 38 years after its creation (by some French people, let's remind it). 

 Merci Basile.
Some minuted before scoring this historical goal for the whole French Football, Boli was asking for a substitution as he had a muscular stiffening. Transcended, he'll defend this 1-0 lead until the last second of the match.

 The goal in motion-picture :

The goal + the end of the match :

It's over with the tears of Bari for Boli who mimes "no, I don't cry, I don't cry anymore" in the direction of the supporters as OM succeeds where she failed herself two years earlier, where Saint-Etienne failed 17 years earlier, and Reims the same in more ancient times. Marseille is champion of Europe...Surely that was time for this team to accomplish the feat. In any case, OM, which is the most popular club of the "hexagone" is celebrated in the whole France. It's also that the dream of a whole nation came true.
"A good springboard for Football and for the World Cup that will be held in France in 1998" says Platini, co-organizer of the (other) event to come.

Di Meco, Desailly, Boli, Deschamps, Pelé
Papin's on the wrong side

However, the end of this fantastic European 1992-1993 season will be tempered by the legal case VA-OM (for corruption or/ and attempted bribery). And, at another level, or parallely, a bit later, by the non-qualification of the French National team for the U.S World Cup.

That being said, let us stay however on an image of victory that will not contradict Platini's words.


As OM's title of champion of France 1992-1993 is removed due to his sentences in the fore-mentioned judicial case, it is AS Monaco (3rd) that will represent France in the Champions League 1993-1994. Second in the Division I but also winner of the French Cup, PSG will compete in the Cup Winners Cup. Bordeaux (4th), Nantes (5th and runner-up in the Cup) and Auxerre 6th will participate in the UEFA Cup.

Those later three teams would be eliminated very early in the competition (at the 1st round for Nantes and Auxerre, at the 3rd round for Bordeaux).  
But on its side , PSG would reach an European semi-final for the second time consecutively with another feat on the road.

PSG in the Cup Winners Cup 1993-1994 :

1st Round :
APOEL Nikosia - PSG : 0-1 (the right back Sassus 78'). Paris imposes on APOEL in the Makarion's hell.
PSG - APOEL Nikosia : 2-0 (Le Guen 1', Gravelaine 31'). PSG can progress in the competition after this first test, and an easy victory in his own stadium.
2nd Round :
PSG - Universitatea Craiova : 4-0 (Guérin 12', Ginola 17', Calin o.g 60', Valdo 72').
Universitatea Craiova - PSG : 0-2 (Guérin at the 29' and at the 48').

It's now the quarter-finals and as Marseille seemed like a subscriber at the matches with AC Milan, PSG does the same with Real Madrid. We know the feat Paris realized during the past season in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup against them. It will be about to realize a second feat right now in the quarter-finals of the Cup winners Cup.

Eveything starts well with a victory in the Bernabeu.

3 March 1994, Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid.
Quarter-finals of the Cup Winners Cup.
Goal : Weah, 32'.

RM : Buyo - Chendo, Sanchis (Morales 56'), Alkorta, Lasa (Prosinecki 82') - Michel, Ramis, Milla, L. Enrique - Zamorano Dubovsky. Coach : Benito Floro.

PSG : Lama - Sassus,  Roche, Ricardo, Colleter - L. Fournier, Guérin, Valdo, Llacer - Weah (Bravo 85'), Ginola (Gravelaine 88'). Coach : Artur Jorge.

Le Guen, supsended, it's Guérin who played in the axis. Not a constant in Artur Jorge's plans during this season (with Rai entering in the equation in D1), Weah and Ginola are aligned together.

Here's a video (except the goal a 5:27, we'll also appreciate a sort of remake by Valdo at 11:40) : 

It would have been of course a pity to no play with the two strikers as once again, Ginola was magnificient against Madrid. After he made fun of Sanchis' marking with a serie of dribbles and hooks, the French served the Liberian in the axis who did not miss this chance to score. Realistic in attack and courageous in defence, with a Ricardo who knew more and more knee problems but who always held his role of chief of the back-line and with a great Lama, Paris obtains here a precious victory even if it's only one-nil.

One year after Ricardo Rocha, Sanchis was the new target of" El Magnifico"

15 March 1994, Parc des Princes, Paris.
Quarter-finals of the Cup Winners Cup.
Goals : Butragueño 20', Ricardo 51'.

PSG : Lama - Sassus, Roche, Ricardo, Colleter - L. Fournier, Le Guen - Guérin ,Valdo - Weah (Gravelaine 89'), Ginola (Bravo 76'). Coach : Artur Jorge.

RM : Buyo - Velasco, Hierro, Sanchis, Alkorta - Prosinecki, M. Vasquez, Michel, L. Enrique - Zamorano, Butragueo. Coach : Vicente del Bosque (who succeeds to Benito Floro) .

1: 15 : really, there's something between Sanchis and Ginola.
2:20 : corner-kik for Real. Hierro shoots to the goal and Butragueño, "El Buitre" is on the trajectory. Ricardo, not in his best form was covering him so the Spanish could certainly not be called off-side. 1-1 on aggregate.
3:33 : it is a's a's, it's Ginola!
5:55 : free-kick by the master ès set-pieces Valdo. Ricardo, always present in the box into those situations pushes the ball into the back of the net! 1-1, 2-1 on aggregate for PSG.
Real must score twice. Zamorano finds the post with one of his header. Real will have some more occasions, PSG too. It's over (by the way we have appraciated some other actions like at the beginning of the video and the great displays of that very seductive PSG).

PSG reaches the semi-finals and it's time to appreciate more the victory in the 1st leg game away at Bernabéu. A first in the French football history!

Unfortunately, the following events will be less glorious with an elimination agains Arsenal, the future Winner of the competiton : 1-1 in Parc des Princes (Wright 35' and a header of Ginola on a ck by Valdo 49', in the same fashion that against Real in '93), 0-1 in Highbury (Campbell 7').

Is that Jorge played with only one striker in London in Ginola, plus it is true, Rai, and his excellent aerial play but who was not exactly a striker. Like Weah, who did not even entered into the game. That will be reproached to the Portuguese technician, starting with the lockeroom with for example Lama (author of a remarkable performance in England) who doesn't hesitate to declare it publically.

Was there really nothing to do about it?
For Lama the answer is no. (pics from the 1st leg)
 PSG will finish however champion of France ahead of OM this year, its second national title. But the Portuguese technician who had permitted Paris to play the first roles on the European scene will not be the coach of the club anymore the following year.

Not a champion since 1988, and last minute guest of this Champions League 1993-1994, thus inaugurating a bit what this competition will become, it is well AS Monaco that competes in the more prestigious European competition.

They first eliminate AEK (of Athen), not without some difficulties.

1st Round of the Champions League 1993-1994 :
AS Monaco - AEK Athen : 1-0 (Vlahos o.g)
AEK - ASM : 1-1 (Djorkaeff 5', Sliskovic not Blaz 12')

Capable of good as well as (most often) bad in Europe, from the point of view of the club's history at this level, the second round is a new test for Monaco with Steaua Bucharest at the program.

But the red and white, at only 180 minutes of a possibility to compete in the very attractive Champions League and its new formula with groups since the edition 1991-1992 will not miss such an opportunity.
In spite of an early expulsion of its young (21 years old) and boiling defender Thuram at the 21th minute and a penalty-kick conceded right away, AS Monaco makes really no details against the Romanian champion.

2nd Round :
AS Monaco - Steaua Bucharest : 4-1 (I. Dumitrescu on pk 22', Ikpeba 50', Klinsmann 52' and 64' and Ikpeba again, 75'). Under the impulsion of a great Scifo (who has his head covered with a bandage due to an injury received in a match with Belgium against...Romania some days earlier) the foreign duo of AS Monaco Klinsmann-Ikpeba shown no mercy.

At Steaua Stadion, Steaua wins 1-0 (I. Dumitrescu). Monaco is qualified. They will compete in the group A with Spartak Moscow, Galatasaray SK and FC Barcelona, champion of Spain for the third time in a row and European Cup winner in '92.
This season, contrarily to the two precedent editions, there will be semi-finals where the winners of groups welcome the second of the other group for an unique match.

CL,  Group A :

Same price for Spartak as for Steaua. Monaco enters perfectly into the mini-tournament.

AS Monaco - Spartak Mocow : 4-1 (Klinsmann 17', Ikpeba 40', Pisarev 49', Djorkaeff 62' pk, Thuram 90').

Then it is the first big test against one of the favourites for the final win, FC Barcelona. The match takes place in Catalonia.

FC Barcelona - AS Monaco : 2-0 (Begiristáin x2, 15', 26').

The third match, in Stade Louis II is against Galatasaray, a bad memory for the Monégasques as the Turkish club had eliminated heam in 1989, at the quarter-finals stage of the "European Champions Clubs' Cup" at that time. A real nightmare always presents in the minds with a defeat 1-0 in Monaco than a 1-1 in Köln.

This time, Monaco cope with it. The nightmare is forgotten.

AS Monaco - Galatasaray SK : 3-0 (Scifo  with a header 36', Djorkaeff 41', Klinsmann 55').
It's a double confrontation back-to-back with Galatasaray and a second very important second match in the perspective of a qualification for the semis. Monaco responds present.

Galatasaray SK - AS Monaco : 0-2 (Scifo 54', Gnako 88').

Monaco now only needs to draw with Spartak to qualify when the same Spartak imperatively needs the two points of the victory. And it's a 0-0.

For its last match, the Frenches welcome FC Barcelona. Barça wins the match thanks to Stoichkov (1-0, goal scored at the 13th minute) and remains unbeaten in this group (Kiev had beaten them in the first round).
Quite unoffending despite some chances, mainly by Scifo and Djorkaeff, Monaco will have to face Milan in the semi-finals and this meeting is most of all a good opportunity for Wenger to have some chating with Cruijff, the master, before the deadline to come.

Wenger asks advice to the Dream Team's guru
"Well I don't know what to say to you...I think that we will meet Milan in the Final and beat them 4-0", Cruijff said.

Monaco will be beaten 3-0 in San Siro and about the Final, it did not concern French football this year.
In any case, Monaco has been globally a good representative of French football in this competition. One consequence of it is that Monaco only finished 9th in the domestic league but on the other hand, the club reached here a turning point in its history and certainly took a new dimension thanks to that CL semi-final that the semis in the Cup Winners Cup in 1990 or even the Final in that same Cup Winners Cup in 1992 (won or lost) could not provide to them. This new good result is also in the continuity of those past good performances and settles the club more amongst the European clubs that count.

Scifo, Petit, Djorkaeff, Klinsmann, Viaud, Ettori, Thuram, Grimandi, Ikpeba, Blondeau, Puel (+ Dumas, missing, and Gnako, substitute)

With two new European semi-finalist in PSG and Monaco, though without OM, French football still exists on the European stage.


This season first marks the return of Olympique de Marseille in Europe in spite of their administrative relagation. As the 1993-1994 vice-champion of D1, they are allowed play in  the UEFA Cup.

The team still features amongst the most popular teams in France, if it's not always the most popular (it could be very well) although they are now part of the league of D2. With now an OM in a kind of a role of minnow, condemned to make an exploit, the French fans will find themselves dreaming again about great OM's victories in Europe as the club bursts into the competition by eliminating Olympiakos. With first a win in Athen, 2-1, and then a clear victory at the Vélodrome, 3-0.
The team is conducted by the ancients of glorious times Casoni, Ferreri, Durand, Germain or Marcel Dib (former Monaco) to which are added the more or less Irish centre forward Tony Cascarino, new idol at Marseille, or the international Belgian Michel de Wolf, exemplary in defense. Without forgetting the excellent Bernard Ferrer and Fabien Barthez who decided to stay at the club. Nor the new generation of "minots" with Marquet, Revillet, Wacouboué, Jambay, Libbra.

Here are the two matches that launched so well the new season of football in France and that permitted, not without a high dose of nostalgia, to bear the grief caused by the recent collapse of the national team and thus its absence at the last World Cup, in the United States :

Olympiakos Piraeus - Olympique de Marseille, 1st Round of the UEFA Cup 1994-1995 :

Olympique de Marseille - Olympiakos Piraeus, the 2nd Leg (only, unfortunatelly, that was not Red Star Belgrad and we were not in 1991) :

That was the "Indian summer" of OM in its love story with Europe that they would not retrieve for a while, but only three long years later, for what would constitute a "new era". In the Second  Round, close to accomplish a second feat, the Phocéens are finally eliminated by Sion (defeated 2-0 away, and regretfully winning by the score of 3 goals to...1 at home).

Nantes will get revenge for them in the next round before being curtly eliminated in the quarter-finals by Leverkusen. The gang of the old Schuster, 36 years old but always blessed with that superior individual technique, though they were struggling in the Bundesliga, crushes the brilliant leader of the French Division 1 and his admirable collective by 5 goals to 1. Attenuating circumstance, FCNA knew a hecatomb concerning its goalkeepers : Marraud, more or less injured but most of all less and less safe has been replaced by the promising and talentuous enough Casagrande. But Casagrande, who was on the rise,  sees his hand broken by Weah in a Division 1 match. So it is the so young Loussouarn who plays instead of the one who had perfectly satisfied until then. Loussouarn does quite well, is even the author of some extraordinary saves here and there that compensate his lack of experience. But that is for that reason, his lack of experience, that it is decided that he will not be aligned against the German club. Thus, Nantes calls for a revenant to play this match. With much experience as he is 32 years old. His name : Jean-Louis Garcia.
There's only one problem, Garcia barely played 1 or 2 matches in professional since 2 years. He was even not a player of Nantes anymore since the end of the season 1993-1994, but now... a goalkeeping coach, still at Nantes. Wanting not to burn Loussouarn, Garcia was asked by his directors and by the technical staff to sign a licence of player again in order to play a quarter-final of UEFA Cup three days later.
All starts in compiance with what we can imagine as Leverkusen, with Lenhoff, strikes before the 10th minute then less than 10 minutes later by Kirsten. The minutes ticked slowly in a spooky sound but a certain Christian Wörns, by an act of charity, offers a penalty to Ouédec. it's the 63th minute and it's only 2-1 now! But another problem is that this Nantes was so good that the team of the Loko, Ouédec, Pedros, N'Doram, Makélélé...Karembeu... is so good that they think that they can obtain the 2-2 before a sure win at home 15 days later, so they attack at will, despite the expulsion of Ferri at the 64th minute yet!
And it's 3-1, 4-1 (Paulo Sérgio twice) and even 5-1 (Kirsten at the 90th minute, who will not miss to make some more fun, like if it was needed, of the Nantes goalkeeper and defence just after the match simply  by saying that they were...very weak).

Nantes will not reverse the trend in the second leg at La Beaujoire. 0-0. Jean-louis Garcia replaced Casgrande in the woods for the second half of this match. Also, as a consoler, let's take note that Nanted did no concede any goal in its own stadium during the competition.

Let's go back on the first leg match still. That's assuringly worth to watch (for the anecdot, the former striker of OM, Rudi Völler, was of the party too) :

That was a sort of a feat really, you will admit.

In the Cup Winners Cup, Auxerre, and an umpteenth situational turnaround against a Croatian club. Beaten 3-1 in Zagreb, AJA beats Dinamo 3-0 in Bourgogne (3-1 being maybe not the worst situation). The successor of Vahirua on the left wing, Diomède, is the first scorer, followed by Mahé happier than against Dortmund (when we say that a footballing career is made of highs and lows) and the last goal is scored by Lamouchi.
This rejuvenated team of Auxerre, with also Laslandes as centre forward instead of Baticle (top scorer of the UEFA Cup in 1993 by the way) will only fail, not without with honour, against Arsenal in the quarter-finals, with a 0-1 home loss which followed an excellent match at Highbury where PSG failed too the past season. It was 1-1 with a goal of Ian Wright on pen. at the 59th minute and an almost immediate equalizer at the 63th by the libero Verlaat, accustomed to score goals in the different cups, and especially in Europe.
For this match, the very good Fabien Cool was the goalkeeper instead of Lionel Charbonnier and Pascal Vahirua was back on his left wing instead of Bernard Diomède, injured.

Here's the whole lineup of AJA in this match in Highbury, in the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners Cup 1994-1995 :
Cool - Goma, Verlaat, Mahé, West - Rabarivony (Remy 79'), Martins, Violeau - Lamouchi, Laslandes, Vahirua (Cocard 81'). Coach : Roux of course.
Arsenal lined like that :
Seaman - Dixon, Bould, Adams, Winterburn - Schwarz, Jensen, Merson, McGoldrick (Hartson 46') - Kimowya (Parlour 79'), I. Wright. Coach : Stewart Houston instead of George Graham, banned of English football for one year.

1-1 away before a 0-1 at home. The exact opposite scenario than PSG against the same Arsenal 1 year earlier, for the same result.

Arsenal reach the Cup Winners Cup Final again. Loosing it this time (to Real Zaragoza and Nayim).

Well, all in all, it's time to focus on the Champions League, and Paris Saint-Germain now coached by Luis Fernandez.

With no experience at this level of competition (it is the first time that the club takes part in the European Cup new format, so the "Champions League", they only have one participation in E1 until then with a precocious elimination by Vitkovice in 1986, in consequence one could express some reservations as to their chances to feature well), but strong of its recent very good results in the UEFA Cup or the Cup Winners Cup, PSG enters perfectly and remarkably into the competition against the always redoubtable Bayern Munich which it is useless to recall the palmares.

On a corner-kick by Valdo, one Ricardo' header finds the cross-bar after a rebound. Embushed, Weah scores in "the fox-in-the box" fashion, 1-0. Daniel Bravo, who has just been recycled into a defensive midfielder by Fernandez, adds a second goal with a somptuous volley from the 18 yards which recalls the great striker he once was, some years ago, mainly at Nice, in the 80s, when he was nicknamed "The Little Prince".
Despite all the efforts of Kahn in the Bayern's goals, it's a 2-0 victory for Paris Saint-Germain, at Parc des Princes.

14 September 1994, Parc des Princes, Paris.
1st Round of the Champions League, Day match 1.
Attendance : 36.924.

Goals : Weah 41', Bravo 83'.

PSG : Lama - Dieng, Roche, Ricardo, Cobos - Bravo - Guérin (Llacer 87'), Valdo (Kombouaré 89'), Le Guen - Weah, Ginola. Coach : Luis Fernandez.

BAY : Kahn - Jorginho, Kreuzer, Matthaüs, Helmer, Ziege - Nerlinger, Schupp, Sutter - Scholl (D. Hamann 50') - Witeczek. . Coach : Giovanni Trapattoni.

The Bayern of the legendary Matthaüs and his 118 internationals, was not at his best in the game in this beginning of season, it is true, and thay had to face a real bleeding in attack with the absence of  Papin due to injury and the departure of Adolfo "El tran" Valencia for Atlético de Madrid which had not been compensated yet as Papin would be more often at the infirmary than on the pitches but would be a bit later with first the return of Zickler and then with the arrival of...Kostadinov.

Regarding Paris Saint-Germain, no absences to deplore but now two consecutive matches away in this group B.

PSG will confirm his victory against the German champion with another 3 points won in Moscow, against Spartak. Rakhimov gave the advantage to his team just before half-time. More vigorous and more audacious after the pause, the Parisians come back into the game by a long-range shoot by Le Guen (52')  and win it in the wake on a free-kick by Valdo (60') that followed the exclusion of Mamedov, author of an ugly tackle on Guérin rushing to the goals. The message of Fernandez has been heard, him who wanted, probably amongst other things, more attempts to the goals.

The third adversary of Paris in this group is Dynamo Kiev and its so young players (Kosovski, Vashchuk, the keeper Shovkovski...) which the Luzhny's, Kovalet's and the striker Leonenko, with their 25 or 26 years of age, are thought of as the most experienced constituents.
PSG has obvioulsy all the means to get a good result but attention however to the courageous Ukrainians and their freshness which can be also an argument. Moreover, Jozsef Szabo aligns the promising Rebrov, 20 years old, 1 goal against Barça in 1993-1994 and another one against Spartak in 1994-1995, as his team is for sure very combative but lacked of imagination in hits two first matches against Spartak (a 2-3 loss) and Bayern (0-1).

However Paris Saint-Germain imposes himself in the Republican stadium, 2-1. First, Guérin, with a low shot from the 18 yards and after a good period of time of dominance with  a very good Ginola until then (he will be substitued by Rai at the 54th minute), 26'. Then, Leonenko on a litigious penalty-kick...the foul was made out of the box, equalizes at the 33th minute. And finally, phew... Weah, by a header, another time after a corner-kick, this time striked by Le Guen, not Valdo. The liberian finally manages to beat Shovkovsky after several attempts from him during all the match and from his teammates in this second half as with a volley by Valdo some minutes before.
A deserved victory as PSG greatly mastered the game on a technical point of view.

Brilliant champion 1994-95 but now way less good in Division I, with a striking 3-0 defeat in Nantes in August (which had set the tone for this season) against a very vivacious team with a great collective type Dynamo, but maybe in better, PSG counts however 9pts after the three first match in the Champions League as they have beaten alternatively Bayern, Spartak and, Dynamo.
It is clear, PSG will have to continue to concentrate a maximum of his efforts on this Champions League which remains a competition of cup this year. As soon as with this "second leg" against Dynamo, at Parc des Princes, 15 days after. In order to insure his qualification for the quarter-finals (the two first of each of the four groups are qualified for this edition), the club's declared objective at the beginning of the European season, and after a preliminary round, we have to say, that was against Vac Samsung from Hungary (one could have started with it).

Without Ginola (declared injured) but with Raï and most of all Weah, PSG wins this match against a very twirling Kiev's team by a 1-nil score. Weah, always inspired on the European stage, scored this precious goal, at close-range, collecting a ball deviated by Shovkovsky on his post after a shoot from Rai.

20 days later, Paris moves to Olympiastadion.

Weah enters at the 65th minute as a substitution for Ginola. A quarter of hour later, he would score what would remain as one of the most beautiful goal ever made in the Champions League's history.

A must see and re-see and re-see. Final Score 0-1.

Weah and PSG strike make a big splash on the European stage.

And they win the Grand Slam with a 6th win in 6 matches. With a 4-1 against Spartak with goals of Weah, Ginola, Weah again (and always) and Rai.

They'll meet FC Barcelona in the quarter-finals after the winter break. The matches will take place exactly in March (1st leg on the first of the month in Barcelona, 2nd leg on the 15th in Paris).

At the eve of the event, both teams are nonetheless not at the top of their aptitudes.  Both teams being at the end of cycle with on one hand, after several years, a Dream Team's domination that is ending in Spain, with repercutions in Europe - they only finished 2nd in the Group A behind Göteborg. And on the other hand a PSG which as already explained previoulsy, neither is anymore the brilliant clockwork that won the French First Division I title in 1993-1994 and knew another crushing defeat against Nantes in January, this time in Paris,  0-3 again while moreover Barcelona was beaten at the Bernabéu...5-0 (manita). At the same time, both clubs see some of their star players more and more capricious. One of them, amongst the Catalan, is Romario. He has negociated his return to Brazil (at Flamengo) and he is not a member of FC Barcelona since the beginning of the calendar year. At Paris SG, we know that David Ginola is particularly sollicited since the end of  the last season and that is relationships with Fernandez are tumultuous, a bit like the ones between Stoichkov and Cruyff can have become.

In this knockout-match between two full of stars but convalescent teams, only one shall pass. Once again, PSG has nothing to loose into this competition but everything to gain. We know they can sublime themselves in the Champions League, it's time to make what would remain a new feat.

After a (very) good draw-game at Camp Nou in front of 114.450 spectators, 1-1, Korneev 47' then Weah who celebrate the end of winter 7 minutes later)...

 (another header by Weah from another set-piece from Valdo, see vid' and full-highlights)

...arrives the moment of truth, in Parc des Prince.

15th March 1995, Parc des Princes, Paris.
Quarter-finals of the Champions League.


Starting lineups :

PSG : Lama - Le Guen - Cobos, Kombouaré, Colleter - Bravo - Guérin, Rai, Valdo - Weah, Ginola. Coach : Luis Fernandez.

FCB : Busquets - Ferrer, R. Koeman, Sergi - Nadal - Ivan Iglesias, Bakero, Eusébio S., Hagi - Begiristain, Stoichkov. Coach : Johan Cruyff.

For this match, Alain Roche is suspended. And Ricardo who was already absent 15 days earlier is still missing due to injury. Le Guen becomes the libero of the team while the experienced Kombouaré (preferred to the young Dieng) continues to replace Ricardo. Only one change for Barça with Hagi being called back to play instead of José Mari.

At half-time of this match,  PSG was leading by 4 shots on the posts or the cross-bar to nil (Weah 5', Ginola 32', Rai 39', Ginola 41'). But 5 minutes after the pause it is well Barça that open the score with Bakero at the receipt of a free-kick quite easily obtained by Hagi against Valdo and played by Koeman, from the left-corner of the Bernard Lama area. 2-1 for Barça on aggragate.
Some minutes later, José Mari, who had replaced Begiristain before one hour of play, is not much more efficient than his predecessor on the field as he loses a one-on-one with Lama. Hopefully, or it would have been 0-2 and near to be the end of the adventure in this cup for Paris Saint-Germain.
67' : Ginola succed in lobbing the small Busquets but finds the cross-bar again! No luck, but it seems that the reaction of the Catalans has been of short duration. In the same time, forced to attack, PSG is back at showing the same intentions as in the first half. They can't be eliminated like that, it is not possible, they dominate! Yes, but it's still 0-1 and we approach the time of the final whistle. Well, 20 minutes remain that said and time is running slow as Barça seems to desintegrate, totally. So how to not be of the camp of the optimistics finally? Fernandez makes some adjustments, his layers don't seem to be invaded by the doubt, it's far to be over yet of course.
70' : Le Guen, now re-positionned at midfield,  shoot to the goals from the 18 meters. Wide. The ball has been touched however and it's a free-kick.  Cruyff makes a last substitution with the defender Abelardo who enters for Hagi, apparently injuried. The purpose of this substitution is obviously before all about to reinforce the defensive system and to block better the Parisian at midfield where the Frenches dominate numerically since Le Guen moved up there. 
72' : Le Guen plays the corner kick...for Rai who has no difficulties to jump higher than Bakero and Busquets (the poor man) and to propulse the ball in the back of the nets thanks to his legendary head-play as the two aforementioned Barcelonistas are almost telecoping each other and failing on the floor. 1-1! Rai, more often used in the domestic games, is at the rendez-vous in this European night!
Will it go to extra-time? It doesn't seem. There's some spaces. First for Barça with Ivan : it's stopped by Lama. Then Ginola : stopped by Busquets. 
And here it comes, the 83rd minute, cursed minute for the Marseillais but not for the Parisians (to each his own story) as after a splendid collective sequence, Guérin, Vincent Guérin, not attacked, presents himself at the entry of the penalty-box, set a shoot off...and beats Busquets! 2-1, Paris is now qualified.

Guérin : un tir de mouche qui fait mouche
The native of Spain Luis Fernandez wins against the Barça of his idol as a player and as a coach, Johan Cruijff. PSG adds to his palmares another great of Spain after Real Madrid (beaten twice in 1993) with is talismanic Kombouaré in the team and a "rebuilt" Ginola, author of a perfect match who decidedly wears perfectly the nickname of "El Magnifico". But also with the serious and always perfect Le Guen, the brilliant Lama which we'll rather remember the fantastic and decisive saves over the two matches than some errors... nd obviously the decisive Rai and Guérin. And all the others. The whole club is in the stars from his coach to his players including his president Denisot who is admitting that he has lived here his greatest European night at the issue of the match.

The whole club is in the stars and talking stars they will be served with Milan AC in the semis. Because if the Italian club can't count anymore on the Dutch trio which had greatly contributed to built its legend within the decade, and as now they now "only" rely on the Croatian Boban and most of all the Montenegrin Savicevic to make the difference, the club, in itself remains obviously a big star amongst the European clubs.

El Magnifico & Marcelo
 The Lombards knew well some problems in the beginning of the season and seems to be out of the race to win what would have been a fourth back-to-back scudetto, but the machine of Capello works now better with a very compact block and a virevolting Savicevic at the upfront to torn the defences apart. Moreover, the glorious captain Baresi is back in the team.

The National title has also slips from Paris but why not continuing to dream in the European Cup.
But it will not take long to stop dremaing as impose himself in Paris (1-0, Boban) before comleting the job in Milan with no less than a 3-0 win. With a Ricardo back in the PSG's central defense for this double-confrontation but one leg, the now way more consistent (since December) Savicevic took delight in beating Lama twice, with style, but also without much resistance as beyond the "case Ricardo" who courageously gave all what he could, the Parisian team was dominated in all the compartments of the game by the Rossoneri (whose it's not necessary to insist on the fact that they played with experience too, thus a not  way much more in form than Ricardo Franco Baresi could multiplicate the fouls without being worried by the referee). Paris stops on the road, Milan goes to Wien (where they will be beaten by a young, dynamic and brilliant Ajax).

Paris was at this time playing on all fronts with besides this Champions League semi-final, a semi-final of Coupe de France (won against OM, champion of D2 but unhautorized to go up in D1) and another semi-final of Coupe de La Ligue (won against Le Havre). They would won the two national Cups 1 month later,  in May.

At the end of the season, George Weah, approached by Milan already since just after the group stage, then directly contacted to sign a pre-contract just before... the game against PSG, will well join the club of Silvio Berlusconi. The top scorer of the Champions League (with 7 goals) will be then awarded Ballon d'Or France Footaball in the end of the civil year. For Ginola, first announced at Barça where Cruyff praises him enough, it will be England and the Newacastle United of Keegan. As for Ricardo and Valdo, they go back to the club of their first European feats, Benfica.

We'll retain of this 1994-1995 European season that French football placed once again one of its club in the semi-finals with PSG which after a semi of UEFA Cup in '93, a semi of Cup Winners Cup in '94 continued here in some sort of progression with a semi of Champions League. That Nantes and Auxerre (and their politic axed on the formation of young players) featured amongst the quarter-finalists of the UEFA Cup and of the Cup Winners Cup, respectively. The match of the year : PSG-Barça, assuringly. The great winner : French football in general which continues to take care of its UEFA coefficient.

1995-1996 : the absolute record year.

In addition to the two representants in the Champions League and in the Cup Winners Cup, Nantes, champion 1994-1995 (with only one loss) and Paris SG, winner of the Cup (and 3rd in the Division I), 6 clubs were qualified for the UEFA Cup : Olympique Lyonnais (vice-champion), AJ Auxerre (4th), RC Lens (5th) and even Monaco (6th) due to the excellent UEFA coefficient of the French club's football (to which Paris had greatly contributed, especially during the last season with 7 wins and 1 draw in 8 games before the CL semis against Milan).
Moreover, two other clubs joins them with RC Strasbourg (10th in D1 but finalist of the French Cup against PSG which competes in the E2) and FC Girondins de Bordeaux (7th in D1), both winners of the 1995 Intertoto Cup which the semi-finals actually served as preliminary round of the UEFA Cup.
In this preliminary round, the Alsacians were eliminating Tirol Innsbruck (1-1, 6-1) while the Girondins were overcoming the obstacle that represented Karlsruhe, their winner in the round of 16 in 1993-1994 by beating them 2-0 in Germany this time, before a 2-2 at home.

4+2 = 6 reprensentants of the D1 in the UEFA Cup. Record. 2+6 = 8 clubs competiting in all the European competitions, record. Enough to feed some hope.

In the first round of the UEFA Cup, Strasbourg (which finally manage to find a way to fulfill its European ambitions) beats Ujpest (3-0, 2-0). Not without having a hard time, the Bourguignons of Auxerre beat Viking Stavanger (1-1, 0-1). Lyon beats the Portuguese of Farense (twice 1-0), the Lensois get in trust with Avenir Beggen (6-0 at Bollaert, 7-0 away) while Bordeaux casts aside Vardar Skopje (0-2, 1-1). The only fly in the ointment is the defeat infliged to Monaco by Leeds. 3-0 for Leeds in Monaco with an untenable Yeboah, author of a hat-trick and who has particularly mistreated a Basile Boli on the decline since his spell at Rangers and who was about to leave to the land of the...rising sun. That was the match of the day, the 1-0 win of Monaco in Leeds would obviously not set up a new deal.
In the Cup Winners Cup, PSG beats an interesting Molde FK team whose the young talents Petter Rudi and Ole Solskjaer even though remarkable, have not worried them overly (3-2 away and 3-0 at home wins). As for FC Nantes Atlantique (as the club has been renamed at this time), the club which can have ambitions in a group A composed of Porto, Panathinaikos and Aalborg, starts slowly but seriously its European campaign with a 0-0 with the Portuguese champion. At home. We are far here of the reputation of the club, known across Europe since its title for its offensive game and for the quality of the permutations of its players (type Ajax) but at least it seems that the Canaris, driven by their coach Jean-Claude Suaudeau, take the measure of the challenge that awaits them in this Champions League by first putting well in place the team and its defence while not loosing points on a direct concurrent. It's also a new team which has lost the powerful and multifonctional Karembeu (signed by Samp and replace by Carotti of Montpellier) and with most of all, in attack, a Ouédec orphan of Loko (gone to PSG and replaced by Roman Kosecki from Atlético de Madrid who must adapts, it seems he does it quite quickly). All in all a good draw game, most of all taking in account the difficult start of Nantes in the new domestic league season, and a result that (in the eye of the ones who see more potential in other type of clubs to feature well into the CL) doesn't tarnish the track record of the French clubs in the competition during the last seasons. That should be ok, one thinks. Until the second match of group in this same month of August against Panathinaikos, and a defeat 3 to 1 in Greece. In order to hope for a quarter-final, the next two games against Aalborg will be certainly decisive before to meet again Porto, this time in Porto, and the Pana of the terrific Warzycha (more efficient in front of the goals than his fellow countryman Kosecki it seems).

Then comes the different second rounds of the different European cups from the mid-october to the early November.
More or less in order here for now : Lens eliminates Odessa. Bordeaux eliminates Rotor Volgograd like Nantes during the last season. A bit less "lucky" with the draw, Auxerre fails against the former double European Cup winner Nottingham Forest. 0-1 at l'Abbé-Deschamps (goal by Steve Stone), 0-0 at the City Ground. Way more unlucky, Strasbourg is beaten by Milan, but with nothing to be ashamed of, especially not of this goal made by Sauzée on free-kick, another one to add to his collection. His last one in Europe :

(see all the goals of Sauzée in European games including this last one here or here)

The European champion '93 Franck Sauzée and RC Strasbourg bows down to Milan twice, 0-1 in Alsace and 1-2 in Lombardia, but once again without being ridiculous, far from that.

But the real feat (which supposes a qualification) is to be credited to Olympique Lyonnais...

David stronger than Goliath : Giuly infiltrates here between Nesta and Marchegiani.
...which eliminates Lazio by beating them two times.

Stade Gerland, Lyon.
Round of 32 of the UEFA Cup, 1st leg.

OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS 2 - LAZIO (ROME) 1. Goals : Devaux 15', Winter 24', Deplace 64'.
Attendance : 29.800
Referee : the young Merk.

OL : Olmeta - Marcelo Djian - Deguerville, Devaux, Laville, Anselmini - Deplace, Roy- Assadourian, Maurice, Giuly. Coach : Guy Stéphan. Subs. : Chavrondier for Anselmini 52', Bardon for Assadourian 82'.

LAZ : Marchegiani - Favalli, Nesta, Negro, Chamot - Winter, Di Matteo, Fuser - Esposito, Boksic, Casiraghi. Coach : Walter Zeman. Subs. : Bergodi for Esposito 46', Piovanelli for Winter 67'.

Stephan (who has replaced Tigana who had left to Monaco), and its "Gones", understand the young players formed at the club with first Maurice, announced as the new Papin, the talentuous Giuly, not already a professional player and who repace Gava (injured), Deplace, Laville, Devaux, Anselmini but also Chavrondier and Bardon, another promising talent, from the bench, triumph of Zeman's Lazio and his legendary 4-3-3 with first an organization inspired by the formation of OM against Milan in the 1993 Champions League Final until half-time then a more classical 4-4-2 with Giuly in support of the duo Assadourian-Maurice.

Devaux had scored with a wonderful header in the first half (on corner-kick, it reminds some things) :

Deplace, author of a formidable match, scored the winner with a limpid low shot from 20 meters (probably slightly touched by Giuly on the way). He had been served by the future Armenian international Assadourian :

In the second match, the prolific striker Signori is aligned by Zeman. But it's a second triumph for Lyon, that takes place this time in Rome.

Olimpico, Rome.
Round of 32 of the UEFA Cup, 2nd leg.

LAZIO 0 - OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS 2. Goals : Maurice 21', Assadourian 59'.

LAZ : Orsi - Favalli, Nesta, Negro, Gottardi - Piovanelli, Winter, Di Matteo - Rambaudi, Casiraghi, Signori. Coach : Walter Zeman. Subs. : Boksic for Gottardi 28', Marcolin for Winter 60' and Romano for Rambaudi 80'.

OL : Olmeta - Marcelo D. - Sassus, Devaux, Laville, Deguerville - Deplace, Roy - Assadourian, Maurice, Giuly. Coach : Guy Stéphan. Subs. : Bardon for Assadourian 72', S. Roche for Giuly 79', Chavrondier for Deguerville 86'.

2-0. Nothing to say (except maybe that Signori shooted a pk wide and that there was a great Ometa with several saves just after the 1-0). With this time the names of the two strikers at the scoreboard.

And here's the goal of Florian Maurice on an astucious pass by Giuly :

And here's the one of Eric Assadourian still thanks to Giuly (n°11/ 10), nicknamed "Piccola Topa" since this match by the transalpine press :

To measure the dimension of this performance, Lyon has beaten, and eliminated here, at the Olimpico, a Lazio team which had beaten Juventus two days before by 4 goals to nil.
That team had maybe a problem of goalie too though. But of course that doesn't diminish the greatness of this feat, here at the round of 32 stage of the UEFA Cup. One had just to enjoy it. That was so unexpected.
However, Lazio (vice-champion '95) was certainly more concerned by the race for the scudetto. They will finish 3rd behind Milan and Juve in the Serie A in May '96 (Lyon the vice-champion of France '95, only 11th in D1).

During this time, PSG was beating Celtic in the Cup winners Cup. First with a 1-0 in Parc des Princes thanks to a goal by the new star of the club Youri Djorkaeff (former Monaco) who was reaching a new dimension  in club in this beginning of season 1995-1996 as well as he was continuing to do well with the National team.


Then with an even more convincing victory in the mythical Celtic Park, thanks to a better team-play, more fluid, that the first match had however clearly prefigurated. The difference lies most of all in the fact that this was a match with goals this time. 3 goals. To nil. Standing-o in Glasgow.

Goals by Loko 6', Loko one more time at the 42' and Nouma who had replaced Loko at the hour of play, 68'. There was well a Vata at Celtic, but thankfully for Paris, it was not the same Vata. Paris will play the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners Cup in March. Of what concentrating tranquilly on the Championnat during a good while.

For its part, Nantes beats Aalborg at La Beaujoire as expected (Ouédec 5', Andersen 46'... Pedros and Kosecki, 55', 75', 3-1). Before beating them 2 weeks later in Denmark (L. Guyot 10', Ouédec 68', 0-2), an imperative again as it was known since the loss at Spyros Louis against Panathinaikos. Mathematically, the Nantais are still in the race for a qualification for the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

And they still are after a spectacular 2-2 in Porto (goals by Pedros for Nantes 3', Drulovic for Porto 10', Pedros 34' and Carlos Nacimento 56').

The French of Portuguese origins Reynald Pedros signed two splendid goals at Estádio do Dragão.
Nantes had the opportunity to win, but due to a lack of balance between the attack and the defence, its fate will be decided in the last game against the leader of the group, Panathinaikos. At La Beaujoire.

In the UEFA Cup it was over for our "Gones" as on the 21.11.95 Nottingham Forest beats Lyon 1-0 in England (a penalty-kick by Stone) and that they will not reverse the trend in the second leg with a 0-0 at Gerland. Like Auxerre, Lyon is beaten by the smallest margin but is well eliminated by the teammates of Stuart Pearce. The recent good results of the French clubs and the long ban of the English clubs in Europe seem to have not change one thing : a difference in the commitment and maybe a feeling of inferiority in front of the English clubs, so dominating during years.

It's an exit for RC Lens too against a surprising Slavia Prague : 0-0 in Czech Republic, 0-1 in Bollaert. The outstanding performances by the goalkeeper Stejkal and a goal by the young and prodigious forward Karel Poborsky in extra-time made the difference. Mental strenght too. A narrow score again but the result is what it is. The competiton is now becoming tougher.

At last, Bordeaux has not been especially lucky with the draw as they had to face the Andalusian of Real Bétis. But they do well with first a 2-0 win at home (with goals by the former Auxerre Dutuel at the 24th minute and by Croci in the end of the match, 81th minute).

The second leg is more complicated in Sevilla but thanks to an extraordinary goal by the extraordinary Zidane, whose reputation grows more and more in international football, and won't stop to do with that beauty.

Huard kicks the goal-kick, finds the head of Bancarel who deviates it forward. Zidane is here at the edge of the attack, but at more than 35 meters from the goals of Betis. After one rebound, with his left (not his best foot, if we want well believing in it), Zidane propulses the ball directly in the direction of the goals. Jaro is lobbed, the ball finishes its course in the back of the net. "Une merveille"!
Unfortunately for them, the French commentators were not much inspired and did not see anything coming. If crying out "goal" at the moment at which Huard striked the ball would have been indeed a bit crazy, one could feel that time was like suspended during this action, and the magic happened. Like some times before and several times therafter, Zidane had used of his unique power, the one which consist in controlling a whole game, all in a moment of one breathe.

Here's another video of the goal, this time in home-cinema quality and with the comments by the indiviudual concerned (in French) :

An early goal (made within the 4th minute) that will guarantee the Girondins' qualification at the end of a difficult match during which only two goals will be added by Betis.
Bordeaux will play the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup in March.

It is now December, and it is Champions League only.

In a La Beaujoire stadium under a white blanket of snow, Nantes draws with Panathianikos 0-0.

It will go through for Decroix and the Nantais as Porto could not beat Aalborg in Estádio do Dragão. Thanks to their two wins against Aalborg, their two draws against Porto (which counts only one win) and this last match against the Greeks in full control, Nantes will play the Quarter-finals of the Champions League. We will remain in the ambiance as it will be against Spartak Moscow.

After the first half of the season, from the eight French clubs that were involved in August for this European campaign and that almost jostled on the starting line, three are remaining to compete in the quarter-finals in the early spring, one in each competition : Nantes in the Champions League, PSG in the Cup Winners Cup and Bordeaux in the UEFA Cup.

5 March ('96) : Nantes welcomes a Spartak which has just lost its founder Nikolai Starostin two weeks earlier.
Nantes wins 2-0 with goals of N'Doram (28') and Ouédec (68'). After an excellent first half by him, Pedros is excluded (78') thus he will miss the second leg match in Moscow. N'Doram, subjected to injuries in this season post-title is substitued out at the 64th minute so his participation in the second match is very doubtful.
Excellent score anyway before to move away to play this team which had dominated the group B (Legia, Rosenborg, Blackburn) with 6 victories in 6 matches!
Also, it must be precised that Spartak Moscow was playing here its very first match of the year. Deprived of his former leader Onopko, gone to Vigo, and without Khlestov (another defender), broken leg.
20 March, in Russia : Spartak leads 2-0 at half-time thanks to his libero Nikiforov who scored twice (33', 36'). In the second half Nantes will show solidarity (what they are lacking a bit this season in the domestic league). And without Pedros nor N'Doram to finish the actions but with Ouédec, who confirms to be always succesful against the Russians (after Volgograd and Kamyshin in '94) Nantes obtains a draw game and the qualification for the semi-finals!
Instead of the Tsymbalar, Tikhonov, Nikiforov or the young talented goakeeper Nigmatullin (who didn't look so special against Nantes, hopefully), impressive in the first round, our national Canaris, coming a bit from nowhere, let's be honest, have now a little possibility to play an European Cup Final. A so little chance as it will be against Juventus, when in the other semi-final, Panathinaikos (from the same group of Nantes as we know) will have to face the European champion Ajax.
Most of all, it's the 4th time consecutively that the French champion, always a different one, will be part of the "final four" after Marseille in '93 (winner of the first edition of the Champions League), Monaco in '94 and Paris in 95'. Thus, Nantes made at least as well as Monaco and Paris.

If Nantes inherits of an Italian (and European, that goes without saying) giant for the semis to come in the CL, in the UEFA Cup, Bordeaux had to deal with what is probably the greatest one of them all on the continental and even intercontinental scene since years, Milan AC, and that since the quarter-finals.

 Tough draw for a Bordeaux which is still fighting to avoid a relegation from D1 to D2 in the League. Now with a new coach, the former player of the club, and already coach for the 1991-1992 season in D2 Gernot Rohr who has replaced Slavo Muslin in February, just after an elimination in the Round of 32 of the French Cup, infliged by Toulon (D3).

Milan, on the point of reconquering the scudetto this year make short work of beating Bordeaux at the Giuseppe Meazza in the first leg : 2-0 with goals of Eranio and the always inspired and great Baggio, especially at his ease into this competition where once again he offers the victory to Milan in one class act, with one superb free-kick, like against Strasbourg.
Our Girondins admit it themeslves, they have played like a junior team this night (imply what doesn't help against such a team) totally paralyzed by the event, the place, the adversary and fascinated by the aura of its jersey.

For the 2nd leg match, the current ballon d'or Weah comes back alongside the former ballon d'or Baggio in the Milan's attack after he has served a sentence of one match of suspension. Once again, the young French player Vieira is up for it too. However we can count one man missing on Milan's side, the winger Savicevic without who Milan lost the derby against Inter (0-1). As for Bordeaux we take all the same players (no absences) and we start over.

19.03.1996, Parc Lescure, Bordeaux.
Quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup.
Attendance : 32.500.


Lineups :

FCGB : Huard - Toyes, Dogon, Friis-Hansen, Lizarazu - Dutuel, Lucas, Zidane, Ri. Witschge - Tholot, Dugarry. Coach : Gernot Rohr. Sub.: Grenet for Dutuel 60' and J. Fernandez for Tholot 85'.

ACM : Ielpo - Panucci, Costacurta, Baresi, Maldini - Eranio, Vieira, Desailly, Donadoni - R. Baggio - Weah. Coach : Fabio Capello. Subs. : Albertini for Eranio 25', Di Canio for Baggio 46' and Locatelli for Vieira 71'.

And we're off! The 32.000 spectators are in the stands since hours before the start of match, the ambiance is electric tonight, here in Bordeaux. Nothing that can't impress the Milaneses however who creates the first chance for themelves in this match with Weah launched in the depth. Huard, with a nervous gesture but finally precise enough wins the duel.
The first 10 minutes gives the picture of the teams' tactics : Milan is systematically trying to directly find Weah in the axis, him of whom the technique, the controls can make the difference at any moment. Systematically skipping Baggio. As for Bordeaux, they develop their game on the left side with their trio Lizarazu, Zidane, Dugarry but also Witschge who like Zidane, is rather free to roam on the entire width of the pitch.
As we're approaching the quarter of hour of play, we can see that the fouls multiplicates on Zidane who has perfectly entered into his match (already 4 or 5 fouls on him, like with Desailly). When a few seconds later, Witschge, from the right flank of the midfield, makes a perfect transversal for Lizarazu rushing up on the left side which he made his garden since several minutes. "Liza" sends a cross at the far post and it's a goal! By Tholot! 14': 1-0.
25' : after 20 minutes of domination by Bordeaux which the players are more more and more assaulted by the Italians (what is not always sanctionned by the referee by the way)  Eranio is out, while he is apparently not  injured. However it seems that Costacurta get a nosebleed. The Girondins really get into the game well. While Costacurta treats hiself and that Eranio sits on the bench, Albertini is in to take the centre of the midfield. It is Veira who will have to take the right side. 
26' : Dugarry takes advantage of this tactical reshuffle (well it's always the Milanese 4-4-2, but the men changed) to send a cross to Tholot at the penalty spot, from the left side, after a combination with "Liza". Tholot before's off the bar.
27' : corner-kick by Baggio. Huard takes hold of the ball in the middle of the Weah's, Desailly's, Panucci's, Maldini's.
29' : Tholot is out for some minutes, knocked down by Baresi, during a serie of fouls on the Girondins' players. At the end of the line, it is Maldini who got a yellow for an aggression on Dugarry.
30', 31' : Zidane-Lizarazu, Lizarazu-Zidane in one touch on he left, superb. Throw-in then, a bit later, free-kick for Bordeaux. Friis-Hansen in the direction of the box for Dugarry, a bit on the right...Maldini clears it but Bordeaux maintains the pressure. Milan doesn't touch a single ball and is on the verge to break in defence where Baresi doesn't dare to play the off-side anymore.
43': Costacurta, not lucid anymore, commits an horrible act on Dugarry. It's only a yellow for the Italian. Free-kick, sort of corner-kick, from the left. Witschge deviates it with the head. It was hot for Ielpo, encircled by Girondins ready to finish the action, but lucky enough to manage to keep the ball out of reach of them with the...ankle. On the counter-attack, Baggio launches Weah. Who shots wide.
Injury time : on a cross by Panucci, Huard intervenes before Weah, or into Weah, who lies on the floor. 
The bruises accumulates on the Milan' side (on the bodies and in the heads) when the referee whistles the half-time.

The players of Rohr have heard well the instructions of the latter : first of all, to prevent Milan to score one goal. And,to think about scoring a goal within the first 15 minutes. And they have certainly made even better by putting big doubts in the Milan's players minds, dominating them clearly at the midfield, technically, with Zidane and Witschge, and at the level of the envy, at the image of a Lizarazu.
1-0 at the scoreboard and on the pitch, 11-0.

2nd Half :
At the end of the long tunnel of Lescure, Milan reappears without Baggio but with Di Canio. No changes for the local team and the Bordelais appear still with the same motivation that shows on their faces and with one quite obvious objective, to score that second goal.

We're not going to enumerate every action for this second half (see all of that in the full-lenght video of the match, included a bit further) as globally Milan has some difficulties to get his head above water. Some efforts were made in this direction by the Italians in the very beginning of this second half, but it didn't last long. The first clear chance was for Bordeaux with Dugarry, at the 52nd minute. A taster of what will happen to Milan.

64' : free-kick for Bordeaux. On the left. Zidane shots down sir Cakar, the referee, who deviates the ball with his back...for Dugarry at the far post (not exactly was intended by Zidane here) who scores with a pivotal strike! 2-0, and it's fully deserved. First looking maybe a bit tired due to the efforts they had made for their perfect performance of  the first half,  the Bordelais are now ready to roll.

And as Bordeaux is finding a little supplement of energy, if it was that needed, it doesn't go better for a more and more ghost-like Milan, overrun in the state of mind, physically but also clearly at a technical level, and that since the start of the game. The ranking of Bordeaux in the League definitively doesn't reflect the quality of its players, Zidane and Witschge in the vanguard, but also Dugarry who has not finished yet to get hiself talked about.

And he does not later than now, at the 70th minute : Zidane, after a cross by Panucci that did not work out and a recuperation of the ball by himself jointly with Witschge in the feet of Desailly, pushed by a public full of faith tonight and that since the beginning, climbs back up across all the field ball at the feet...he advances...and advances...he drops the ball a first time in the direction of the depth for Tholot, it's countered by Costacurta but the ball goes back to him who is still advancing...he passes the ball this time slightly on the right but always in the depth...for Dugaaaaarrrrry...who scores! 3-0!

The have made it! They have scored a 3rd goal to the best defence in the Serie A. By the way, Milan never had conceded 3 goals in Europe since 1978.

At 1-3, Milan would be qualified. But the 20 following minutes will only serve to savour and enjoy a bit more the feat as the the Girondins defenders systematically repel all Milan's attempts.

Huard, tonight at his best, had saved a shoot by Weah at point blank-range a few time before this 3rd goal (maybe Dogon had touched it with the hand on passing, just before the Weah's shoot, but anyway). With a Huard at his best, a Zidane but also a Witschge, a Lizarazu and obviously a Dugarry playing in the stars, and a whole team at the level, all was here to fulfil this dream : to beat the great Milan. Not the one of Sacchi, the one of Capello, but which was still considered as one of the 2 or 3 top sides in the world at this moment, if it was not still the number one.

The final result is well 3-0 : Tholot 14' (assist by Lizarazu), Dugarry 64', Dugarry 70' (assist by Zidane)...

...and here they are, the goals :

Bordeaux-Milan 1996 (les 3 buts)

Master of the midfield during this match against Milan jointly with Witschge, Zidane knew breaking the lines with a pass but also ball at the feet, with his dribbling.

Like OM of his city of origin, ZZ takes down the legendary Italian club.

Twirling since the first minute, turning around a very good Tholot, Dugarry transformed into a scorer, twice.

He'll later declare : "if only I knew that this match in Nörrkoping [first match in the Interoto cup, played in August] would have lead to all of this".

Indeed, Bordeaux was playing here no less than its 16th European game. And there will be at least two more as the team will play the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup in April.

Bordeaux - Milan the 90 min., video :

Now with unusual jersey main colours (garnet instead of the traditionnal navy blue, which now only appears on thin stripes) Bordeaux probably makes here his greatest feat in its European history, even surpassing the Bordeaux-Juventus of 1985. If the match against Juve was a semi-final of the European Cup (the Champions Cup) and that the club beat here a Juventus at his peak with Platini as number 10, this time, against Milan, even though it is not the greatest Milan (but is this one so far?), the qualification is here in the end.

During this time, PSG was battling with an Italian club too, in the Cup Winners Cup quarter-finals. Parma it is, a club which has been omnipresent in the different European Cups which are not the Champions Cup (the scudetto being reserved to Milan and Juve) through the decade. A serious adversary on the road of a PSG which has now affirmed to target the Final in this competition. A Final before the Final according to the observators. Despite an UEFA Cup title the previous year for Parma (won against Juventus) maybe PSG follows a better dynamic. Attention however, as we can always expect from an Italian team, this Parma's defence will be way more harder to beat than the Celtic's one, and the the squad of the powerful Parmalat's club obviously counts on outstanding talents in attack, like Gianfranco Zola, who took another dimension since his departure from Naples and his arrival in Parma. Also, they should count on their new recruit, the Bulgarian Hristo Stoichkov who cross the path of French football once again with assuringly the idea in mind to play him a dirty trick again (and take his revenge as regards the PSG-Barça of the last year in the Champions League).

Le Guen (now a libero) and Stoichkov meet again

In the first leg match in Italy, Parma imposes 1-0. Thanks to a goal by the Ballon d'or 1994.

With only one goal against (greatly due to Lama), Paris Saint-Germain has the advantage to receive for the second leg. Only, it will be without Djorkaeff, substitued out before the half-time in the first match away and who is still unavailable.

21 March 1996, Parc des Princes, Paris Saint-Germain.
Quarter-finals of the Cup Winners Cup, 2nd leg.
Attendance : 43.686.


PSG : Lama - N'Gotty, Le Guen, Roche - Fournier, Bravo, Rai, Colleter - Loko, Dely Valdès, Nouma. Coach : Luis Fernandez. Subs. : Guérin for Colleter 67', Llacer for Nouma 69', Mahé for Fournier 75'.

PAR : Bucci - Mussi, Cannavaro, Sensini, Apolloni, Benarrivo - D. Baggio, Pin, Brambilla - Melli, Stoichkov. Coach : Nevio Scala. Subs. : F.Inzaghi for Stoichkov 64', Crippa for Pin 77', Di Chiara for Mussi 83'.

Inspired by Cruyff, Fernandez aligns what is more of a 3-4-3 than a 5-men defence plan like Scala's.

8 min. report of the game :

Rambunctious in attack, Nouma obtains a penalty-kick before the 10th minute (foul by Cannavaro). It's transformed by Rai (familiar with the exercise but penalty shooter tonight due to the absence of Djorkaeff). 1-0. 
But around the half of hour of play, whilst the match seemed under the control of the Parisians, Parma starts to win free-kicks after free-kicks and settles in the camp of PSG before to be soon qualified again as Melli beats Lama in the open-play. The pitch has been watered to favor the attacking game of this Paris there, but also to the detriment of Lama that sees this Melli's good but not so powerful shoot passing under his belly and finish its course in the back of the nets.
Hopefully, thanks to an action full of grace by his number 10 Rai, Paris take the lead just befor half-time. Sombrero by Rai, pass, and goal by Loko! Fantastic show. 45 minutes remain to score one more goal, and to concede none.
The match is tight and around the 70th's a new penalty in favor of PSG. Rai is at it again. This takes a long time for he can kick it. Whistle. And it's another goal by Rai, who beats Bucci on his left, once again. 3-1. Some minutes earlier Stoichkov could have obtain something, severely tackled by Roche. But the referee did not flinch. Incidentally, the Bulgarian, not very convincing tonight had left the pitch after this action.
And it's finally on this score of 3-1 that the match ends. Between those two low defences, the team with the most dynamic attack line wins, and it's only justice.

Rai did have finally the opportunity to take things in hand in Europe and he did not disappoint as he qualifies PSG against Parma. Assuringly the hero of the night.

Paris joins Bordeaux and Nantes in the semi-finals. French football is represented in each one of the three European Cups' "final four". Never seen before for sure.

In the Champions League, as annouced already, Nantes has to face Juventus. The surprising semi-finalist, who likes Bordeaux lives a difficult domestic League season has not really reassured hiself in 1996 and probably went throught the quarter-finals more due to the weakness of his adversary than because of  his force. As a proof the fact that they were lead 2-0 in Moscow against Spartak before to come back in the match but only when the forces of the Russians, who were just starting their season, were fading away.

First without Pedros, heavily punished for his violent act in Nantes-Spartak, but also without his number ten N'Doram whose the age starts to show through the physical problems that go with. An it's not all since the new international player Makélélé will be missing at midfield too. Nantes moves to Turin, at Stadio Delle Alpi to defy one of the best squad in the world for the first leg match. With some hopes : "Juve has a super team...but so we will be fifty-fifty" says Ouédec.

During almost (this is the problem) the whole first half Nantes is well at the level of the event as they don't face much danger. The reinforced defence of Nantes (as we say "we do what we have", even at the school of "Le Jeu à la Nantaise") is well in place. Until the 44th minute and the expulsion of Bruno Carotti (yes of Nantes) who falls into the trap of Padovano, lying on the floor without having been touched by the French defender who however was very closely following the run of the Italian. So the inspiration of the latter.
Juventus had not been particularly dangerous offensively, but this red car ponctuated the undermining practiced by the Transalpins during this first half.
It's half-time, it's 0-0 but it's already 3 yellow cards (Gourvennec and Carotti x2) plus one red against Nantes to nil for Juve.
After the pause, Juventus will not wait too long to open the score. With Vialli at the 49th minute. His first goal into the competition. A quarter of an hour later, Jugovic finishes the work, 2-0. That will be all for the score. As for the cards, the English referee, mister Gallagher, has distributed 4 more yellows to Nantes in this second half.

It remains to Nantes to make "a Bordeaux" like the national rival did against Milan in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup. At least, the Nantais promise to take some sort of a revenge by winning the second leg at La Beaujoire, in front of their public, qualification in the end or not.So it will be a more offensive team that Jean-Claude Suaudeau will align this time.

For this match, FCNA registers the come-back of N'Doram, not 100% fit, far from that, but obliged to play the game. Makélélé will play too. Le Dizet, suspended, doesn't play. The young Chanelet will be the right back.

Nantes will manage to beat Juventus but it will not be sufficient to compensate the delay of the 2-0 loss in the first game in Italy.
It would remain however as very a special night, assuringly.

17 April 1996, Stade de La Beuajoire, Nantes.
Semi-finals of the Champions League, 2nd leg match.

Goals : Vialli 17', Decroix 43', P. Sousa 51', N'Doram 69', Renou 83'.

FCN : Casagrande - Chanelet, Decroix, Capron, C. Pignol - Ferri - Makélélé, Cauet - N'Doram - Ouédec, Kosecki. Coach : Jean-Claude Suaudeau. Subs. : Gourvennec for Ouédec 39', Renou for Kosecki 69', Peyrelade for Pignol 88'.

JUV : Peruzzi - Carrera, Ferrara, Vierchowod, Pessotto - Di Livio, Conte, Deschamps - Ravanelli, Vialli, Del Piero. Coach : Marcello Lippi. Subs. : P. Sousa and Padovano for Ravanelli and Del Piero 46', Jugovic for Vialli 78'.

"Le Sorcier de La Beaujoire", Japhet N'Doram
The beginning of the match is all to the advantage of a Juventus with impressive mastery and even more present in attack than in its own stadium (what is obviously not illogical given the context of this match).
Like a fox-in-the-box, Vialli already opens the score at the 17th minute. Once again the defence was out of place. It's over for Nantes in regards to the Final. As for winning this game here, Decroix gives hope to his team when he equalizes at the 43rd minute finishing the work of Capron who had "scored" but only between brackets as the referee, the famous Sandor Puhl, did not allowed the "goal".
If reaching the Final was still possible, Nantes would have had to add 3 more goals in the second half, without concedeing one, obviously. Knowing that they had lost their best scorer in the CL Ouédec on injury (he had already missed a large part of the beginning of the season and he is now out until the end of it).
Remains the club's top scorer in the League N'Doram, who keep real the posssibilty to win the match by equalizing (Sousa scored in the beginning of the second half) with a superb solo goal at the 69th minute.
Then Nantes pushes and pushes like if  they were practicing the offensive football of the glorious era (more the one of 80s) for the biggest  pleasure of its supporters and at the 83rd minute, the young Renou, of the centre of formation scores the winner after having reviewed all the Bianconero's defence. 3-2. If only they had played since the start like this, some start to dream.

Vid' :

Like Bordeaux, but the one of 1985, at the same stage of the same competition, Nantes wins the second leg at home. Once again, it is well Juventus which will play and win the Final. This time against Ajax on penalties.

Makélélé is the author of a high-level performance, but it is well the former captain of Nantes and of OM Didier Deschamps that will lift the European trophy. His second personal, two years after the one won with Marseille. The second one for Juventus as well and its first in the Champions League era.

After this 4th win for 4 draws and two losses, 15 goals for and 12 against, the journey stops here for the "Canaris". But this semi-finalist place in the Champions League is however the best performance ever of FC Nantes on the European stage (as we can guess).
It was a bit tricky, but it was all in all quite exciting to watch; most of all maybe for the supporters of Nantes.

All of that to say that a video exists to re-watch the full campaign highlights and that it is here. One could decide to stop watching at 1:13, but let's enjoy the whole thing (please) :

In the UEFA Cup's semis, whilst FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich are facing each other, our winners of Milan, the Girondins de Bordeaux, are opposed to Slavia Prague which has eliminated AS Roma.

This Bordeaux-Slavia is also an opposition between two of the new young superstars of the year which are expected to lead their respective national teams to glory at the English Euro in June. We're talking of Zinédine Zidane and Karel Poborsky. The first is a bit more playmaker, the latter is a bit more support striker, but the two are the maestri of their teams.


It will go through for Zidane's Girondins de Bordeaux. With two wins 1-0, first away then at home, in Parc Lescure.

Slavia - Girondins, semi-finals of the UEFA Cup, 1st leg match :

0-1, goal by Dugarry, assisted by Zidane.

Girondins - Slavia, semi-finals of the UEFA Cup, 2nd leg match :

1-0, goal by Tholot. The second "goal" wasn't allowed (Tholot was off-side). Same with the third (Zidane) wich was very probably valid.

Bordeaux will play the UEFA Cup Final! It will be against Bayern. The club of the Gernot Rohr' debuts as a player.

PSG which is done with Parma inherited of Depor (from La Coruña) as a last obstacle on the road to the Final of the Cup Winners Cup.

For the first match that takes place in Galicia, Luis Fernandez must do without Rai, injured. Djorkaeff is back however but he will be on the bench. On the pitch the attack will be composed by Loko, Nouma and the Panamean Dely Valdès. They will be supported by Bravo and Guérin at midfield. The central trio of the back doesn't change. Fournier and Colleter complete the team on the sides.

John Toshack's Depor uses a similar system in defense with three centrals (Voro, Djukic, Paco), 5 midfielders with Donato at the recuperation/ distribution and a duo Aldana-Fran, more aimed to prepare the attacks, and a redoubtable duo upfront with the Brazilian world Champion Bebeto and the Spanish international player Manjarin.

The referee is Mr. Merk (Germany).

Paris masters well the match during the first half. Bebeto is neutralized and the Parisian even permits themselves to push a bit forward after a half of an hour of play. 
The beginning of the second half is for the locals. Then Paris reappear dangerous and alternates the chances to score with their opponent. Depor has then more clear chances, but Lama is on the alert like against Begiristain, entered at the 81st minute. Luis Fernandez had played his joker at this 81st minute too with the entry of Djorkaeff. It is this one who will have the final word in this match. At the 90th minute.

After this short video in Spanish, a longer one in French (a complete 15 min.compilation of the main actions)  :

Djorkaeff, a decisive come-back at the Razior (Begiristain in the background)
1-0 away, an important advantage before to receive Deportivo in Paris. First thanks to Lama, decisive a couple of times, then a bit thanks to the clumsiness of the Depor' strikers and finally most of all thanks to Djorkaeff who knew to be influent in the space of 10 minutes.

We know there are some in-house tensions at PSG since some time, but it's definitively not the moment to break up for the 2nd leg in Parc des Princes.

18 April 1996
Parc des Princes, Paris.
Semi-finals of the Cup Winners Cup, 2nd leg.
Attendance : 43.900


PSG : Lama - N'Gotty, Le Guen , Roche - Fournier, Bravo, Guérin, Colleter - Djorkaeff - Loko, Nouma. Coach : Luis Fernandez. Subs. : Rai for Nouma 54', Dely Valdès for Djorkaeff 77', Llacer for Fournier 77'.

DEP : Liaño - Paco, Ribera, Voro - Villaroya, Donato, Alfredo, Viqueira - Manjarin - Bebeto, Radchenko. Coach : John Toschak. Subs. : Aldana for Alfredo 50', Begiristain for Viqueira 58', Martin Vazquez for Radchenko 62'.

Changes in comparision to the first match : a system more modeled on the PSG's one for Depor but with Manjarin who is more a winger who will alternate on both sides of the pitch when Djorkaeff who's back and plays instead of Dely Valdès (inneficient since January) is a central offensive player, more midfielder. We take also note that Ribera plays instead of Djukic in the Depor's defence, and that Viqueira starts at midfield instead of Aldana. The left offensive midfielder Fran who enjoyed a good reputation before the first match, is not aligned. He's numerically replaced by the Russian striker Radchenko. On the PSG side, it's a bit the contrary with Djorkaeff (offensive midfielder) who find his place again instead of Dely Valdès (striker). Counter-attacking with fast stikers reigns in away matches in Europe.

Recently overtaken by Auxerre at the top of the Division I table, Paris was almost badly surprised in the very beginning of this match by Depor, since the 9th minute, with Manjarin whose lobbed header falls on the crossbar. The reaction is immediate from the Parisians : they will block everything, quaing the whole pitch and finally keeping everything under their control until half-time.
In the second half, Rai enters instead of Nouma and will play in support of Loko. His head-play could be precious in the eventuality of some set-pieces too. At the same time Djorkaeff is demanded to play deeper on the pitch by his coach. To start his actions from more far, like he did to score this goal in the 1st leg away. Banco for Fernandez and Paris! Once again, Djorkaeff is decisive, this time by serving Loko who scores his personnal 4th into the competition.  It's the hour of play and PSG has one foot in the Final. But not the two feet. At the 75', Manjarin, always him, offers a new chance to score to his team and to Bebeto but it fails.
Quite tormented by some incompability of temperament within the club, the players still manage to stand united on the pitch. 
And finally, the fourth consecutive European semi-final is the good one for PSG with a 1-0 victory for what was also the 500th match of the club.

Final result : 1-0 (Loko 59', assisted by Djorkaeff).

Here against Donato or Bebeto, Daniel Bravo is more and more impressive at midfield, especially in European Cup.

No more no less than the best defensive midfielder in the world according to Hristo Stoichkov.

PSG will play against Rapid Wien in the Cup Winners Cup Final in May. For the first time ever, French football will be present in two European Cups Finals the same year as Paris joins Bordeaux which will play the UEFA Cup Final, as we know against Bayern.

So how to say? Fabuleux ! His-to-ri-cal too.

UEFA Cup Final '96 :

Important detail, for they have been booked at parc Lescure against Slavia, Zidane and Dugarry are suspended (the latter has kicked the ball away when slavia had a off-side kick in its favor) for the 1st leg match of the Final in Munich (of what to be deshearten from the outset, we grant it). As for Bayern, which got rid of Barça and at the same time ended the Cruyff's era (with Beckenbauer as new headcoach, in replacement of Rehhagel), they present well with Jürgen Klinsmann, 14 goals in the competition. Also with his good friend, Matthaüs, converted in a libero, what can constitute an object of hope for Bordeaux as the German international player doesn't rhyme with total security in this role. But if Zidane and Dugarry are missing, who will take advantage of this supposed weakness of the German defence? Tholot should feel lonely at the edge of the attack. Witschge still plays this being so. Until then, the Dutch player played in a deeper position than usually into this UEFA Cup but he remains as a player who can make the decision. The main thing for Gernot Rohr will be however to obtain a good result (against the club of his debuts as a player) before the second leg at home with the duo Zizou-Duga back in the team.

But the handicap of playing without their two main assets in attack will be to strongly felt by Bordeaux. As Bordeaux is unable to convert its chances in goals against a cast-iron Oliver Kahn it is Bayern which take the lead by Helmer (34è, a header consecutive to a corner-kick). Author of a excellent game, and once again very penetrant, Scholl adds a second at the hour of play. Player of talent in a team without real genius, it is well him who will be the star of this night in Munich, in his own stadium.The trio Witschge-Tholot-Bancarel has been strong-willed but in the return of their inefficiency, the bill is here.
It's 2-0 after full-time and before the decisive match in France. Zidane and co. will be forced to make a new feat.

The players of  Bordeaux have just saved the club's rank amongst the French elite (against PSG) when they receive Munich. In theory, they should concentrate on the Final to eventually reverse the trend once again, for the biggest moment of their season. At a more practical level, other things were decided backstage at the same time for the ones who had defeated Milan 2 months before.
More presents in the physical challenge, that's putting it mildly, Bayern players, while being very compact in defence, commits aggressions to the point that Lizarazu must take the direction of the hospital after 30 minutes of play. Zidane was orphan of his best relay on (the left side of) the pich and it was from then on definitivley over of any hope to see Bordeaux to go back in the race.
Already 5 times winner in 5 matches away before this match, Bayern counters Bordeaux three times : 53', 66 and 78'. First with Scholl, always him, then with...Kostadinov always him, who finally would have done more harm to French football in two matches than Stoichkov ever did in way more. It's even him by the way who has  injured Lizarazu. You felt it coming and yes it's well him. Klinsmann adds his personal 15th into the competition two minutes after an anecdotic goal by (the always good) Dutuel.
Bayern 5, Bordeaux 1 (on aggregate of course,  but still). And whilst Klinsmann was breaking the record of the number of goals scored in one edition of the UEFA Cup, it was not already official but it was done, Zidane was breaking the record for a transfer fee (Juve).

 After having been T.V pundits for the 1st leg match, Zidane and Dugarry are back to the footballers' reality.

Replaced by... Kostadinov... in the second leg due to a suspension, Papin, this time on the good side, wins his first European trophy thanks to his 70 minutes played in the 1st leg in Munich.

9 years after they were beaten by Porto in the Champions Cup Final, Bayern Munich did not miss the opportunity to win the only European Cup that lacked to their trophy cabinet.
As for Bordeaux, they had already played "their final" a 19th March. Let's recall that they were at the end of a true marathon-season. Which has started in July, in Norrköping, in the Intertoto Cup. So the feat to have at least reach the Final.

Here's the sum-up of Girondins' European course 1995-1996.

Intertoto Cup 1995 :
Group stage :
01.07.95, Bordeaux - IFK Norrköping : 6-2 (Tholot x3, Zidane x2 and Prunier for Bordeaux)
08.07.95, Bohemian FC - Bordeaux : 0-2 (Dugarry and Zidane)
15.07.95, Bordeaux - Odense BK : 4-0 (Zidane fk, Prunier, Tholot, Lizarazu pen.)
22.07.95, HJK Helsinki - Bordeaux : 1-1 (Bancarel for the 1-1)
Roud of 16 :
29.07.95, Bordeaux - Eintracht Frankfurt : 3-0 (Lucas, Dutuel, Zidane fk)
Quarter-finals :
02.08.95, Bordeaux - SC Heerenveen : 2-0 (Dutuel, Lizarazu)
Semi-finals :
08.08.95, Karlsruher SC - Bordeaux : 0-2 (Dugarry, Dutuel)
22.08.95, Bordeaux - Karlsruher SC : 2-2 (Lizarazu x2 incl. 1 pen.)

The two winner of the semi-finals (so Bordeaux but also Strasbourg) qualifed for the first round of the UEFA Cup.

UEFA Cup 1995-1996
14.09.95, Vardar Skopje - Bordeaux : 0-2 (Bancarel x2, 25' and 75')
28.09.95, Bordeaux - Vardar Skopje : 1-1 (Lizarazu 61' pen. for the 1-1)
17.10.95, Bordeaux - Rotor Volgograd : 2-1 (Niederhaus 40', Histilloles 47', Witschge 90' pen.)
31.10.95, Rotor Volgograd - Bordeaux : 0-1 (Bancarel 83')
21.11.95, Bordeaux - Real Betis : 2-0 (Dutuel 24', Croci 81')
05.12.95, Real Betis - Bordeaux : 2-1 (Zidane 4', Alexis 28', Stosic 45')
05.03.96, Milan AC - Bordeaux : 2-0 (Eranio 29', Baggio 74')
19.03.96, Bordeaux - Milan AC : 3-0 (Tholot 14', Dugarry 64', Dugarry 70')
02.04.96, Slavia Prague - Bordeaux : 0-1 (Dugarry 8')
16.04.96, Bordeaux - Slavia Prague : 1-0 (Tholot 47')
01.05.96, Bayern Munich - Bordeaux : 2-0 (Helmer 34', Scholl 60')
15.05.96, Bordeaux - Bayern : 1-3 (Scholl 53', Kostadinov 66', Dutuel 76', Klinsmann 78')

So no less than 20 matches from the 1st July 1995 to the 15th May 1996 which finally permitted to reveal the magic trio Dugarry, Zidane, Lizarazu on the international stage and permitted to a club of Girondins which we don't really know who is the president anymore (Afflelou will leave too) to sell them at the better price.

There's of course a video tape of this whole epic and it is here :

Cup Winners Cup Final 1996 (1 week before Bordeaux - Bayern)

Though the not much popular logo (imagined by Canal +) with the three letters P, S, G has not been totally abandonned, the Parisians sports well a more traditionnal badge on their jerseys :

Favorite of the competition since the quarter-finals and the elimination of Parma, playing against a Rapid Wien which knew its finest hour decades ago, PSG still find usefull to hire a mental coach before the Final.
Thus the former winner of Roland Garros and coach of the French team which won the Davis Cup in 1991 against the U.S.A, Yannick Noah, who likes to present himself as "the osteoptath of the mind", joins the team in Hendaye where they prepare, to the delight of the players.

Is that PSG has just definitively lost any chance to win the national title with a 0-0 against Martigues and a 1-0 loss against Lille, both times at Parc ds Princes. Auxerre which had eliminated them in the earliest stage of the French Cup has even accomplished the double by winning the "Finale de Coupe", the 4th May, at Parc where the Cup Final is traditionnaly held.

Winning the Cup Winners Cup Final the 8th May in Stade du Roi du Baudoin in Brussels is now more than an imperative for the PSG directors, that in order to "save te season". Noah will employ himself to de-stress the players and to instil the winning spirit into them.

And it worked.

08.05.1996, Cup Winners Cup Final
Stade Roi Baudoin, Brussels

Goal : N'Gotty 29', long-range shoot.

Lineups :

PSG : Lama - Fournier (Llacer 78'), Roche, Le Guen, N'Gotty, Colleter - Bravo, Guérin - Rai (Dely Valdés 12') - Djorkaeff, Loko. Coach : Luis Fernandez. Rai get injured since 11th minute of play but it did not prevent Paris to triumph 1-0.

RAP : Konsel - T. Ivanov, Schöttel - Hatz, Heraf, Guggi - Kübhauer, Marasek, Stöger - Stumpf (Barisic), Jancker. Coach : Ernst Dokupil. A solid team with a great goalkeeper and the young German striker Jancker as centre forward.

Quite nervous at the beginning of the match, the Parisians take things in hands after 10 minutes of play. That is at this moment that Rai must untimly leave the pitch due to an ankle injury. He's replaced by Dely Valdès but the team doesn't suffer much of this change. The spectators maybe a bit more.
Quite an annoying final we'll tend to say (well it's often with the finals). But quite well mastered by PSG, never really worried by this Rapid.
1-0 at half-time then nothing more. One had to not have a heart condition when N'Gotty thrown a bolt-shoot on a free-kick played with Djorkaeff at the 29th minute. The lone ray of light in that match. The one which has given the victory. Some minutes before, Djorkaeff had well made a try but from a difficult angle. Dely Valdés missed the 2-0 chance twice, one time by half, Guérin one in the end but why to bother to add one more anyway?

3 years after the powerful header by Boli in Munich, another defender gives a second European cup to French football with N'Gotty :


Slightly nervous but determined and diligent, the Parisians win a Final of which here is a more complete sum-up. We can see here that the N'Gotty shot was probably deflected by a defender :

The Bulgarian Trifon Ivanov did not caused trouble to a Djorkaeff who could run until the final victory...before to fly away towards new horizons.

As for Luis Fernandez, he is simply the first French coach to win an European Cup ever. An he'll leave too.

But let's stay on an image of a more collective joy which ponctuates quite a formidable course : Molde, Celtic, Parma, La Coruna and Rapid Wien.

 So an exceptional result for the French clubs in that season 1995-1996 with that victory of PSG in the Cup Winners Cup with in addition the fantastic campaign of Bordeaux and the semi-finalist rank of Nantes in the Champions League all of that with some great moments against adversaries of high value. Results that come in the continuity of what the French clubs produced since the start of the decade and as many good news at a few days of the Euro in England and two years before the World Cup that will be held in the "hexagon", especially for the National team.

As for the clubs, will they be able to continue this momentum? Beyond PSG's victory in the Cup Winners Cup, 1996 marks also the establishement of the Bosman ruling in Europe.
First announced at Barcelona, Zinédine Zidane signs to Juventus, Dugarry for...Milan, Lizarazu joins Luis Fernandez at Athletic Bilbao (while Witschge goes back to Ajax, that's for Bordeaux). The Parisians Djorkaeff and Bravo leaves to Italy : Djorkaeff signs a contract with Inter, Bravo (at the end of his career though) joins Parma which let Stoichkov (him who had lauded Bravo) to go back at Barça. The Frenchman will accompany here AS Monaco's defender Thuram (who will play the Euro). In London, Wenger takes Arsenal FC in charge after a spell in Japan. Here he will built a team with many "Frenchies" starting with the recruitment of the promising Anelka (young product of PSG who appeared only twice with the first team but who however represents the future) and Patrick Vieira who did not impose himself in Milan but who did not lost all his potential for all that. They will be surrounded by Rémi Garde (30 years old, from Strasbourg) before other incomings a bit later. There's also Martins (From Auxerre to La Coruna) amongst some others.
As a counter-part, the French League registers the arrivals of Smicer (from Slavia to RC Lens), of John Collins, the best scorer of Scotland in the Euro qualifiers (from Celtic to Monaco) and hopefully the revelation Giuly signs his first professional contract with Lyon. But as good as it is, it's maybe a bit light in the balance. And the phenomenon will certainly not decrease in 1996-1997 with the Spanish and the Italian leagues, also German, and most of all the English Premier League whose the financial ressources more and more become like unlimited.
The French footballer has never been as much popular abroad. Good for the National team assuringly when looking at the examples of Deschamps and Desailly but how the French clubs will be able in the future to win one European Cup again? Was it not hard enough like it was already?

We'll take the direction of this troubling future in a next part to follow the adventures of our French clubs, always condemned to make the feat. That's why we love them.

Related articles :
Part 1 and Part 2a of the Fench clubs feats on the European Stage (1955-1985 and 1985-1990)
French teams, players and coaches detailed results in European Cups (an inventory)
Jean Pierre-Papin detailed stats in European Cups (with video of all his goals)
Zinédine Zidane detailed stats in European Cup (with video of all his goals)
Franck Sauzée's career (article in French with a video of all his European goals amongst others)
The day Stojkovic left Baresi & Maldini on the buttocks (article with video)
Statistiques détaillées en Coupe d'Europe de Basile Boli, Antoine Kombouaré et Bruno N'Gotty

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