jeudi 26 mai 2016

French Clubs Feats on the European stage 1956-1996

Les exploits de clubs Français sur la scène européenne de 1956 à 1996.


All three parts in one :
French Clubs  Feats on the european stage Part 1 - 1955-1985.
French Clubs  Feats on the european stage Part 2a - 1985-1990.
French Clubs  Feats on the european stage Part 2b - 1990-1996.
 
Putted all together, each one in their original state : 

----------           ----------          ----------          ----------             ----------                ----------


Les Exploits des clubs français en Coupe d'Europe.


Un sujet que j'avais "posté" le 16 août 2011 sur le Forum Xtratime (section French Football) et que je vais "reposter" ici sur Football Yesterday & Today, tel quel. Il s'agit d'un sommaire des plus beaux, inattendus,  les deux, des succès des clubs français dans les compétitions européennes, des plus grands matchs, sous une forme sommaire mais néanmoins plutôt détaillée (feuilles de matchs, quelques anecdotes etc.).
Donc c'était en "Anglais" mais pas de panique d'où les guillemets et parce que le texte reste assez simple à assimiler. Et cela commençait comme ça...

A topic I had originally posted on Xtratime Forum, August 16, 2011 (French Football section) that I will re-post here on Football Yesterday & Today, almost in his original form. It is like a timeline, a sum-up but with some details as the match reports, some anecdotes etc.
It started like this...

--------


"Waiting for Paris Saint-Germain brings to France its third European cup (it should be the first for Qatar), here is a reminder of the greatest moments of the French clubs in the three competitions of the UEFA".


As an introduction, maybe it's better to start with the beginnings? So here's the 1955-56 European Cup final game. It's the first edition of this competition invented by some French people (as the World Cup and the European Nations Cup) and a French club, known to play the «Football champagne», faced a terribly ambitious Spanish club that counts among its ranks many elements of value and a south-american player out of the ordinary nicknamed «La Saeta Rubia». Reims had «the Napoleon of football» -according to the English. We are obviously talking of Stade de Reims and Real Madrid, of Di Stefano and Kopa, the two first star-players of the European Cup.

We will remind these great games we were talkin' about in images. So here it is. Let's start with this one:

First European Cup Final: Real Madrid – Stade de Reims.

In spanish please! 


Place: Paris, Parc des Princes
Date: June, the 13th 1956
Attendance: 38239
Referee: M. Ellis
European Cup Final
Real Madrid_4-3_Stade de Reims
Real 0, Reims 1: Michel Leblond 6'
Real 0, Reims 2: Jean Templin 10'
Real 1, Reims 2: Alfredo Di Stefano 14'
Real 2, Reims 2: Hector Rial 79'
Real 2, Reims 3: Michel Hidalgo 62'
Real 3, Reims 3: Marquitos Alonso 67'
Real 4, Reims 3: Hector Rial 79'

Line-ups:
Real Madrid:________Stade de Reims:

Juan Alonso________René-Jean Jacquet
Angel Atienza_______Simon Zimny
Marquitos Alonso____Robert Jonquet (c)
Rafael Lesmes_______Raoul Giraudo
Miguel Munoz (c)____Michel Leblond
José Maria Zarraga____Robert Ziatka
José Iglesias Joseito___Michel Hidalgo
José Ramon Marsal____Léon Glovacki
Alfredo Di Stefano_____Raymond Kopa
Hector Rial___________René Bliard
Francisco Gento_______Jean Templin
-------------------------------------------------
José Villalonga________Albert Batteux

So after a beautiful European campaign with a wonderful confrontation against MTK in quarters (4-2 home 4-4 away, this game was a peak of offensive football from the both sides), Stade de Reims missed to cast his name on the virgin cup. Anyway they were adored by people and this national mania will goes on for some years again. At European level, the win of Real consecrate them in the eye of anyone.

Three years later, «le grand Stade de Reims» encounters again Real wich became a giant. For the final again. Real, this time, done things as simply as possible winning by two goals to nothing. It must be said that they now count Raymond Kopa in their ranks.

Top Scorer 59
 

Place: Stuttgart
Date: June, the 3rd 1959
Attendance: 80000
Referee: M. Dusch
European Cup Final

Real Madrid_2-0_Stade de Reims
Real 1, Reims 0: Enrique Mateos 2'
Real 2, Reims 0: Alfredo Di Stefano 47'

Line-ups:
Real Madrid:________Stade de Reims:

Rogelio Dominguez___Dominique Colonna
Marquitos Alonso_____Bruno Rodzik
José Emilio Santamaria__Robert Jonquet
José Maria Zarraga____Raoul Giraudo
Juan Sansisteban_____Armand Penverne
Antonio Ruiz________Michel Leblond
Raymond Kopa______Robert Lamartine
Enrique Mateos______Michel Bliard
Alfredo Di Stefano___Just Fontaine
Hector Rial_________Roger Piantoni
Francisco Gento_____Jean Vincent
…......................................................
Luis Carniglia______Albert Batteux

Note The Real's coach is the argentinian Carniglia ex-player and coach of Nice, the principal ennemy of Reims!

...

Now we will concentrate on the wins.

Back to 1960 and the first time a French club emerged victorious in a game against Real Madrid.

Between the two Reims' beautiful runs in the European cups 1955-56 and 1958-59, nothing had happened. At least for the clubs, because for its, the selection made a brillant career at World Cup in Sweden. Season 59-60, Nice appears for the second time in the European Cup. Perhaps they are less expected than the popular Stade de Reims...moreover, they had already fail against Real in 1957, in quarter-finals. Anyway, they will win this prestigious victory, wich despite the three goals scored by Nurenberg, without fuss, has entered the French football history.

(Attention, note the 3-2 goal is missing in this video).

 


So it was OGC Nice – Real Madrid: 3-2

For the anecdot, Di Stefano didn't played into this game.
At half-time, Fontaine (he's not on the football fields because of injury, he will play again but no much longer), is interviewed. Here are his words: «*Basically, before everything else, football is simply a game...and as they (his ex-partners) have now less ans less chances to qualify, so it's much better to try to play all out*».
His partners have heard him (perhaps the madridists too, the scandalmongers would say) and they finally prevailed.
A week later, in Madrid, the Real reputed invincible at Chamartin, won 4-0. The French-Argentine player De Bourgoing was sent-off at 46' as he was protesting against the referee about a penalty given to Real and the first half was exageratly expended to 54 minutes.
For the anecdot Di Stefano played this game and scored the penalty-shot.

Place: Nice, Stade du Ray
Date: February, the 4th 1960
Referee: M. Da Costa
Attendance: 21422
¼ of the European Cup, 1st leg

OGC Nice _3-2_Real Madrid
Nice 0, Real 1: Chus Herrera 15' (lob-pass by Puskas)
Nice 0, Real 2: Hector Rial 26'
Nice 1, Real 2: Victor Nurenberg 52'
Nice 2, Real: 2: Victor Nurenberg 68' (p)
Nice 3, Real: 2: Victor Nurenberg 84'

Line-ups:
OGC Nice___________Real Madrid CF
Georges Lamia________Rogelio Dominguez
Alphonse Martinez____Alonso Marquitos
'Pancho' Gonzales_____José Emilio Santamaria
André Chorda________Miche
Alain Cornu_________José Maria Vidal
François Milazzo_____Juan Sansisteban
Hector De Bourgoing__Chus Herrera
Jean-Pierre Alba______Hector Rial
Jacques Foix__________Enrique Mateos
Victor Nurnenberg_____Ferenc Puskas
Keita Oumar Barrou___Francisco Gento

Jean Luciano_________Manuel Fleitas

Nice does what Reims didn't performed but haven't reach the final. Real is on the road to his consecutive 5th European Cup victory.


So we have now enter the 60s:

Well, it's well-known, in the 60s nothing happened in French football. Or almost nothing.

In the 1963-64 Cup Winners Cup, Lyon, after they have beaten B1913 Odense and Olympiakos, meets Hamburger SV in ¼ . They have a good match in Germany: 1-1, goal by Mignot.
Lyon loves Germany coz in 1960 they beaten Köln away (1-2). But in the first leg the Germans won 1-3 in Gerland. This time they will eliminate their rivals with a 2-0 win at Gerland Stadium (goals by Combin) after this good away draw we mentioned.

Here is the Olympique Lyonnais' Line-up wich had beaten Hamburger SV 2-0: it was already a sort of 4-3-2-1 formation with Di Nallo and Combin swapping in attack and Rambert as a left-winger:

Marcel Aubour
Jean Djorkaeff – Aimé Mignot – Thadée Polak – Lucien Degeorges
Marcel Leborgne – Jean Dumas – Guy Hatchi
Fleury Di Nallo – Angel Rambert
Nestor Combin

They were facing the HSV of Uwe Seeler and Charly Dörfel.

HSV always with Seeler and the Dörfel brothers (Gerd and Bernd now) took his revenge four years later in the same competition in quarter-finals again for three games included a tie-break played in Hamburg. These three games finished on the score of 2-0 with two goals by Di Nallo for the victory in Lyon. Previously, Lyon had eliminated the holder of the Cup Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 in Gerland (Di Nallo 75'), 4-3 in White Hart Lane (Greaves 20', Greaves 45' [p.], Di Nallo 54', Jones 55', Rambert 58', Gilzean 69', Bouassa 79').

Jean Djorkaeff - OL


 
After «Le Grand Reims», the France of football will have been excited by the capital of Gauls' club with these two Lyon epics long before OM, PSG or Monaco and... AS Saint-Etienne.

During these 60s, except Nice, at the very beginning of the decade, and Lyon, another team made something.
In 1965, RC Strasbourg eliminates Barcelona at the 1/8 level of the Fairs Cup in three confrontations (RCS-FCB: 0-0, 2-2, 0-0, penalties session won by Strasbourg). Three draws with a 2-2 at Camp Nou. With the away goals rule, Strasbourg had qualify in two games. But it didn't exist yet. So Strasbourg won by coin-tossing in the tie-break game (always at Camp Nou) and reached the quarters this year. Oh, and in the First Round, they eliminated AC Milan (RCS-ACM: 2-0, 0-1).

Here are the Line-ups and goals for RC Strasbourg – AC Milan played in Strasbourg in 1964 (2-0):
RCS: Schuth, Gonzales, Hauss, Devaux, Kaelbel, Merschel, Stieber, Gress, Farias, Hausser, Zsamboki.
ACM: Barluzzi, Noletti, Pelagalli, Bacchetta, Maldini, Trappatoni, Salvi, V. Benitez, Amarildo, David, Germano. [right]Coaches: P. Frantz (RCS), N. Liedholm (ACM).[/right]
Goals: Merschel 76', Hausser 89'.
Ferrario was the scorer at San Siro Stadium (9').

Here are the line-ups and scorers for FC Barcelona-RC Strasbourg in the second leg played in Barcelona in 1965 (2-2):
FCB: Sadurni, J.C Benitez, Olivella, Eladio, Verges, Garay, Rifé, Govyaerts, Ré, Kocsis, Seminario.
RCS: Schuth, Gonzales, Sbaïz, Hauss, Devaux, Kaelbel, Merschel, Gress, Szczepaniak, Farias, Hausser.
Goals: Hausser 15', J.C Benitez 57', Farias 67', Seminario 89'.

It's honest to say the defensive system of RCS worked well. And very well, because it's no less honest to say Barcelona was twice eliminated with a late equalization and two goals conceded home given the away goals rule had existed. They had also three times the occasion to develop some football, twice home. Finally, except the RCS defenders, the heroes were called Gress, the argentinian Farias and Hausser, not the south american stars of the catalan club, those that could be feared in view of their statistics at the domestic level. Hard times for Barça.

Gérard Hausser, RC Strasbourg:

...

The season 1969-70 marks the first good result of AS Saint-Etienne with a victory against Bayern, a new big European club, winner of the cup winners cup 67.
Munchen won the first leg 2-0. Saint-Etienne won the 2nd one 3-0.
Anecdots: before the start of the match, an emissary of Bayern soared under the lights of Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium to show a baner that readt «Munich was excited by the beautiful game AS Saint-Etienne had. Munich greets all the French». Then he put away his baner (under applausements) and happened what happened. Maïer had a great game, Carnus had nothing to do.

Saint-Etienne, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, October, the 1st 1969, second leg of 1/16 of the Champions Club Cup (attendance: 33716).

AS Saint-Etienne 3 – 0 Bayern Munchen
Hervé Revelli 1'
Hervé Revelli 59'
Salif Keita 81'

Carnus_____________Maïer
V. Durkovic________Kopenhoffer
Bosquier___________Beckenbauer
Broissart___________Schwarzenbeck
Camerini___________Pumm
Samardzic__________Olhauser
Herbin (c)__________Roth
Mitoraj____________Schmid
Sa. Keita___________Miehl
H. Revelli__________Müller
Bereta_____________Brenninger. Coaches: Batteux_Zebec

Revelli beats Maïer and a petrified Beckenbauer before the eyes of Keita.
 

They will meet again during these 70s.

Before that, Nice demonstrates to be still a great French club in the season 73-74 eliminating Barcelona from the first round. They won at Stade Du Ray 3-0 and known a loss at Camp Nou but only by 2-0. Then, they have eliminated Fenerbahçe in the next round. In 1/8, after an excellent game home, they were atomized by the FC 1. Köln of Overath in Germany (1-0 for a lot of occasions.../ 0-4).

09-19-73, Nice, Stade du Ray, 1/32 of the UEFA Cup, first leg, attendance: about 11000.
OGC Nice – FC Barcelona: 3-0
goals: Van Dijk 6', Molitor 66', Molitor 79'.


Nice: Baratelli, Grava, Adams, Isnard, Chorda - Huck, Jouve - Ericksson - Van Dijk, Molitor, Loubet.
Barcelona: Sadurni, De la Cruz, Gallego, Torres, Costas - Juan Carlos, Marcial - Juanito (Cos 56') - Carreno, Sotil, Asensi.

For the anecdot, Cruijff wasn't yet about to play for Barça due to administrative/ politic reasons.

Here is Marc Molitor causing problems to Gallego. 'Marco' was on fire and scored 2 of the 3 OGCN goals by the way.


Note the number of the beast marks this game. It's the last time Nice pass a round of an European cup for a long time.

Now the stage will be all the AS Saint-Etienne's one.

 
Season 1974-1975, AS Saint-Etienne wich is French champion for the 7th time, represents France in the Champions Cup. They had already played in this event and even in the Latin Cup, but with little success except the feat against Bayern Munchen in 69 wich had remained unanswered. This time, with a large number of home-grownth players (Revelli's brothers, Lopez, Synaeghel...the young Rocheteau), some experienced internationals (Curkovic, Piazza) and their captain Larqué, «*Les Verts*» would write one of the more beautiful page of French football since Reims and the World Cup 58.

All started with a defeat at the 2nd round in October, 23rd 1974. In Split. Hajduk Split with his unstoppable left-winger Surjak crushes AS Saint-Etienne. 4-1: Jerkovic 24', H. Revelli 32', Zungul 56', Jerkovic 65', Mijac 80'.

2 weeks later, in a homeric game, Saint-Etienne reverse the tendancy with so courage, talent, perhaps a bit of chance also. In any case, the gods were with them and it's even already a bit thanks to this game that they will soon have all of France behind them.

November, the 6th 1974, Saint-Etienne, Geoffroy-Guichard, 1/8 of the Champions Cup, 2nd leg.
AS Saint-Etienne 5___1 Hajduk Split
Larqué 36'
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jovanovic 60'
Bathenay 61'
Bereta 71' (p)
Triantafilos 82'
Triantafilos 104'

Curkovic______________Meskovic
Janvion (J. Santini 92')_____Kurtela
Piazza_________________Bujan
Lopez_________________Dozni
Reppelini (Triantafilos 80')_Rozic
Bathenay______________Muzimic
Larqué________________Boljat
C.Synaeghel____________Jovanovic
P. Revelli______________Zungul
H. Revelli_____________Jerkovic
Bereta________________Surjak
…...................................................
Herbin________________Ivic
 


Here is some footage of ASSE-Hajduk, a game that was not at TV programs:

Summary of what you have seen in the video: on this evening, the public is manic since the start. They do believe their favorites can do it like it was written. But things are not so simple and after the opening-goal by Larqué, Jovanovic equalizes! Definitively not so simple, Saint-Etienne must score four more goals now to qualify! Bathenay scores immediately after the Hajduk's goal on a corner-kick executed by Larqué. Then, 10 minutes later, a penalty-kick is obtained. Bereta converts it. Then the overall equalization is done when the improbable Triantafilos, who doesn't make many times the 11, scores the fourth goal synonymous of extra-time while he entered the pitch since only one minute, punishing the croatians who were (legitimately and legally) making back-passes to their goalie. The supporters are boiling, the players, from the both sides, are cremated. And the evening becomes the night. 104', Hervé Revelli obtains a free-kick at twenty meters from the target. Taken by cramps, Larqué and Bereta just can't kick it. Bereta slightly gives the ball to...Triantafilos who accurately scores in force. 5-1!

Next round, the famous polish club Ruch Chorzow. ASSE is beaten away but scoring two goals (3-2: Masczyk 9', Benigier 36', Bula 46' in the first half then Larqué 64' and Triantafilos 84' in the second half). In the 2nd leg home, Saint-Etienne prevails (2-0: Janvion 3', H. Revelli [p] 84') in front of a superb crowd of 37903 spectators.

Here is the video of Saint-Etienne-Ruch Chorzow, ¼ , 2nd leg:
 

You certainly admired the Larqué's free-kick «à la Juninho» long before the Pernambucano.

Next step is a reunion with Bayern. ASSE-Bayern: 0-0 then Bayern-ASSE: 2-0.

4-9-75, AS Saint-Etienne – Bayern Munchen, 1st leg of the Semi-finals of the Champions Cup: 0-0.

ASSE: Curkovic – Repellini, Piazza, Lopez, Farison – Janvion (then Merchadier 73'), Larqué, C. Synaeghel (then Bathenay 55') – P. Revelli, H. Revelli, Triantafilos. Tr.: Herbin.
Bayern: Maïer – Andersson, Beckenbauer, Schwarzenbeck, Wunder – Kapellmann, Hoeness, Roth – Torstensson, Müller, Dürnberger. Tr.: Cramer.

4-23-75, Bayern Munchen – AS Saint-Etienne, 2nd leg, 2-0.

Bayern: Maïer – Andersson, Beckenbauer, Schwarzenbeck, Weiss – Kapellmann, Hoeness, Roth – Torstensson, Müller, Dürnberger. Tr.: Cramer
ASSE: Curkovic – Merchadier (then Repellini 87'), Piazza, Lopez, Farison – Bathenay, Larqué, C. Synaeghel (then J. Santini 87') – P. Revelli, H. Revelli, Triantafilos. Tr.: Herbin

Video of the game at Olympiastadion with this fantastic goal by Beckenbauer against liquefied «*verts*» (admire the «*Franz-turn*»).
 

Bayern goes to the final wich will be played in Paris at Parc des Princes. Here they will win their second European title consecutively.


Les Verts are always there for the European Champions Cup 1975-1976 as they continue to dominate French football. After they had beaten Copenhagen and Glasgow Rangers with their now strong experience, they meet the formidable Blokhin's Dynamo Kiev. For those who have missed the game against Hajduk the previous season (and they were numerous), Les Verts would serve them the same kind of scenario.
First, Saint-Etienne is defeated in Ukraine. 2-0 (Bathenay o-g or Konkov, Blokhin). The team has inner-problems and there's a sort of crisis. The president wants Herbin to change some players...Herbin maintains the same men and AS Saint-Etienne accomplished what is considered as its highest collective performance in the 2nd leg home, in the «chaudron».
During the first-half, Curkovic was never really worried thanks to a high-pressing made by his teammates. But on the opposite side Rudakov stopped everything and the Dynamo's players were cool. They still were qualified at half-time. 65': some sweats for Curko' on a counter-attack of Dynamo that Blokhin, uninspired, missed to concrete. That is followed by a counter-attack by Les Stéphanois wich resulted in the first goal (scored by H. Revelli and not Piazza as the commentator said, Piazza gave him the ball). Sensational. The second goal is the work of the free-kick master Jean-Michel Larqué after H. Revelli provoked it working as a pivot in attack. Ten minutes later Larqué has been replaced; fatigue was felt (on the both sides, as Dynamo suffered of the pressing and failed to develop some attack, especially since the start of that 2nd half). Ten other minutes pass without a goal and we arrive at 90'. This is obviously not finished because the two teams are not broken overall. Xtratime. 112': the young Dominique Rocheteau, injured the previous season for crucial games, scored here the qualifying goal served by the Revelli younger brother, Patrick, who entered from 46' to enlarge the game (with a real big success). Without any force anymore, but still in better shape than his opponents who had raced without the ball all night long, AS Saint-Etienne qualified to the semis, signing at the same time a masterpiece. «Total-football»? «Hurrah-football», Rocheteau will later tell.

ASSE-Dynamo 76 video:


March, 17th 1976 Saint-Etienne, Geoffroy-Guichard, 1/8 of the Champions Cup, 2nd leg.
AS Saint-Etienne 3_____0 Dynamo Kiev
H. Revelli 64'
Larqué 71' (f.k)
Rocheteau 112'

Curkovic______________Rudakov
Janvion_______________Trochkine
Piazza________________Formienko
Lopez________________Rechko
Farison_______________Matvienko
C.Synaeghel___________Konkov
Bathenay______________Kolotov
Larqué (J. Santini 81')____Burjak (Damine 82')
Rocheteau_____________Blokhin
H. Revelli_____________Onitchenko
Sarramagna (P. Revelli 46')_Veremeev
….............................................................
Herbin_________________Lobanovski


It's a bitter confrontation that Les Verts will know in semi-final against PSV. One more time, they made the difference at Geoffroy-Guichard stadium in front of their supporters; 1-0 (on a stunning free-kick by Larqué, another one). Before they finally heroically resist to the PSV attackers in Holland; 0-0.


March, 31th 1976, Saint-Etienne, Geoffroy-Guichard, 1st leg of the Champions Cup's semi-finals:

AS Saint-Etienne – PSV Eidhoven: 1-0 (Larqué [f.k])

ASSE: Curkovic – Janvion, Piazza, Lopez, Farison – Larqué., Bathenay (then Repellini 84'), C. Synaeghel, – Rocheteau, H. Revelli, P. Revelli. Tr.: Herbin.
PSV: Van Beveren – Deijkers, Krijgh, Van Kraay, Poortvielt – Stevens, W. Van de Kerkhof, Van der Kuijlen. – R. Van de Kerkhof, Dalqvist (then Lubse 46'), Edström. Tr.: Rijvers (ex-player of Saint-Etienne 51-53, 55-57 and 60-62).


So Saint-Etienne reaches the final. Against Bayern. Obviously Bayern. It's the third time a french club will play an European Cup final and the second club in history since Stade de Reims.

A summary, very quickly: first, Saint-Etienne plays without three heroes of the previous games: the surprising Gérard Farison who had very well covered his left-side is not in the 11 because of an injury he had in the previous League match. Synaeghel, the «ant of the midfield» is not there too for the same reason. Then, Herbin, for the disappointment of fans, preferred to have Rocheteau on the bench (as an «ultimate weapon » because he was slightly injured? Probably a bit of the two. He has finally endured a surgery, so...). Bayern has his best 11, obviously with Maïer, «Kaiser Franz», «Der Bomber» Gerd Müller, Hoeness and a young player who is not yet the big star he will be: Rummenigge.
In the first-half, «Sainté», with his players that Europe has learned to know all this time, is wonderful to watch playing some good football against these big names we mentionned above. In fact, it's honest to say they had the best opportunities. Twice they could have scored. But their shots found the cross-bar with the Bathenay's long-range shot at min. 34 (+ the surprised Revelli who didn't smashed the ball or control it) and the Santini's header at close-range (39'). Half-time: Saint-Etienne: 2 cross-bars, Bayern: 0 (and a good attempt by Rummenigge brilliantly saved by Curkovic).
At the very beginning of the second half of the match, «Sainté» shows dangerous with a Sarramagna header. Maïer doesn't move, it misses. Maybe the green storm is away now and the Germans only have to wait the right occasion. It's a free-kick scored by «the bull» Franz Roth.

May, 12th 1976, Glasgow, Hampden Park, Champions Club Cup Final
Attendance: 54 684
Referee: M. Palotai (Karoly Palotai, the hungarian ex-player)

FC Bayern Munchen 1___0 AS Saint-Etienne
Roth 57'

Maïer________________Curkovic
Hansen_______________Janvion
Schwarzenbeck________Piazza
Beckenbauer__________Lopez
Horsmann____________Repellini
Roth_________________Bathenay
Dürnberger____________Larqué
Kapellmann___________J. Santini
Rummenigge__________P. Revelli
Müller_______________H. Revelli
Hoeness_____________Sarramagna (Rocheteau 83')
…......................................................................
Cramer______________Herbin


Definitively, AS Saint-Etienne took the dimension of Reims.


Let's go right now for the videos wich concentrate on this final!

Here is a link to a video from a French view:






They didn't bring back the cup but it's still a success.




Damn square posts! (Jacques Santini's header).

Les Verts were playing for the first time in the cup with black shorts instead of the usual white ones, that for the purposes of TV, did I say?

  A beautiful and proud team.


Still champion in France Saint-Etienne plays the 1976-77 European Cup. All is right in the first round as they finally eliminate CSKA Sofia (0-0 away, 1-0 home: Piazza). Only maybe the enthousiasm of the supporters is higher than the players' one.
In next round they meet PSV again. For the same result of the previous season (1-0: Piazza, 0-0). The Quarters are reached for the third time consecutively. Now, a particulary serious rival is on their road with the Reds of Liverpool who are in constant improvement since their 1976 victory in the UEFA Cup. AS Saint-Etienne's Les Verts proves to be still one of the best teams in Europe winning 1-0 at Geoffroy-Guichard stadium. But in France these Reds played bravely, even without their star Kevin Keegan, showing much confidence in themselves with their «fighting-spirit» and their will to score goals. In the 2nd leg despite of a good game by Saint-Etienne and another stunning goal by Bathenay, Liverpool quite clearly wins the game with a quick atonishing goal by Keegan from the corner of the box at min. 2, another one by Kennedy who responds to Bathenay (2-1, Saint-Etienne is still qualified) and a third and qualifying goal by the Toshak' substitute, Fairclough, at min. 84' who crucify Curkovic in front of 8000 supporters of Les Verts.

March, 2nd 1976, Saint-Etienne, Geoffroy-Guichard, quarters of the Champions Cup, 1st leg.
Referee: M. Palotai. At least 38000 spectators.

AS Saint-Etienne 1_0 Liverpool FC
Bathenay 78'

ASSE: Curkovic – Janvion, Piazza, Lopez, Farison – Larqué, J. Santini, Bathenay, Synaeghel – Rocheteau, P. Revelli. Coach: Herbin.
LFC: Clemence – Jones, Hughes, Thompson, Neal– McDermott, Callaghan, Case, Kennedy – Heighway, Toshak (then Smith 80'). Coach: Paisley.
...
March, 16th 1976, Liverpool, Anfield Road, quarters of the Champions Cup, 2nd leg.
Referee: M. Corver. About 70000 spectators.

Liverpool FC 3–1 AS Saint-Etienne
Keegan 2'...............Bathenay 50' 
Kennedy 59'
Fairclough 84'

LFC: Clemence- Neal, Smith, Hughes, Jones – Callaghan, Case, Kennedy – Keegan, Toshak, Heighway.
ASSE: Curkovic – Janvion, Merchadier (then H. Revelli 74'), Lopez, Farison – Larqué, Bathenay, Synaeghel, J. Santini – Rocheteau, P. Revelli.

Here's a condensed of these two games:


«L'Epopée des Verts» although had ended a night of May 76 in Hampden Park. It's definitively the times of the German and the English clubs.

 
Here is a video depicting the ASSE's journey (ah ah) that includes the Larqué's free-kick against PSV wich liberated the «green people».



Here's a summary of «*L' Epopée des Verts*».

1974-75
09/18/1974 1st round, 1st leg
Saint-Etienne - Sporting CP : 2-0
(H. Revelli 15, Bereta 58)
02/10/1974 1st round, 2nd leg
Sporting CP - Saint-Etienne : 1-1
(Yazalde 38 ; H. Revelli 22)
10/23/1974 2nd Round, 1st leg
Hajduk Split - Saint-Etienne : 4-1
(Jerkovic 29, 65, Zungul 57, Mijac 81 ; H. Revelli 35)
06/11/1974 2nd Round, 2nd leg
Saint-Etienne - Hajduk Split : 5-1 a.e.t
(Larqué 36, Bathenay 61, Bereta 71 [p], Triantafilos 82, 104 ; Jovanovic 60)
05/03/1975 Quarters 1st leg
Ruch Chorzow - Saint-Etienne : 3-2
(Maszczyk 10, Benigier 37, Bula 46 [p] ; Larqué 64, Triantafilos 85)
19/03/1975 Quarters, 2nd leg
Saint-Etienne - Ruch Chorzow : 2-0
(Janvion 2, H. Revelli 81 [p])
09/04/1975 Semis, 1st leg
Saint-Etienne - Bayern Munich : 0-0
23/04/1975 Semis, 2nd leg
Bayern Munich - Saint-Etienne : 2-0
(Beckenbauer 2, Dürnberger 69)
1975-76
17/09/1975 1st Round, 1st leg
KB Copenhague - Saint-Etienne : 0-2
(P. Revelli 52, Larqué 71)
01/10/1975 1st Round, 2nd leg
Saint-Etienne - KB Copenhague : 3-1
(Rocheteau 7, P. Revelli 32, Larqué 85 ; B. Petersen 49)
22/10/1975 2nd Round, 1st leg
Saint-Etienne - Glasgow Rangers : 2-0
(H. Revelli 28, Bathenay 89)
05/11/1975 2nd Round, 2nd leg
Glasgow Rangers - Saint-Etienne : 1-2
(MacDonald 88 ; Rocheteau 63, H. Revelli 70)
03/03/1976 Quarters, 1st leg
Dinamo Kiev - Saint-Etienne : 2-0
(Konkov 21, Blokhine 54)
17/03/1976 Quarters, 2nd leg
Saint-Etienne - Dinamo Kiev : 3-0 ap
(H. Revelli 65, Larqué 73, Rocheteau 107)
31/03/1976 Semis, 1st leg
Saint-Etienne - PSV Eindhoven : 1-0
(Larqué 15)
14/04/1976 Semis, 2nd leg
PSV Eindhoven - Saint-Etienne : 0-0
12/05/1976 Final
Bayern Munich - Saint-Etienne : 1-0
(Roth 57)

L'«Ange Vert».



1977-1978: the previous season, Nantes (Champion and still at, or near the top in France since some years) and always Saint-Etienne (winner of the cup) won the right to play on the European stage but they will not really succeed in Europe. Nantes is a young club with no international experience and Saint-Etienne is a team arrived at an end. And that's when Bastia appears out of nowhere. Out of Corsica to be exact. The Corsicans are capable of everything and they will prove it.

UEFA Cup, S.E.C Bastia enters the competition against Sporting CP.

The better is to watch it right now.

1/32, Bastia – Sporting CP (09/14/77)

3-2: Jordao 40' (p), Felix* 52', Fraguito 58', Felix* 76', Felix* 84'.

No doubt hey had no idea what they are about to do before the kick-off. Gradually, they get caught up into the game and finally score one more goal than the opponents.

Here's the 2nd leg, Sporting – Bastia (09/29/77): Johnny Rep comes on stage:

1-2: Fernandes 72', Rep* 84', Felix* 86'.

With his audacious way of playing, Bastia wins again and eliminates the Salif Keita and Jordao's Sporting.


They will now all devastate like Desvignes did against Sporting.
 

1/16, Bastia – Newcastle (10/19/77) in front of 8403 spectators: 


Score: 2-1: Cannel 8', Papi* 51', Papi* 89'. Once again the visitors took the lead and Bastia reacted.

1/16, Newcastle – Bastia (11/02/77) : score: 1-3: Rep* 10', De Zerbi* 33', Golling 36', Rep* 67'.

Who said it's impossible to beat the English?


In front of 1500 Torino's fans in Furiani stadium, then in front of a crowd of 62 000 at Stadio Communale, Rep and Bastia will now beat a Torino team wich counts some celebrities as the duo Pulici-Graziani.

1/8, Bastia 2 – 1 Torino (11/23/77) : Pulici 22', Papi* 37', Rep* 62'.

1/8 Torino 2 – 3 Bastia (12/06/77) : Larios 20', Graziani 23', Graziani 47', Krimau* 51', Krimau* 65'.

About 10 000 corsicans were here!

here is a 24 mins long video of Torino – Bastia:





In Quarter-finals it will be the east-germans of Carl Zeiss Jena. Bastia is still on fire.

Quarter-final, Bastia 7–2 Carl Zeiss Jena (03/01/78) : Larios* 4', Papi* 42', Mariot* 57', Rabb 61', Felix* 70', Rabb 73', Felix* 78', Cazes* 81'.

Quarter-final, Carl Zeiss Jena 4–2 Bastia (03/15/78) : Rabb 20', Papi* 26', Lindemann 33', Vogel 64', Krimau* 64', Topffer 68' (p).

Here is a video that sums up the two games against Jena:




In Semis, the Grasshoppers who had a real good team. And one of the kind to cause some problems to Bastia and his unbridled play.

Semi-final, Grasshoppers Zurich 3–2 Bastia (03/29/78) :
goals: Krimau* 18', Hermann 21', Ponte 30' (p), Papi* 36' (p), Montondon 54'.
Semi-final, Bastia 1–0 Grasshoppers Zurich (04/12/78) :
Goal: Papi* 68'

Bastia managed with it without developing a lot of play, this time. But they're now in Final.
And it's not totally by chance. Indeed they count among their ranks a pretty impressive bunch of technicians, and good ones: Krimau, the famous duch striker Rep, Larios, Lacuesta and above all Papi who combines a lot of qualities that make him the legend of the club of which he is obviously the number 10.

Unfortunatelly, all this talent will struggle to express themselves in the Final; for the first round in Corsica is the flood and it is on a soggy field that Bastia will face the experienced PSV Eindhoven.

April, 26th 1978, Stade Armand-Cesari, Furiani, Bastia, 1st leg of the UEFA Cup Final:
S.E.C Bastia 0– 0 PSV Eindhoven. Referee: M. Maskimovic. Attendance: 15000.
Bastia: Hiard – Burkhard, Guesdon, Orlanducci, Cazes – Papi., Larios, Lacuesta – Rep, Krimau, Mariot (then Felix 56'). coach: Pierre Cahuzac.

PSV: Van Beveren – Van Kraay, Krijgh, H. Stevens, Brandts – Poortvielt, Van der Kuijlen., W. Van de Kerkhof. – R. Van de Kerkhof, Deijkers, Lubse. Coach: Kees Rijvers.

May, 9th 1978, Philips Stadion, 2nd leg of the UEFA Cup Final:
PSV Eindhoven 3–0 S.E.C Bastia. Referee: M. Rinau. Attendance: 27000.
Goals: Willy Van de Kerkhof 24', Deijkers 67', Van der Kuijlen 69'.

PSV: Van Beveren – Krijgh, Van Kraay (then Deacy 79'), H. Stevens, Brandts – Poortvielt, Van der Kuijlen., W. Van de Kerkhof. – R. Van de Kerkhof, Deijkers, Lubse. Coach: Kees Rijvers.

Bastia: Hiard (then Weller 75') – Marchionni, Orlanducci, Guesdon, Cazes – Papi., Lacuesta, Larios – Rep, Krimau, Mariot (then De Zerbi 67'). coach: Pierre Cahuzac.

The both legs (+ a short retrospective):




Bastia had some problems with Zurich on the semi-final stage, they naturally knew more diffculties with PSV in Final especially in the 2nd leg since they were weary of their season when the Duch had fnished their championship since some weeks. It was particulary easy for them to preserve the 0-0 in the first game. In Holland, they completed the work cleanly (and flawless).
Obviously, for they have reached the final, it's still a great performance made by Bastia and a strong sign send to the whole french football.
More than 16 players actually participated to this crazy-run. The legendary squad is the goalkeepers Hiard, Petrovic and Weller (yes no less than three goalies), the defenders Orlanducci, Cazes, Burkhard, Guesdon, Marchionni, the mids Franceschetti, Larios, Lacuesta, Desvignes and the forwards Papi, Krimau, Mariot, De Zerbi, Aussu and Rep.

One almost forget (but certainly not a Ch'ti) is that on this same football season, in the same competition, another french club accomplished what we can considerate a real big feat...

RC Lens – Lazio. Or «When the unexpected arrives».

 



6-0! Festival in extra-time!

The line-ups etc.:
November, 27th 1977, Stade Félix-Bollaert, Lens, 2nd leg of the 2nd Round of the UEFA Cup:
RC Lens – Lazio: 6-0 (1st leg Lazio 2, Lens 0). Ref.: M. Correia. Att.: 27704.
Goals: Six 45', Six 57', Bousdira 109', Six 115', Djebaïli 118', Djebaïli 119'.

Lens: Tempet – Hopquin, Flack, Leclerq, Joly – Sab (then Djebaïli 94'), Bousdira, Krawczyck (then Elie 75') – Marx, Françoise, Six.
Lazio: Garella – Ammoniaci (then Peggin 15'), Wilson, Manfredonia, Ghedin – Cordova, Lopez, D'Amico, Badiani – Agostinelli (then Garlaschelli 82'), Giordano.

After they were beaten 2-0 in Stadio Olimpico, Lens, supported by a hot as hell crowd (as usual) scores six to Lazio in Bollaert. Six, like Didier Six, the author of a «Hat-trick» this night.
In the next round, Lens is eliminated by Magdeburg with a loss 4-0 in East-Germany against an useless win 2-0 in the second leg.

Bravo Lens and again, bravo Bastia!


 

Season 1979-1980: Nantes and Saint-Etienne are still the two biggest clubs at a local level. It's with them we had to count to make something on the European stage when RC Strasbourg knew some diffculties to confirm after its title of champion won with less wins but more draws than Nantes, 2nd and Saint-Etienne, 3rd (with 3 points a win Nantes would have been champion...on goal-average).

On this season, AS Saint-Etienne reached the Quarters of the UEFA Cup and FC Nantes the Semis of the Cup Winners Cup.

In the 1st Round of the UEFA Cup, the Platini-Rep's Saint-Etienne beats the Boniek's Widzew Lodz (WL-ASSE: 2-1; 0-3, 3 goals by Rep in the second leg). Then it's an old acquaintance of Saint-Etienne that comes on its way at the 3rd Round. And so it is for Rep who played the UEFA Cup Final 78 against them with Bastia.
Once again «Les Verts» prevail -with a large score this time- and Rep could have here a sort of revenge. 6-0: first free goals scored in 2'22'' (1'23'' effective time played) during the 5 first minutes of the game... then the game was mastered and we arrive at min. 50. Platini scores on free-kick. The crowd chants his name. Then 2 more goals in the end with Roussey who was making his ome-back after a wicked injury and fifteen months of unavailability and Finally Rep on penalty-kick.
This night «Le Chaudron» was about to explode. PSV is completely K-O. What a game it was!

November, 7th 1979, 2nd leg of the 2nd Round of the UEFA Cup:
AS Saint-Etienne – PSV Eindhoven: 6-0
Goals: Larios 3', Platini 4', Santini 5', Platini (f.k) 50', L. Roussey 88', Rep (p) 89'.
The 6-0 in moving picture:


ASSE: Curkovic – Janvion, Santini, Lopez, Farison – Platini. ( then L. Roussey. 74'), Oleksiak, Elie – Rep, Larios, Zimako. Coach: Herbin.
PSV: Van Beveren – Wildschutt, Stevens (then Coster 24', then Postuma 61'), Van Kraay, Brandts – Poortvielt, W. Van de Kerkhof, Van der Kuijlen. – Valke, Lubse, R. Van de Kerkhof. Coach: Krijgh.



Next round, it's Aris (Aris-Asse...3-3; Asse-Aris: 4-1). Saint-Etienne is now in Quarterfinals. It will be M'Gladbach. Something quite similar to what Saint-Etienne had inflicted to PSV happened (even worse: BM-ASSE... 2-0; 4-1) so we will not dwell on that subject too much.

Especially about the 2nd leg's game, Larios (ex-Bastia like Rep) will tell: «Platini and I played center forward and it has worked beautifully. Against M'Gladbach, perhaps it would have been not necessary to continue with the same system: they were four in midfield.» and he added «The failure was especially resented that it was a good team, nothing more...».
On his side, just after the game, Larqué said: «These Verts there, are not like us».
 

The best performance this year (in terms of progress in an European cup) is to be to credited to FC Nantes. The main contender of Saint-Etienne since 15 years could have had here its first deserved European exposure. «Could have had» we say.


This is how it turned out for them:
A 1st Round with not too much diffculties against Cliftonville (Cl.-FCN: 0-1; 0-7). Then it was a largely more difficult confrontation against Steaua Bucaresti. In fact, Nantes won narrowly in the 1st leg in Marcel-Saupin: 3-2 (Pécout 60', Raducanu 63', Raducanu 67' (p), Pécout, 70', J. Touré 82'). The win is here at the end but they conceded two goals that could weigh even heavier without this come-back in the game. Finally they qualified thanks to a real feat away in the 2nd leg (1-2: Ad. Ionescu 16', Pécout 60', Amisse 83'). Nantes met Dynamo Moscow in Quarters. They first quite easily win the first leg away (0-2: Tusseau 56', Pécout 86') before to be beaten home as they were maybe too much confident (2-3: Minaiev 21', Gassaiev 38', Michel 41', J. Touré 70', Kolessov 88'). A very strange game, played on a false rythm (or no rythm at all), with goals scored not necessarilly when one of the both team was dominating. Nothing exciting. Anyway, Nantes is now in the final four. They get Valencia on the draw. The first game home is a success on the Valencians: after many attempts, Baronchelli finally scored the winning goal:

April, 9th 1980, Semi-final of the Cup Winners Cup, 1st leg. Ref.: M. Escweiler. Att.: 25000.
FC Nantes_2-1_Valencia CF
Goals: Arias (o-g) 27', Kempes 55', Baronchelli 79'.
FCN: Bertrand-Demanes – Bossis, Rio, Michel, Tusseau – O. Muller (then V. Trossero 81'), E. Trossero, Rampillon (then Touré 72') – Baronchelli, Pécout, Amisse. Coach: J. Vincent.
VCF: Pereira – Carrete, Tendillo, Arias, Botubot – Bonhof, Solsona, Castellanos – Saura, Kempes, Pablo. Coach: A. Di Stefano.

This success had/ is to be appreciated, and here is their great (first) feat, as Valencia will impose its law in front of 60000 spectators all to its cause in the 2nd leg (4-0: Bonhof 10', Michel [o-g] 42', Kempes 59', Kempes [p] 78'). Valencia had Kempes and they won this cup.
On his side Nantes won the French League but unfortunatelly, «Le Jeu à la Nantaise» has never seemed to want to cross the borders of France or only for some rare moments.

Finally, we note the two coaches in these Semis were Di Stefano and Vincent who as players, had played against each other the final of the greatest European cup in 59. Good old times.

...

1980-1981 European season is the Sochaux's one.
Third of the previous championship they participate to the UEFA Cup.
They go through the 1st Round of this competition for the first time, after their two bad experiences in 1972 and 1976, beating Servette Genève (FCSM-Servette: 2-0; 1-2). In the 2nd Round they go through again eliminating Boavista on a short victory away (FCSM-Boavista: 2-2; 1-0 thanks to a surgical strike by Durkalic). It's now time to meet a big German club for that 3rd Round. It's Eintracht Frankfurt, the holder of the cup. Beaten in the 1st leg away (4-2), FC Sochaux-Montbéliard will make its feat in the 2nd leg home:

December, 10th 1980, Stade Auguste-Bonnal, Montbéliard, 2nd leg of the 3rd Round of the UEFA Cup. Ref.: Van Langenove. Att.: 5784.
FC Sochaux-Montb._2 - 0_Eintracht Frankfurt
Goals: P. Revelli 16', P. Revelli 44'.

FCSM: Rust – Posca (then Durkalic 68'), Ruty, Djaadaoui, Bonnevay - Benoit, Ivezic, Genghini. – P. Revelli, Anziani, Stopyra.
Eintracht: Pahl (then Funk 23') – Sziedat, Pezzey, Körbel, Lorant – Borchers, Holzenbein, Nickel – Neuberger, B-K Cha, Nachtweih (then Lottermann 53').

So they qualify thanks to the 2 goals scored by the experienced ex-Saint-Etienne's forward Patrick Revelli.
Who said it's impossible to beat the German clubs? Certainly not the Revelli's former club players, wich on the same evening, in the same competition was making a feat too (see above).

Here's the video of the Sochaux's victory over Frankfurt:
 

In quarter-finals Sochaux eliminates an always difficult to play Grasshopper's Team, with first a draw away (0-0) and a victory in-extremis home (2-1: Koller 7', Durkalic* 24', Genghini* 85' [f.k in the right top corner, in the maneer of the ones he will score one year later against Koweit and Austria at the Mundial).
So they feature in the Semi-finals of this UEFA Cup's edition. They had to face AZ'67 Alkmaar wich was leader of the Eredivisie. 1-1 in the first leg home (Arntz 14', Genghini 22'). One more time, Sochaux ships a goal home. Moreover its devoted «*libero*» Djaadaoui is severly injured. Obviously, it will weigh in the decisive game. And AZ' will be the finalist thanks to a victory 3-2 (Genghini 9'*, Medgod 19', Jonker 39', Peters 68', Meyer* 80').
But what a good performance of Sochaux wich could have done more, certainly!

Here is the squad of Sochaux wich has reached the Semis of the UEFA Cup 80-81: The great goalkeeper Albert Rust (10 games), the defenders Bezaz (7), Bonnevay (5), Djaadaoui (9), Posca (10), Ruty (10), Zandona (4), the mids Anziani (9, also fw), Benoit (5), Colin (2), Ivezic (9/ 1 goal), Genghini (10/6), the forwards Durkalic (9/2), Jeskowiak (1/1), Meyer (5/1), P. Revelli (10/3) and Stopyra (8, 4 as a starter).

Here are the short videos (a list) for all the UEFA Cup games played by Sochaux on this season and more:

Le «Gaulois» Patrick Revelli against Eintracht Frankfurt.

In the same competition, Saint-Etienne who is still the more powerful club in France made something certainly unique. A true demonstration that took place in Germany.
Janvion was in charge of Memmering at midfield, Rep had to prevent Kaltz to cross the ball to Hrubesch (he who didn't like the most to defend, but he did, and well) and the trio Larios-Platini-Zimako made the rest. A big crash of thunder heard in all of Europe.

November, 26th 1980, Volksparkstadion, Hamburg, 1st leg of the 3rd Round of the UEFA Cup. Ref.: M. Hunting . Att.: 37000.

Hamburger SV_0-5_AS Saint-Etienne
Goals: Hartwig (o-g) 8', Platini 26' (f.k), Larios 38', Zimako 84', Platini 87'.

HSV: Koitka – Kaltz, Jakobs, Hieronymus, Hidien – Hatrwig, Groh, Memmering. – Milewski (then Wehmeyer 46'), Hrubesch, Weimann. Coach: B. Zebec.
ASSE: Castaneda – Battiston, Gardon, Lopez, Zanon – Janvion, Larios, Platini. – Rep, Paganelli, Zimako. Coach: R. Herbin.

26'
 
Here was the last strike of AS Saint-Etienne on the continental scene. A Masterpiece for this «Platini's Saint-Etienne». Against all odds, as «Les Verts» were globally unconsistent since some weeks, to talk now only about strictly sporty affairs. If «these Verts» as Larqué said one year before, never well performed in the main European cup and never reached any final, they made here what is probably the more perfect performance of an AS Saint-Etienne side ever on one game. Before to be literally swept-off of the Cup by the future winner Ipswich. Despite everything, this Saint-Etienne side won the League Title. As a swan song for the club wich will soon know the second division after some inner-mistakes were becoming more and more important 'til it explode and made the club implosed. Meanwhile, and after a second place in the League and a second loss in «Finale de la Coupe de France», Platini was gone in other lands.



The eighties started quite well for French clubs in Europe with some remarkable performances. But it did not continue each year and when we use the word «feat», it's never too much. We must wait the 1983-1984 season to know again some kind of a «feat». A real one, by the modest club Stade Lavallois.
The «Tangos» (nicknamed like that because of the colours of the club) will succed where Rouen narrowly failed in 1969 being eliminated in the 1st Round of the UEFA Cup 69-70 by the future winner of the competition, Arsenal (0-0; 1-0 in Highbury). The Rouen of the young P. Rio, future Nantes, and the experienced Pospichal. Fine, it was hard to fit it. So back to our «Tangos» of Laval who widely deserve to be mentionned as they eliminated a great Dynamo Kiev side.

They first obtain a draw 0-0 in Kiev thanks to a courageous defense and a great Godart against the offensive power of the soviets. First feat. Secondly, they defeated Dynamo. Big feat.

September, 29th 1983, Laval, 2nd leg of the 1st Round of the UEFA Cup. Ref.: M. Nyffenegger. Att.: 16463.
Laval_1-0_Dynamo Kiev
Goal: Souto 33' (header on a cross sent by Sené who had overflowed on the right and took the space in the inside - at 3:00 in the video).


SL: Godart – Pérard, Sorin, Bozon (cap), Miton – Radet, Goudet, Souto. – Jank (Paillard 85'), Sené, Stefanini. Coach: Le Milinaire.
DK: Mikhaïlov – Kuznetsov, Baltacha (cap), Evseev, Demanienko – Lozinski, Blokhin., Bal, Burjak – Evtuchenko, Zavarov. Coach: Morozov.

Reported words of the victorious coach: «It's fabulous! We don't know what to say after such a match and especially such an outcome. My players have played a quality football for nearly an hour with nothing to envy the players of Kiev. Then Laval has shown his second face for an half hour: to fight with his heart, his guts, to preserve their advantage (…) I have some difficulty in achieving what happens to us tonight. It will no doubt wait two or three days to locate the real significance of the event».

On his side, the NT coach Hidalgo said: «Laval played tonight with a lot of talent. We always say Stade Lavallois is a small team but we will be soon have to say it's a great team, because tonight, it reached a new level».

In the next round, Laval met Austria Wien (Koncilia, Sesta, Prohaska, Nyilasi and the young Polster). The Lavallois are first defeated 2-0 away, a score that includes a penalty hard to admit:


In the 2nd leg Laval was about to create a new sensation after Kiev, leading the game 3-0 at half-time: Sène 21', Miton 38' and a fantastic goal by the 20 years old Stephanini at min. 42:



Then, the Viennese had the crazy idea to equalize.

Laval reached his peak on the night they faced Dynamo. After a previous very good season, this prestigious victory was the ultimate great game of the «Stade Lavallois Golden Age». Bravo. This team belongs to history.

About this european season, we'll finally notice that Paris Saint-Germain was eliminated by Juventus in the Cup Winners Cup without losing (2-2 in Parc des Princes, goals by Couriol, Boniek, Cabrini, N'Gom, then 0-0 in Stadio Communale). Certainly their will to develop some play home condemned them, that's obvious, but anyway, PSG becomes a regular of the European cups (the previous season they were quarter-finalist in the same European cup).

Juventus had the World Champions 82 + Platini and Boniek (and Bonini).
On this season, PSG had the ancient Verts Janvion, Bathenay and Rocheteau, Dahleb and Susic who are still considered among the greatest players of the club (if not the greatest for what concerns Susic), but also Baratelli as a goalkeeper, Pilorget, Lemoult and... Luis Fernandez.


When two genius meet.



«One day you'll be the coach my son»
 


1984-1985: Fifteen years that FC Metz didn't participate in an European Cup and they meet FC Barcelona in the 1st round of the UEFA Cup: the first leg takes place in Saint-Symporien Stadium and the game is all to the advantage of Barcelona players who easily win (2-4). After this game Schuster said: «we will offer them jamon after all the gifts thay have made to us». Archibald at the same time was more explicit thanks to some images.

Before the first game the goal of Metz was to win one of the two games; It will be at Camp Nou and here they will qualify.
But the game had started badly with a goal by Carrasco and a Schuster again impressive. Then «Les grenats» of Metz had nothing to loose and started to play football. And they played better than Barça playing in the back of their defense. With Bernad as the conductor.

Kurbos thwarts the Schuster's plans.
 
Camp Nou, Catalunya Ref.: M. Bridges. Att.: 24000
FC Barcelona_1-4_FC Metz
Goals: Carrasco 33', Kurbos 38', Sanchez (o-g) 39', Kurbos 55', Kurbos 85'.

Barça: Amador – Sanchez (cap), Migueli, Alexanco, Julio Alberto – Victor, Schuster., Calderé (then Cos 72'), Rojo (then Estaban 53') – Archibald, Carrasco. Coach: T. Venables.
Metz: Ettore – Sonor (then Colombo 52'), Barraja (then Pauk 60'), Zappia, Lowitz – Bracigliano, J.Ph. Rohr, Bernad, Hinschberger – Kurbos, Bocandé. Coach: M. Husson.

Details of the goals:
FCB 1-0 Metz: 33': Schuster crosses the ball from the right; Archibald fails; Carrasco scores at close-range.
FCB 1-1 Metz: 38': Bernad makes a forward-pass in the back of the defense to Kurbos who sows all the defenders on the right and strikes under the cross-bar.
FCB 1-2 Metz: 39': Same scnenario. This time Kurbos crosses the ball and the Barcelona captain Sanchez scores an own-goal under a relative pressure of Bocandé.
FCB 1-3 Metz: 55': Bernad makes a lob-pass to Kurbos placed in the axis. The German-Yugoslavian-Slovenian dribbles Amador and scores into the empty goals.
FCB 1-Metz 4: 85': Rohr passes to Kurbos on the left, Kurbos serves Bocandé who crosses on a defender but gain the ball again, crosses the ball, and the second one is better as Kurbos signs a Hat-trick with a left-foot shoot.

FC Barcelona – FC Metz or «when the unexpected arrives 2»: the goals:

Game Report in two parts (approx. 20 mins):





Hinschberger just after the game: «In my opinion, what we have done will remain as one of the French football greatests achievements. And I wonder if there is a precedant against an opponent of the same prestige».

Effectively, we can scroll-up this page, this turnaround was (surely still is) something really special. As to wether there will be an equivalent in the future, we will see.




We are still on this 1984-1985 season and the big achievement of the year for french clubs was made by Bordeaux.

Champion 1984 after thirty years without to be it and several second places, Girondins plays the great European Cup. What is certainly the best team ever in Bordeaux will have a remarkable course in this prestigious competition.
The team coached by Aimé Jaquet first meet Athletic Bilbao (directed at that time by a young coach, Javier Clemente). A not easy at all match Bordeaux come out victorious, them who are also a «solid team» (3-2: Müller* 30', Guarrochena 32', Battiston* 58', Salinas 63' (p), Lacombe* 79'; 0-0). Great innovation, a french club is now able to travel without conceding goals, what was globally the great mistake of the french clubs since ever, especially in the European Champions Cup, and especially in the eighties. A good 0-0 to qualify. Well played Bordeaux, congrats.
Next round, it's the Romanian of Dinamo Bucaresti. It works: 1-0 (Müller* 34'); 1-1 (Negea 9', Lacombe* 113'). Only one had to be patient.
Girondins are now in Quarters and they must face the surprising U.S.S.R champion Dnepr Dnepropetrovsk which the best player is probably Livtochenko. First, it's a 1-1 in Chaban-Delmas (Lacombe 10', Lyuty 43'); the 2nd leg takes place in... Krivoï-Rog – Dnepropetrosk was declared «forbidden city» – where they were arrived three hours before the kick-off due to many additional complications caused to them. The game ended on a new 1-1 (Lisenko 12', Tusseau 75' [f.k]).The decision was made on penalties with a winning shoot of Chalana. It goes on , only one had to be particulary patient.

Here's the vid of the goals including the Chalana's one. He, who was one more time back in the team after an injury, choosen to shoot the decisive penalty with the right-foot while he has that «magic left-foot» as Aimé Jacquet says in this document.
 

So Bordeaux reached the Semi-finals. This time it will be Juventus, Liverpool or Austria Wien. It's Juventus. Without any title in the more prestigious European cup they still benefits of a fantastic aura as other clubs wich figure at the palmarès, even more at this time. Juventus who still won the previous Cup Winners Cup and The UEFA Cup in '77, not to mention countless national titles, had world champions 82 in his ranks + Platini and Boniek (and Bonini, Prandelli...). Bordeaux had European champions 84 + one European champion 80 with Dieter Müller as some arguments to put in balance.
Bordeaux totally missed the first leg game in Stadio Communale. They were severely defeated by a dominating Juve: 3-0: Boniek 28' (perfectly served by Platini, a classic goal), Briaschi 68' (probably he made a fool before to adjust Dropsy the Bordeaux's Goalkeeper, a classic goal?), Platini 71' (served by Boniek, a classic, by a volley shot from the 16 meters, he used to do that sometimes...).
The qualification will be hard for Bordeaux but they make the promise they will win in Gironde.

Bordeaux – Juve is the great event for the French football of clubs this year, and Girondins will not miss the occasion to make this evening a great evening.
Since the start of the game, Bordeaux take things in hand as Juventus is unsurprisingly playing folded, strong of their three goals advantage. It's a black and white wall wich stands ahead of Bodini, but the inventivity of the Bordelais, Giresse in the vanguard, shows there are some possibilities. Obviously, these possibilities remain not numerous and Bordeaux counts on another weapon: the Battiston's long-range shots, he who has scored a total of 6 goals (personal record) on this season in the French League, with this skill the most.
Encouraged by an excited crowd inspired by foreign crowds like the Juve's one they have seen in the first leg, the navy blue team with the white scapular breaks the Italian defense and opens the score at 24': by a deep vertical pass, Jean Tigana serves Bernard Lacombe who is posted in the box, slightfully on the right. He makes the work of a pivot in a little but sufficient space to find Dieter Müller who is moving back from the 6-meters to the penalty point. Here, the Dutch, in a pivotal move too, adjust the Juve's goalie. A goal «à la Müller».
Ten minutes later, a super-powerful long-range shot of Battiston pierces the air and kisses the nets. What a cannonball shooting! Platini has no time nor any comfort to appreciate his friend's goal and a necessary anger dominates quickly on his face: it's 2-0 now.
The last ten minutes would be intense and a handful of seconds before the final whistle, a Tigana's shot found the cross-bar before the ball ended his flight slowly out of the field.

Juventus wins 3-2 on aggregate and the road stops here for Bordeaux nearby an European cup Final no team reached since Saint-Etienne and first Reims. So close and so far both.




April, 24, 1985, Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux, 2nd leg of the Semi-finals of the Champions Clubs Cup.
Attendance: 42000 (record).

FC Girondins de Bordeaux-2_0- FC Juventus
Müller 24' (served by Lacombe)
Battiston 35' (long-range shot).

Dropsy__________________Bodini
Thouvenel_______________Favero
Battiston_________________Scirea
Specht___________________Caricola
Tusseau__________________Cabrini
Girard___________________Bonini
Rohr____________________Briaschi
Tigana__________________Tardelli
Giresse__________________Platini
Müller__________________Boniek
Lacombe________________Rossi
Bor.: Dropsy – Thouvenel, Battiston, Specht, Tusseau – Tigana., G. Rohr (Chalana 55'), Girard – Giresse – Lacombe, Müller. Coach: A. Jacquet.
Juv.: Bodini – Favero, Scirea, Caricola, Cabrini – Tardelli, Briaschi. (Pioli 87'), Platini., Bonini, Boniek. – Rossi (Prandelli 20'). Coach: G. Trappatoni.

Giresse and Scirea
Giresse - Boniek: a game in the game




 Battiston and Platini
 






This great Girondins de Bordeaux's side and its remarkbale presence in the European Cup mark the start of a new era. With terribly ambitious clubs presidents, such as Bez for Bordeaux, are the ones of the kind who don't hesitate to sign bunches of both international French and foreign players.



to be continued...



...to the delight of OM fans, and PSG ones...



----------           ----------          ----------          ----------             ----------                ----------





The first part was covering 30 years, here for the second part it will be 10 years. The History accelerates.


1985-1986 :

The first season that occupies ourselves now is not already about the «  big French clubs » and their omnipresent presidents that we were talking about at the end of the first part on the topic, but about two leading clubs in terms of formation of young players : Nantes and Auxerre.




AJ Auxerroise, which starts now to be a quite established team into the First Division - even if, as his omnipotent coach always say, they « just fight against relegation » - plays here the UEFA Cup for the second time consecutively as they finished 4th in the League (after they finished 3rd the precedent year). Once again, they would be beaten as soon as they entered the competition, so in the first round, but not without making any noise beating once, one of the historical greatest European club.

This club, it is AC Milan, back from two seasons in the Serie B's purgatory (1980-81 and 1982-83), just back in an UEFA competition since the season 1979-1980 and an elimination in the first round of the Champions Cup, and that would become again, as they were during the Rivera's years, an European giant very soon. Silvio Berlusconi will take the lead of the club some months later (in February) and the Dutch trio Rijkaard-Gullit-Basten, as well as the still unknown Sacchi, will be hired one season later more.

Seeing Auxerre eliminating the always impressive Milan in this first round of the UEFA Cup '85-86 was allowed after the demonstration that the Frenches did in the first leg match, the very first big feat of the team of Guy Roux in Europe. Guy Roux who already shown that he had more than one trick up his sleeve by thwarting Italians' plans with his famous 4-3-3... "à l'auxerroise", of course.

08/09/85, Stade de l'abbé Deschamps, Auxerre.
AJ Auxerroise – AC Milan :
 
The main actions in motion picture :


Final score : 3-1 (Virdis 4', Garande 38', Garande 63', Danio 68')

Lineups :
AJA : Martini – Janas – Perdrieau, B. Boli, Barret – Danio, Fiard, B. Ferrer (A. Gomez 87') – Ferreri, Garande, R. Boli (P. Vahirua 78'). Coach : G. Roux.
ACM : Terraneo – F. Baresi – Tassotti, Galli, Maldini – Icardi (Bortolazzi 78'), Di Bartolomei, Wilkins, Evani – Hateley, Virdis. Coach : N. Liedholm.

As we have seen in the video, both teams missed a penalty, or the two goalkeepers saved it. Martini saved a penalty (by Di Bartolomei) and Terraneo saved one by Garande (55'), what did not prevent the latter to score the goal to make it 2-1 a few minutes later (63').
We also take note that Paolo Maldini made here his debuts in European football (Eric Cantona will do the same in the second leg entering in the second half of the game).

Most of all a demonstration on how to win a match with a teamplay which is first of all based on the counter-attacks...and some folly, without what, this feat would have been simply impossible. Armed with an equalizer scored by Garande before half-time which responded to an early goal made by Virdis, the second half was to the dominance of AJA which has been rewarded with 2 more goals to his credit, it is true after an incredible serie of numerous occasions, that for both sides.

Thus, if it was allowed to believe in a qualification, the harder remained in doing the travel to San Siro ; where Milan setted the record straight ; 3-0 for the Rossoneri.

At least, in some maneer, one can say (retrospectively) that Auxerre signed here his entry in the « big league ». What Mr. Roux always refuted to be part of, even at the national level, as long as he was the coach of the French team. Assuringly with reason - Auxerre is a 30 to 35.000 inhabitants city. But as we will see later, the prefecture of Bourgogne only started to get itself talked about in Europe. Thus, this match is very certainly a milestone in the AJA's history as in the same time, that is also with them that the story about the French clubs feats on the European stage will be written from now on.

Ferreri, bringer of storm in the defence of Milan

The feat from Auxerre, on one single match it is true, was certainly the biggest one by a French club in the season. Yet, the club which had the longer run in an European competiton was FC Nantes. One of the leaders, like AJA, of the « formation à la française » with a politic that is mainly about developping his own young talents but also with a bigger status than the team of Bourgogne, with a longer history in the French football elite (since the mid-60s) as well  as the yellow and green club was as multiple Champion of France in the recent years, when the Auxerrois only counted one line at their plamarès at the time : runner-up in the French Cup in '79, when still a club of the D2, beaten by...Nantes, for its lonely victory in National Cup until 1999.

FC Nantes, vice-champion '85 (behind Bordeaux, eliminated in the first round of the Champions Cup by Fenerbahçe), reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup, its second best result ever in Europe after the semis in Cup Winners Cup 1979-1980...and much premature eliminations in the different European Cups in between. 

So a honest run in the UEFA Cup '85-86 :

Valur Reykiavik - FC Nantes : 2-1 (goal by José Touré for Nantes). Not an incredible start for sure.
FC Nantes - Valur Reykiavik : 3-0 (Amisse, Touré and Amisse again). Maybe the start of a great adventure.
FK Partizan - FC Nantes : 1-1 (with an equalizer by Halihodzic). Never an easy thing to get a result in the Partizan Stadium.
FC Nantes - FK Partizan : 4-0 (Burruchaga, Amisse, Bracigliano author of a feat with Metz against Barça in '84, Amisse). The horses are released?
Spartak Moscow - FC Nantes : 0-1 (Morice on pen.)
FC Nantes - Spartak Moskow : 1-1 (Touré 69', responds to Cherenkov 68'). 

The wall Dasaev is pulled down. Definitively not a small feat. But the hardiest, or the toughest, was to come.
It is now the quarter-finals, we already said they stopped their run here. Nevertheless, this double-confrontation was rich enough in emotions, and that's why we talk about it. By the way, what will happen with Nantes is a bit what happened to Auxerre, but the other way.

First, Nantes plays away and looses 3-0. That's against Inter (the Italians were not strurring about in the Serie A since some times but neither did the Nantais in Division 1, since the mid-season). So what emotions here if it's not a feeling of...powerlessness and some feeling of shame one can asks? That's true, nothing more than that for now. But there has been a second leg match.

Videos FC Nantes - Inter Milan 1986 :
1) the full-game.
2) a short report.



19/03/86, Stade de La Beaujoire, Nantes.
FC Nantes - Inter Milan : 3-3 (0-3 in the first leg)
Goals : Der Zakarian 8', Altobelli 33', Halilhodzic 37' pen., Le Roux 41', Brady 58' pen., Altobelli 63'.
Red card : Der Zakarian 53'.

Lineups :
FCN : Bertrand-Demanes - Le Roux - Kombouaré, Der Zakarian, Ayache - Bracigliano, Morice (Debotté 69'), Burruchaga, Amisse - Touré (C. Robert 53'), Halihodzic. Coach : Suaudeau.
INT : Zenga - G.Baresi - Bergomi, R. Ferri, Collovati (Marini 65'), Fanna (Minaudo 78') - Tardelli, Mandorlini, Brady - Rummenigge, Altobelli. Coach : Corso.

In Nantes, after the humiliation suffered in San Siro, Nantes became Nantes again. The crowd quickly found hope thanks to an early goal by Michel Der Zakarian (the same Michel Der Zakarian who is the current coach of FCN), at the 8th minute. In the following minutes, the supporters and all the observators would retrieve what made of Nantes a so special team. A team which, directed by his coach Jean-Claude Suaudeau, disciple of José Arribas, develops an offensive football with a...polished game. And it is not the equalizer made by Altobelli (33') that changed anything to that since Nantes continued and continued to make a a demonstration of football to the quite "former stars of football" who were Rummenigge, Brady, Tardelli...2-1 (Halilohodzic at the 37'), 3-1 (Le Roux at the 41'). It is the half-time, and Inter is on the verge of ruin.
But in the second half, the Interists will simply ruin what until then was a match of football. Eveything goes wrong between the 52th and the 54th minute when concecutively, José Touré is the victim of injury, injury that he made almost alone, after he had already been literally assaulted by Giuseppe Baresi during the whole first half. The diagnostic could be quickly made : ligaments broken. Verdict : end of season for Touré and no travel to Mexico in June to play the World Cup. And one has barely some time to be moved by his fate that, some seconds later, on the opposite side of the field, in the Nantes' camp, at a bit more than 20 meters from its goals, Fanna, at the pressing, not content to disturb Kombouaré who tries to clear a ball, commits on him an extremely severe full-face tackle. Fanna will be not worried the by referee. But Der Zakarian who wanted to bring justice in some maneer, maybe not the best maneer, him, will be sent-off after he hitted Lanna, in revenge. Then, some minutes after this collection of incidents, Bracigliano, loosing his nerves seeing Altobelli running at full-speed through a decimated defence in the direction of the goals, brings down the aerial Italian striker by pulling his jersey in position of last defender. The fault was made at the limit of the 18 yards but Altobelli falls down into the penalty area (no card for Bracigliano here). Brady converts it into a goal; 2-3. Operation completed for Inter. Altobelli will add an anecdotic goal 5 minutes after. 3-3.

Some sort of a second "Sevilla" for French Football. As the German "realism" triumphed of France and its 'Magic Square' in 1982, the Italian (and German again, Rummenigge completed a good share of fouls) "realism" shotted down "Le Jeu à la Nantaise", which, maybe for the first time, had fully expressed in European football during the 3 first rounds of that edition of the UEFA Cup, but only during one half of that second-leg match against Inter Milan, which held the role of censor with his anti-football.
In a bad mood and... very naive in the first leg match, eliminated in the second leg after having been very close to reverse the situation but being still too much...naive, FC Nantes has had here at least the merit of making live to his supporters and the supporters of French football in general, a night that they will not be soon to forget...
A match rich in emotions as we announced in preamble, but also heavy of consequences : if the defeat of Sevilla maybe prepared the future successes of the French National Team, FC Nantes will have now more than ever all the difficulties to retain its players. Heavy of consequences for the rest of the career of Touré too, as regards the individualities. Because this night, during this "crazy game", as Jean-Claude Suaudeau said to a T.V interviewer at half-time, between a team practicing an offensive game but lacking of experience and a team of old dogs of war familiar with European jousts, lacking of legs but not of tricks, probably one talent has been sacrificed on the altar of results. He will never overcome this tragic injury, or wound in more ways than one.

It will take some times to see again our two teams, Auxerre, and most of all Nantes in Europe after the severe defeats that the two Milan infliged to them. Other clubs, with more influent presidents and most of all with totally different politics, certainly more inspired by what is practiced abroad, will gradually occupy more and more the European scene making of the French clubs some challengers that will be taken, still gradually, a bit more seriously. Maybe died on this Wednesday, 19th March 1986, in this Nantes-Inter a certain French football, a "romantic football".

For the souvenirs, the run of FC Nantes in the UEFA Cup 1985-1986 in a 14 minutes video :



1986-1987 :

This season, it is the direct rival of FC Nantes, Bordeaux that will have the longest career in European Cup as far as are concerned the French clubs. The opposition between the two clubs summarized in what is called "le derby de l'Atlantique". But above the question that is about to know which club is the best one on the west coast or in France in terms of pure results, it is also the opposition of two very different politics or philosophies with Bordeaux and his very ambitious president Claude Bez, who is more after writing checks to hire confirmed international talents or new ones from other clubs than to think about the formation of the young footballers and philosophize about the beautiful game.
And above his ambitions to keep the club at the top at the national level, the objective is avowed by Bez : to be with Bordeaux the first French winner of an European Cup.

Bordeaux and the experienced Tigana launch an attack on Europe

No suspense aymore, the dream of the president did not come true but at least, after they have reached the semi-finals of the European Cup (the biggest one) in 1985, the Girondins feature in the last-four of the Cup Winners Cup 1986-1987, showing now some consistency on the European stage, like at the domestic level where Bordeaux has been dominant during the first half of the decade. A stability at the top level that did not happened since...Saint-Etienne in the mid-70s. If 1986 has seen a brand new champion in PSG (eliminated in the first round of the Champions Cup '86-87 by Vitkovice) and not Bordeaux this time, the club of Gironde had still finished on the podium of the D1 (3rd, behind Nantes, eliminated for its part in the first round of the UEFA Cup by Torino and who finished 7th in D1 in '86-87, the beginning of a dry period, the end of the best period, certainly), and has added a French Cup to its palmarès. In brief, they supposedly could think ahead.

Now, let's be honest, if Bordeaux reached the semis of the Cup Winners Cup, what is a good result, it is hard to tell about a feat (winning it, as wanted, would have been more it). At least they had the merit to beat Benfica in the second round, what is never easy, and to go through the "Russian trap" that Torpedo Moscow symbolized, most of all since this club was able to cave in some clubs however reputed in Europe.
But fighting with Olympique de Marseille with its no less ambitious president Bernard Tapie for the national title, Bordeaux let escape a possible European final to a more tenacious Lokomotive Leipzig, at the end of a very tight double-confrontation (0-1 at home, 1-0 away) and a penalty shootout. The East-Germans will be beaten by Ajax and his prodigy Van Basten, 1-0.
A pity for French football that maybe had a chance to win here its first European Cup, the great purpose of the President Bez (even if not the biggest European cup, it would have been better than nothing). Bordeaux however accomplished maybe what was the essential in reconquering the title of Champion of France leaving its new great rival, President Tapie's OM, at a fair distance. Certainly a good calculation (by the certified public accountant, Bez). Thus, they had moreover now a chance to win the European Cup the next season. The "real one".

A bit more seriously, and in the meantime, there still has been some good moments in this Girondins de Bordeaux European campaign '86-87 with as previouslysaid :

The victory over Benfica thanks to a  free-kick by Vercruysse, a la Platini :


 Benfica - Bordeaux : 1-1 (Zla. Vujovic, Rui Aguas). Bordeaux - Benfica : 1-0 (Vercruysse).

The qualification against Torpedo Moscow, after an absorbing second leg match in Russia :

Bordeaux - Torpedo : 1-0 (Fargeon 57')...


...Torpedo - Bordeaux : 3-2 (Touré 39' on pen., Agashkov 49' on pen., Touré 60', Shirinbekov 62', Agashkov 71' on pen).


That was hot. Then happened what happened against the winner of the D.D.R Cup.

The Girondins squad consisted during that 1986-1987 season of Dropsy in the goals, Battiston, Specht and Thouvenel in defense, Tigana, Girard and Gernot Rohr at midfield, like in '85. At the end of the last summer, Giresse had moved to the OM side with whom he signed a last contract as now a free agent. He has been replaced by two new recruits : the promising offensive players Ferreri and Vercruysse, bought to their respective clubs of formation Auxerre and Lens. José Touré, has also been  recruited at the beginning of the same season, bought to Nantes, supposedly to play more in a striker role. He only played the second half of the season due to his injury against Inter Milan as seen above (Bernard Lacombe played a last half-season before his return in form) but he was decisive during the spring especially in European Cup against Torpedo as we have just seen as well as in the First Divison title race in a quite decisive macth against OM (3-0, 1 goal) or against Monaco in a good draw away. Furthermore, Touré became again a player of the French National team, in April 1987. On an international level, the recruitment had consisted in the signings of the twin brothers Vujovic (Zoran in defence, Zlatko in attack), two excellent recruits from Yugoslavia (Hajduk Split). Of Fargeon, the Swiss-French, who arrived in December from the Swiss League (Bellinzone). At last, the club counted also on one of his own products, the young defender Alain Roche.
This rich squad was animated by Aimé Jacquet.

Bordeaux 1986-1987 : semi-finalist of the Cup Winners Cup...and most of all Champion of France, + Winner of the French Cup.

So once again, we'll never know in what a Final Bordeaux-Ajax would have resulted. A pity.

But in the facts, despite they had a shorten career in Europe in that 1986-1987 season, it is a way more unexpected team that has really thrilled the French people.

Not far geographically, but at light years of the rhinestones and sequins of Bordeaux, the Toulouse FC, also known as the "Téfécé".



Toulouse FC participates here for the first time in an European Cup after a 4th place in the 1st Division that allows them to enter in the UEFA Cup.

If not stacked with international players like Bordeaux, the team of the south-west, still lean on some stars as the former World Champion Tarantini in defence (Argentina 1978) and his fellow countryman, the particularly fanciful Marcico, dribbler, creator, and finisher. On some experimented players in France like the former Bordeaux and Lille's goalkeeper Bergeroo or the striker Stopyra, author of a remarkable personal, and also collective performance in the last Mexican World Cup with the National Team. Without forgetting one of the great forces of the club, its youngness with players from the local academy like Duguépéroux and Durand at midfield and maybe most of all Gérald Passi, announced as the future number 10 of the Fench National Team, i.e no more no less than as the successor of Platini to whom the press doesn't hesitate to compare him.

And talking about stars, the French club will have lot in its plate. As the draw decided that Téfécé would encounter Diego Armando Maradona's Naples in the first round. Maradona who displayed only some months earlier what is probably or even assuringly, the best individual performance ever during a World Cup (the visit cards of Stopyra and of Tarantini with his distant World title take a hit).
Thus, Toulouse, it has to be said, a city of rugby, would be the World Football capital city in the second leg match.

October, 1 1986, Stadium, Toulouse.
After a short loss 1-0 away at Stadio San Paolo (goal by Carnevale at the 55th minute), more than a match of gala, this match finally also constitutes a superb opportunity to realise a fantastic feat, even though assuringly, it will be (very, very) difficult for the men of Jacques Santini - so the term of "feat". In general, the Italian teams know how to keep the lead, even after a victory on the littlest possible score. Also, as we have seen above, the recent history about French clubs encountering Italian clubs in European Cups is clearly not to the advantage of the frst ones mentionned.

Here are the lineups of both teams at the beginning of the match :
TFC : Bergeroo - Tarantini - Lestage, Ruty, Tihy - Despeyroux, Durand - G. Passi, Bellus - Marcico, Stopyra. Coach : Jacques Santini.
NAP : Garella - Renica -  Bruscolotti, Ferrario, Ferrara, Volpecina - De Napoli, Bagni, Muro - Maradona, Carnevale. Coach : Ottavio Bianchi.

Unsurprinsingly enough, for this second leg, Ottavio Bianchi replaced a striker (Giordano) by a supplementary defender (Volpecina who takes place on the left side). The chances to reverse the trend look very small. But the Stadium, filled with 40.000 spectators and equipped with lasers to enlight the kick-off of the match, and Maradona, is notwithstanding ready for the show.

Kick-off : after he just has had he privilege to taste the heat of the spotlights (or as precised before the lasers, we are in 1986!), Maradona got into a serie of dribbles to start this match. And quickly can sample a hot tackle of the athletic and heated defensive midfielder Duguépéroux. The Téfécé sets the tone, we're not here to dance but well to play a football match.
Maradona is Maradona. But hopefully, as he is not the whole Napoli's team, the rest of what remains his team is well aware of it and sticks to its plans being compact in defence top play quick counter-attacks. And well launched in the depth, the powerful Carnevale gives a first warning to the Toulousains after 5 little minutes of play. The experienced Tarantini is here to push it in corner-kick. The set-piece is well boxed by Bergeroo. A consecutive shot by De Napoli will not worry him much more. The international French keeper enters perfectly in his match.
A few time after, Maradona shows to take things seriously by obtaining a goal-kick against his personal marker in this match, Tihy, who was in a position of attacker - doesn't he  always open the debate in the same maneer at the kick-off anyway?
Naples controls everything for now, destabilizing Toulouse with the left back Volpecina who is practically a winger and considerably disturbs Durand who's the role is splitted between central midfielder and right defender. Italians calls this system Zona Mista and that type of left back that takes place into it a terzino fluidificante. Let's just hope that the Toulouse FC team will not completely enter in deliquescence due to this old method that should be well-known now. But still on this left side, Maradona makes a festival playing with three totally desoriented defenders. Desoriented in their positionning, and by the extra-terrestrial talent of the Argentinean. It will be finally without consequences as after, another dribble, the referee don't fall into the trap of the number 10 who simply dives into the box, absolutely not touched by Tarantini (who still had his two feet and his 12 studs detached from the ground). Following this action, some minutes later, and as the local team starts to enter a bit more in the match, another lightning counter-attack by Naples was really near to make a goal this time. Bergeroo, vigilant and fast, advances until the limit of the box to clear the ball out of the feet of Carnevale, all alone in the axis. A turn in this match.

Because after this beginning to the advantage of Naples which attacked more than expected, Toulouse finally finds its marks at home, now familiar with all of that individual marking and typical movements from their opponents and starting to make combinations as well on their side. As maybe, Naples, confident in his forces but not so much in Carnevale this night, starts to lose interest in having the control of the ball and to play forward.
Stopyra scores before the sky blue eyes of Passi
And here he's coming, the goal made by Stopyra at the 16th minute. Stopyra works at the contact of the Napolitan defence on the right side, transmits to Passi who finds a wall of sky blue defenders in front of him. But the Italian defence struggles to clear well the ball and Tihy, very prompt, intervenes before Maradona who never saw the pass to arrive in his feet. Tihy orientates the game on the right to Durand, Durand finds Marcico in position of right winger, feint, cross with the left, Garella is on the ball to counter Passi but can't control it, Stopyra roams here at the second post to put the ball in the nets, 1-0!

Stopyra in a duel with Ferrara






It's now 1-1 on aggregate and just after the goal by "my little Yannick" as a famous French TV commentator called him during the Mundial, the Napolitans shows some febrility in defence at the image of Ferrara and Bruscolotti who succesively fail to clear a long ball coming to them. On a throw-in consecutive to this action, Despeyroux finds a shot that could have been a goal if the keeper had not slightly deviated it. Brilliant save, here, by Garella.
Everything or almost stood here in the first half of an hour of the match. Then the debate equilibrates between the two teams in the second half. Maradona, who tried a lob from 30 meters on Bergeroo, is globaly under the control of Tihy who like all his teammates can count on the "twelth man" this night to benefit of the supplement of forces that, until the end, could bring a bit of doubt in the Napolitans minds. 

No goal would be added in the prolongations. So the decision will be made on a penalty shootoot. It remains to know if the last two occasions in favor of Toulouse in the match, signed Despeyroux (a header saved by Garella) and a shoot by Marcico, marked a missed occasion of qualification or on the contrary if it could be synonymous of a stronger moral on the French side. In front of the cameras, Pierre Espanol (who entered at the 76th minute instead of Passi, Marx replaced Lestage in the very end) seems to be very confident.

But before all, the first minutes of the match including the goal of TFC (action that leads to the goal since 19:35) :



Now, it's the penalty shootout. Stopyra is the very first shooter. It's a miss. Then Giordano (who entered for Muro at the 65th minute) for Naples, Marcico for Toulouse, Ferrario, Durand, Renica and Marx all convert their try until Bagni misses at his turn - unless it is Bergeroo who saves it. 
The decision will be made between two Argentinean World Champions : Tarantini. Who scores. Maradona's shoot...and hits the post!
Well prepared to this type of event the experienced French goalkeeper did not move at all on his line before Maradona kicks his try as he knew that the famous number 10 (who by the way did not impressed him at all, "I saw him taller") had the habit to always wait for a move of the keeper to beat him thanks to a wrong-foot. Already decisive within the full-time of the game, Bergeroo was assuringly one of the big men of the match. With...Maradona, because Maradona, and all the players who missed their penalty, as usual, were the best players during the match. Stopyra the author of the equalizer on aggregate, Bagni, very active at midfield and first conductor of his team. Maradona because Maradona.
Tarantini who scored the last goal in the shootout for Toulouse was another big man of this night with all his experience and his technique at the heart of the backline into which he fought during 120 minutes with much sustain, until that penalty. This victory and this qualification against his demi-god of best friend, Diego, remains for him a very special moment if not his best souvenir of all as he confied it, given that all the odds were against his club.

Very good on the two matches, finding the way to thwart a team that was certainly already a bit thwarted by the recent successes of Maradona, and the setbacks that quickly went alongside it, Toulouse was winner of an Italian club, unseen thing since Bastia beating Torino in the 1977-1978 UEFA Cup). But as we can say that Bastia is special in the French football, Naples is special too in the Italian one. Quite febrile in defence, and not especially inspired in attack (even though always potentially very dangerous as we have seen) there was here for the Toulousains a possibility to make it. And they did.
Beating Maradona's Naples, not bad for the European deflowering of the team of "La Ville Rose".

Videos :
1) 60-min lenght video which countains the prolongations + the penalty shootout in full.
2) A 5 minutes-lenght report of the match.
3) The miss of Maradona, Winner in Mexico, and looser in Toulouse. All Maradona.





Heroes

And it's not over yet. In the second round, Toulouse meets Spartak Moscow.

The first leg match, held in Toulouse, is a real demonstration of football made by the Toulousains. With a Passi worthy of a comparision with the great Pelé according to the newspaper La Dépêche du Midi. Hey, just take a look!


22, October 1986, Stadium de Toulouse.
Toulouse FC 3, Spartak Moscow 1.
Attendance : 35.962 spectators.
Goals : Passi 42', Rodionov 56', Passi 66', and Passi again 81' for a hat-trick.

TFC : Bergeroo - Lestage, Tarantini, Ruty, Tihy - Durand, Despeyroux, Espanol (Assadourian 73') - G. Passi - Stopyra, Bellus. Coach : J. Santini.
S-M : Dasaev - Mitin (Bogachev), B. Kuznetsov, Khidiyatullin (future TFC), Kaiumov - E.Kuznetsov, Khuzlev (Shibayev 65'), Eremenko, Ataulin - Susloparov, Rodionov. Coach : K. Beskov.

Then the roles would be inverted in Moscow where Spartak beats the "Téfécé"* 5-1.
In this way come to an end the adventure of Toulouse in its first European Cup. But that was good. 
Like what it's not necesarrily those that goes the more far who go furthest who are the best.

* : for the non-francophones, "Téfécé" literally means "you're spanked" in French, phonetically.


1987-1988 : 

In the UEFA Cup, we find again Auxerre, once again eliminated as soon as the first round, this time by Panathinaikos, and our Toulousains again who finished 3rd in the League at the end of their fantastic season '86-87, and who are stopped again in the second round. They had beaten Panionios which is not Panathinaikos, no more than it is a greek cousin of Panini, in the first round, before being eliminated by Leverkusen on the narrow scores of 1-1 and 0-1. This time, the balance has not leaned on their side. We won't develop on the subject as there not much things to say this time. Like what, the first times are always the best.

In the Champions Cup, we find Bordeaux which has big ambitions as previously said but which must unfortunately stop his run against PSV Eindhoven in the quarter-finals (1-1 at home; 0-0 away). Like Toulouse who has been eliminated by the future winner of the UEFA Cup, Bordeaux is stopped by a team that will continue to progress in the greatest European competition always in the same fashion adding some triumphs 0-0, 1-0, 1-1...to its collection until a fantastic final won on penalties after a...that's it, a 0-0. That was against a Benfica that did not score much more goals in the competition.
Bordeaux had not much lessons to give on the subject neither, but could feel some feelings of unfairness as they have been particularly mistreated by the PSV Eindhoven's players who multiplicated the aggressions, in particular on Tigana, its trump card. In such a way that we even talked of a "contract" on him. The executant : Ronald Koeman. Tigana was out at the 75th minute of the first leg match and only reappeared at the 75th minute in the second leg match, now already diminished but to receive the same treatment again. Operation completed for PSV. For once, at this little game, Bordeaux had found one real formidable opponent.

And it is the Marseillais who make the longest run this year in Europe, following the paths of Bordeaux with a semi-final in the Cup Winners Cup, even though they are still at a fair distance behind in the League (Bordeaux will finish second, Marseille 6th and it is Monaco that will be the champion of that season 1987-1988).

 
Olympique de Marseille reaches the semi-finals of an European Cup for the First time in its history (beginning with reaching the quarter-finals for the first time too, to begin with) as follows :

In the first round, OM manage to overcome Lokomotive Leipzig, the team that had deprived Bordeaux of an European Final.
1/ 16 : Lokomotive Leipzig - OM : 0-0
1/ 16 : OM - Lokomotive Leipzig : 1-0 (K. Allofs served by Papin, generally it is otherwise)
1/ 8 : ah, and here we do a stop. Because if there's a match to highlight in this OM's campaign, it is well this one.

Olympique de Marseille - Hajduk Split : 4-0 (Papin 30', Abd. Diallo 48', K. Allofs 69', Giresse 89')

Here are the goals with the very first one scored by Jean-Pierre-Papin for OM in European Cup... after a long wait, so for a very special celebration of the goal (find again here the video of all Papin's goals in European Cup) :



Here is now how the OM's team lined into this match :

OM - Hajduk Split 1987

We can find here in the team coached by Gérard Banide, some reminescence of the Platini's Equipe de France of the first half of the eighties, what becomes less surprising when knowing that Michel Hidalgo, the former coach of the National Team, was at the Olympian club, in charge of the more or less clear role of sports director unless it was a vague one of "manager" or, "technical advisor". So the presence of two former players who were part of the famous "magic square" : Genghini, former player of Monaco bought by OM after a transit by the Swiss League (Servette) and Giresse (hired after the World Cup '86), that the OM's president Tapie, did not miss to boast about picking him up among the team of President Bez' Girondins de Bordeaux : Giresse at the end of his contract choosed to not extend it. Bez had already signed Ferreri and Vercruysse. A "victory" in Tapie's view, against who is still the most influent president of club in France, and who would even enter, some times later, at the FFF, in '88. On the field, Giresse will not rule against his new president who had claimed that Giresse was still one of the greatest players in activity in the French League. He has even been awarded "French player of the year" in '87, and that was really not about doing an ultimate tribute to him or giving to him some sort of a testimonial award. He was clearly still the best French player in the League, among the best ones all countries taken in account, and very regular in his performances.
We also find in this team, two other European champions '84 at the back, in Le Roux and Domergue, and two German international players of great value, Klaus Allofs in attack, in support of a star to come, Papin, and the elegant and implacable Karlheinz Förster in the central defence.

With its two playmakers for a lonely defensive midfielder, Franck Passi (primarly a defender, and brother of Gérald) coming from Montpellier, and its 3 attackers, the 11 that is lined presents like a very offensive team. That would have been a pity that the Marseillais deprived themselves to take the responsability to make the game and play the attack at home, against a team of the Yugoslavian League which is quite of the kind to play too, but which can also show in some moments, a loss of concentration. A tactical choice which was fructuous. Was it not made obvious that it was the option to take anyway since the motto "Droit au But" appeared again on the club crest, in 1986?

For the second leg match in Split, Banide chooses however to leave Diallo on the bench and to include a supplementary defender, Ayache, who will take the right channel in a team thought more to keep his good initial result and for the counter-attack. At home, Hajduk (coached by the Bulgarian Ivan Vutsov) is leading 2-0 at the end of the match (Asanovic on penalty at the 19th minute and Bursac at the...83rd minute). Not enough for Zoran Vulic and his teammates. A victory 3-0 will even be awarded in favor of OM due to crowd trouble (and an interruption of the match during 15 minutes caused by throws of flares on the pitch, and pitch invasion).

Olympique de Marseille is now well in quarter-final where they will meet the surprising team of Rovaniemi (Finland). A formality, let's be honest.

1/ 4 : Rovaniemi PS - OM : 0-1 (Papin)
1/ 4 : OM - Rovaniemi PS : 3-0 (Genghini, Allofs, Papin on pen.).

Now, in order to know if Marseille can succeed where Bordeaux failed the precedent year, i.e to be the first French club to win an European Cup, it will be a test. The holder of the title in Cup Winners Cup, Ajax Amsterdam.
Not the great Ajax that the Skoblar and Magnusson's OM met 17 years before, maybe. An Ajax that has seen his star of its attack Marco van Basten, and his coach Johann Cruijff, to leave the club at the end of the precedent season, yes. But an Ajax still unbeaten in Europe since 11 matches and that has forgot nothing of the principles of its game.
Irregular in Division 1, with now a Giresse  or even a Genghini nearer of the twilight of their career than of the beginning of it but also without any real defensive midfielder to surround them, this OM which is now at the end of a cycle will be swept-off like by a real tornado. Full of youngness, of dynamism and loyal to his principles of incessant permutations and fast counter-attacking, Ajax imposes his law in Stade Vélodromme. It's without appeal : 3-0.
The unusual starter at the right back position, Fall, can be incriminated, as well as the goalkeeper Bell, it is well the whole OM team that has totally failed and that has been knocked-out into this match.
For once, we will present the details of a match which was lost. Because it is worth a look.

6 April, 1988, Stade Vélodromme, Marseille.
Olympique de Marseille - Ajax Amsterdam : 0-3 ( Rob Witschge twice, 12', 42', and twice served by van't Schip and finally Bergkamp 89' who had just came out from the bench and scores here a beauty 10 years before another one in a certain Holland-Argentina, in the same stadium).

OM : Bell - Fall (Diallo 46), Le Roux (Mura 64'), Domergue, Lowitz - Förster - Genghini, Giresse - Allofs, Papin, Ab.Pelé. Coach : Gérard Banide. Abedi Pelé had been hired during the winter.
AJX : Menzo - Blind, P. Larsson, Verlaat - Wouters - Winter, A. Scholten, A. Mühren - van't Schip, Ro. Witschge - J. Bosman (Bergkamp 85'). Coach : Spitz Kohn.

Even the video is worth it (here are the goals only, but the full-game can be found online, of course) :


The Marseillais 1988 don't do better than the ancients of 1971 who are presents at the stadium (like Joseph Bonnel, Gérard Bosquier, Jules Zvunka, or the coach of the time Mario Zatelli who was also a former player of OM).

Pricked in their pride, Marseille, however, impose itself 2-1 in Amsterdam with a redesigned eleven, and another Papin, not the one who was constantly trapped offside during the last match.


In Amsterdam,  OM lined as follows : Stambouli in the woods - F. Passi, Lowitz, Förster, Cauet - Giresse, Eyraud, Ab.Pelé - Diallo, Papin, Allofs.
Were missing due to injury no less than 4 players : Bell, Ayache, Le Roux, Genghini. Supsended : Domergue. Ajax played with the exact same eleven. Author of the best game in their season in Marseille, they now  knew a little more of difficulties in the Dutch League with a draw against Venlo.
Scoreline : Larsson 23' for Ajax, Papin 67' and Allofs 90' for OM.

Some regrets maybe?

In Amsterdam, and before retiring, Giresse was finally putting OM on a better track

 Ajax is beaten in the Final by Mechelen. A match held in Strasbourg. The same year, PSV Eindhoven won the Champions Cup as seen already. And Holland would become European champion of Nations with his duo Basten-Gullit, already champion of Italy.

At the end of this Dutch year, and as regards the Frenches who were not at the Euro, they still had one of their club placed in an European semi-final for the second time in a row, unprecedented event, with now Marseille for its first campaign since under the Tapie's presidency, which equals here the precedent performance of Bordeaux - a team of Bordeaux already semi-finalist in the Champions Cup in 1985.

We would be tempted to say that the French clubs began here to assert themselves more on the European scene. But still, there is a bareer to be broken to really compete with the most established teams of the continent. Overall, things looks like going better but it demands confirmation.


A confirmation that won't be done the following season and will be delayed a bit more.  As in the season...

... 1988-1989 

Monaco,  is piteously eliminated in the first round of the Champions Cup by Galatasaray. Metz, is elminated in the first round of the Cup Winners Cup. In UEFA Cup, Montpellier is swept-off by Benfica at the earliest stage of the competition too. The only club to go through some stages is Bordeaux which after beating Dniepr (as they already did in '85), then Ujpest, is pushed out by the future winner of the competition, Naples. That was tight : 0-0 in Bordeaux then 0-1 in Naples. 
In parallel, Bordeaux started to know some difficulties when on its side, Marseille was reaching a new level (and the passage of Tigana from the Girondins to OM would have greatly something to do with that according to the specialists...after Giresse, Tigana). Not an European during that season, Marseille won here its first national title since 1972. They even make the double "Coupe-championnat", like Bordeaux, 2 years earlier. The first titles under Bernard Tapie.


1989-1990
 
As we are changing of decade, the French clubs are now aspiring to a new level. In particular the champion in title, OM, who will have the privilege to compete with the best this year. Or at least with other champions, of other countries.

Thus, the ambitious team of Marseille must first of all overcome the challenge to beat the champions of Denmark, Bronby IF, and its future European champions with the National team like the goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, the defender Lars Olsen or the young and promising midfielder Kim Vilfort.

Results : 
OM - Bronby : 3-0 (Sauzée, Papin, Vercruysse). And Bronby - OM : 1-1 (Olsen, Papin).

Marseille enters perfectly in the competition with a Papin stronger than ever and now surrounded by a totally renewed team with the like of Huard, to start with, the goalkeeper, who arrived on La Canebière for the precedent season just like no less than Tigana and Vercruysse, from Bordeaux, the technical and physical Brazilian defender Mozer from Benfica, the midfielder or defender Sauzée from Sochaux and the star of Uruguay Francescoli bought to RC Paris and soon joined for the 1989-1990 season, first and most  of all by Chris Waddle, from Tottenham and for a transfer fee record (45 millions francs or approximatively 7 millions euros, recorded at the time as the the third most expensive transfer after the ones of Maradona and Gullit to the Italian Serie A) and by the experienced French international lateral Manuel Amoros, from Monaco.
Without forgetting some complementary players or of more obscure work like Bruno Germain, from Racing Paris and a short passage by Toulon and the local player Eric Di Meco, back to the club after some loans. Their role is important as well. Deschamps, from Nantes, will have to impose himself. At last, Eyraud, is one of the rare survivor of the precedent period but will have most of all a role of substitute. Like Vercruysse, the number 10,  who will have mainly a role of "super-sub", despite he had contributed greatly to the title of 1989. Most of all an attacking midfielder of the axis who likes to transform into a second centre-forward, he will be sacrificied to that fantastic duo Francescoli-Waddle, that operates more on the flanks, as demanded by the modern football. The headplay of Vercruysse, especially remaining an interesting weapon at the end of some matches.

OM at the very beginning of the season 1989-1990

In the second round, or "the round of 16", it is the Greeks of AEK (Athen) and its particularly boiling supporters.
With an excellent Papin who doesn't cease to score goals, all alone, or beautifully served by a wonderful Francescoli with who the duo works perfectly (when the combination Waddle-Papin has not shown all his possibilities yet).
  
OM - AEK : 2-0 (Papin, Manolas o.g). AEK - OM : 1-1 (Savaveski on pen., Papin). Karlheinz Förster, that we didn't cite above, was playing here two of his very last games in career, forced to stop due to a persistant injury.

It remained to be done, but OM went through the two first stages quite tranquilly. The team is really strong and can wait for March 1990 and the quarter-finals with serenity continuing to perfect its game through the domestic games. 

They'll meet Sredets Sofia. The Sredets is no more no less than CSKA Sofia, and it will be a very important rendez-vous against a team which is under the spotlights since its star striker Soitchkov has signed a contract with Barcelona with whom he will play the next season. The perfect test.

All starts well with a win in Sofia. 1-0, a goal by Philippe Thys relegated on the bench since the coming of Amoros and who scores one minute after he entered the pitch for Mozer, injured, at the 85th minute.

Here is the goal :

Thys scored here what we generally call a "goal in an impossible angle". A moment a la Lilian Thuram for Thys, but that, we could not already say at the time. A moment a la Roger Marche maybe then?

OM mastered well this game. But for the second leg, certainly Stoitchkov will be keen to make a better match. But this second match is well held at Stade Vélodrome where Marseille is now almost unbeatable. Moreover, how this finally not so impressive... Bulgarian team, could do better away than what she proposed in its own stadium? And, so it's him, the terrific Hristo Stoitchkov?

But if Papin came out as the great winner in a duel of gunners with the Bulgarian, as OM beats Sredets Sofia three goals to one, unfortunately, this night will have however something of a nightmare at the same time with the terrible injury of Huard who breaks his leg (open fracture) after telescoping with his temmate Mura, at the 83rd minute. Urukov scored at this occasion a very ugly goal for the 3-1. A goal that one would hardly call a "consolation goal". Papin, scorer in this game, went back to his first position on the field when a very young footballer by replacing Huard in the goals, making thus somehow forget about the tragedy lived by his teammate, excellent until then. The power of images.

Here's the vid' :

Goals by : Waddle 25', Papin 28', Sauzée 72' and...Urukov... 83'.

That CSKA's team counted also in his ranks a certain Trifon Ivanov, and a certain Kostadinov, Emil. That makes think of another nightmare story, but that will take place some years later, in Paris.

With that accident in the end of the match, this Marseille-Sofia was really the match of all the contrasts given that OM had played like in a dream during 80 minutes, multiplicating the wonderful actions with now a Chris Waddle who had fully adapted to his new team and beyond, was since some months now the real star which was expected, dispensing all his magic.


Now qualified for the semi-finals, collectively strong, and with individualities a their top like Papin and Waddle whose the oneness is growing more and more, practicing one of the more exciting football in Europe, chances are high for it is the year of OM, and of French football in general which hopes in an European Cup victory since a certain year 1976.

The next step before the Final with a confrontation with Benfica will not be that easy just like it is must not be insurmountable for the team that goes up.

As a proof of their possibilities, the way OM dominated Benfica in the first match.


4 April 1990, Stade Vélodrome, Marseille.
Olympique de Marseille - Sport Lisboa e Benfica
Semi-finals of the European champions Clubs Cup, 1st leg match.

Tigana, always precious at midfield
OM 2, BENFICA 1.
                  / Lima 11'
Sauzée 14'/
Papin 44'/

Lineups :

OM : 
Castaneda - Mozer - Amoros, Sauzée, Di Meco (Vercruysse 58') - Deschamps, Tigana, Germain - Waddle, Francescoli - Papin. 
Coach : Bernard Gili.

 

SLB : Silvino - Ricardo Gomes - J. Carlos, Aldair, A. Veloso - V. Paneira, Hernâni, Thern (Diamantino 75'), Valdo - Lima (Pacheco 64'), Magnusson. Coach : Sven-Göran Eriksson.

Maybe unfortunately, a domination that lead to only two goals and the Benfiquistas here in Marseille, scored early in the game with Lima. 

Video sum-up :


So an away goal scored after a corner-kick, what could have been certainly avoided with Huard in the goals, and not Castaneda here returning to service. Commanding a defence demands much automatisms that he probably did not have like Deschamps, who never was a sure starter since at OM, and forgot to stick to the second post, also maybe always a bit dizzy due to the dribbles of Valdo of who he was especially in charge this night.

On the opposite side of the pitch, in attack their partners lacked of lucidity as well. Or sometimes, more simply of luck. Let's do the list of the missing chances. And all :

In the first-half :
8' : first alert on the goals of OM. Not at his ease far from his line, Castaneda can't catch the ball. For the corner-kick that follows, the former keeper of Saint-Etienne realize a very good save with much reflex on a header by Magnusson (Mats) before catching it on the floor in the feet of Hernâni, in ambush.
In the continuity of the action, Papin who is quickly found on the opposite side, strikes off the goals.
10' : Benfica reacts immediately. Magnusson in a duel with Sauzée obtains a new corner-kick. And that's the early goal of the 11th minute by Lima, free of any marking, and who scores before the petrified Castaneda and Deschamps, as explain more in details above. The lack of automatisms.
OM really can't undergo in this match and will have to make the play. Or at least play a bit higher on the pitch.
Around a quarter of an hour of play, Germain obtains a corner-kick on the left. Waddle takes it and it is Sauzée who crops up to set the record straight. With the tip of the shoe in some maneer, and with the help of one defender who slightly deviates his attempt. But one had to be here to covert this occasion and Sauzée, as often, shown here how much will he can have. 1-1.
Now it's about continuing like this as at the back the serenity doesn't reign.
A bit before the 20th minute, Francescoli who runs at the goals after he has found the space in the axis is called off-side. Papin was off-side at the beginning of the action. Not him.

Francescoli, called off-side, has not finished to show up.
Just after the 20th minute, Francescoli again gives headaches to the Portuguese at midfield where all his class talks. He finds Papin who is fouled. Waddle at the free-kick. Superb shoot, powerfull and pure which strikes the bar. A heavy blow on Silvino and all the Benfica team's head.
Now it's a new corner-kick for Benfica. Another time, Castaneda advances to the ball hasardously. But the referee whistle a foul in favor of OM after he omitted to whistle one which was made on Tigana on the precedent action. Hopefully because the ball hit the bar, Deschamps almost touched it with the hand and the ball is still bounding in the box so who knows what could have resulted of all of it.
Since around the 25th minute, we can see Francescoli provoking more and more the Portuguese defence. Which is composed for one half of it of Brazilians. We know about the rivalry Uruguay-Brazil. Promising. The Uruguayan mostly rope in attacking by the flanks where the two Portugueses full backs can't do anything but foul him in order to stop him. This way, the Brazilian centers Ricardo and Aldair remains under pressure.
10 minutes or so before the half-time, Germain who is free of any offensive midfielder to mark, overflows on the left side. A defender touch him, but there's no penalty. If he only had a bit more of speed, maybe it would have been otherwise.
A few time after, on a pass with the head by Germain, Francescoli controls the ball with the chest in the box! Ricardo has one little second to intervene and pushes the sphere away. Maybe a header would have been more concluding. A beautiful piece of skill anyway.
But just before half-time, for his first real occasion in the open-play, it is Benfica that misses to take the lead, by Hernâni. Cramped by Castaneda, the portuguese shots wide even though all alone in front of the goals. Maybe the French keeper even touched it. It's a goal-kick.
44th minute : Papin, who untiringly makes calls for the ball, especially on the right side or the centre-right of the attack since several minutes receives again a ball in a good position. For once not directly fouled since at the reception of it, he can enter into the box, ball at the feet, to be finally here tackled down. "Nothing" says the referee. Knelt, Papin hold his head in disbielief. Then the inquietous counter-attack launched by Benfica is immediately stopped by Amoros. Amoros to Tigana, Tigana to Waddle...Waddle who finds beautifuly Papin in the axis by a curved pass on the floor. Goal by Papin! Papin, not deconcentrate, but still well here in the game, barely 30 seconds after that penalty which was not whistled. 
But again, there's an immediate reaction from the opposite side with Magnusson found by Lima at the far post! Sauzée saves it on his line...
And it is well Marseille that took the lead just before half-time.

OM has raising up its level a bit more. Attacking more - even though contrarily to two years earlier, OM this time is a bit handicaped by a lack of ball players at midfield - choosing more to operate by the wings - and defending slightly better what is caused by Benfica who now has chosen, since it's 1-1, to rely more on long balls hoping for a defensive error (the occasion by Hernâni being the exception). Thus, we see less Valdo. 
Not a bad thing for OM which will continue in the seond half to raise up its level and that, until a point they had never reached before. The tatcics to go for are now clear and evident as the motto "Droit au But" (straight to the goals) which will be applied to the extreme of extremes, and in a quite beautiful fashion.

2nd half : 
First action for OM after 2 minutes of play : Francescoli cleanly protects the ball all under is control and finds Germain in position of left winger. Germain instantly crosses the ball for Papin who strikes without control...and it is the post! The noise caused by this volley shoot is still resonating that Deschamps who followed the movement strikes at his turn with full force. The ball passes at one meter of the top corner.
30 seconds later, Papin is in the box for a duel with his marker, Aldair. Papin falls down, well tried but it is not a penalty. Waddle falls down at his turn, but it is no more a penalty.
Then, after this very beginning of the second half,  or in its continuity, thanks to a high pressing by Deschamps and Tigana, very aggressive at the recuperation of the ball, the steamroller won't stop.
49' : on a counter-attack by Benfica, Mozer takes care of the case Magnusson as Amoros does with Valdo.
51' : Germain and his headplay is sollicited. Without success. 55' : Papin finds a little transversal for Waddle positionned on the right. Waddle crosses the ball for Francescoli. The ball is cleared. 
58', coaching by Gili : Philippe Vercruysse, a more axial attacking midfielder with a good headplay, enters instead of the defender Eric Di Meco. Germain drops back in defence. OM aligns now a fantastic quator of attack Vercruysse-Waddle-Francescoli-Papin wich permits all the possible offensive combinations.
59' : corner-kick for OM. Benfica is maintained under pressure. They simply don't see a ball since the beginning of this second half. 60' : Francescoli obtains a new corner-kick, stopped by an impeccable Ricardo who saw the danger coming. After three attempts, the Benfica's defence can't manage to clear the ball and it's a free-kick obtained by Mozer. Yellow card for Thern. Silvino impose himself in front of Germain who did not miss the occasion to gently punch the goalkeeper in his ribs. 
After a free-kick in their own box, Benfica with Valdo then Ricardo try to approach the OM's goals but it's a lost cause. On the counter-attack, OM obtains a free-kick at the 30 meters. Germain deviates it with the head on Francescoli who controls the ball with the outside of the foot in the air  and who after a 360° turn, at close range, finds the left leg of Silvino! What an amazing action by the Uruguyan!
It's a corner-kick. After that Waddle had recovered the ball, Germain from 20 meters, shoots wide. During this time Mozer is laying on the floor, K.O after an aerial duel with his fellow countryman Ricardo, and a bad fallout. The Brazilian colossus of OM will recover after 1 or 2 minutes. The occasion for Benfica to find some breathe as well as an occasion to make a substitution for Eriksson with Pacheco instead of Lima.
65' : alerted by Vercruysse (who precedently had some misunderstandings with Waddle and Francescoli on the outskirts of the 18 meters), Papin is called off-side. That was very, very, limit. Hard to be certain of it.
The fouls multiplicates on OM's players as on Tigana at the 69', him who started a serie of dribbles like in the glory days of the French National Team. Consecutively to the free-kick, that has been played on floor, Papin is once again found in the box. But that will not lead to any shoot on the goals.
1 minute later, Waddle perfectly serves Papin on the right but JPP is once more trapped off-side. A few seconds later it's Francescoli's turn to be served by the brilliant English winger with a curved cross kicked by the outside of his left foot, this time right in the middle of the box, but Francescoli shoots above the bar, maybe disrupted by the return of a Portuguese defender. The referee gives a corner-kick to OM. Silvino is the first on the ball in a duel with Mozer, always on the attack.
72' : Waddle, from the half-way line alerts Papin on the right. Papin crosses for Francescoli who throw himself from the penalty spot...the ball slips next to the post, but on the wrong side of it. His fourth clear chance.
75' : The midfielder Diamantino enters for the Swede international Thern. Gili demands to his players to play all shots thoroughly.
76' : From the centre circle, Vercruysse finds Waddle on the right. Waddle dribbles past Veloso. Veloso cravats Waddle. He could have been red-carded on this. On the free-kick, executed quickly by Waddle, the referees don't see any corner-kick when it was well Aldair who had deviated it.
78' : Vercruysse for Papin, Veloso pushes it out with the little of forces that still remain on him after his repeated duels with Waddle. Corner-kick (the 5th for OM in this half). Silvino boxes the ball...Amoros shoots! Silvino is still on the ball to save it! But the ball continue its course near the far post...Germain and Mozer ar positionned here! Mozer launches himself, the ball hits the post, the hand of a Portuguese, crossed the line or did not crossed the line, we don't know, all of that is very confused! What happened? The referee gives a corner-kick. It's kicked. Germain with head? Nooo! It's saved on his line by a defender! That's simply "impossible", as one commentator says, what happen here to Marseille!

Game : Where is the ball?
80' : Francescoli provokes a foul on the left side. Silvino boxes the ball.
82' : Papin manage to finally keep the control of the ball. Now Waddle, Waddle for Vercruysse in the penalty box...Aldair and Silvino intervene.
84' : as OM is maybe now paying all of those efforts, Hernâni is here on the left side to cross the ball in the box of the white and blue team. But probably even more tired than his opponents who controlled everthing until then, the Portuguese only finds Sauzée, well-positionned, and who had most of all superbly anticipated the action. Is that he threat was real despite everything. Very well defended.
Immediately, OM put the pressure on the Benfica's camp with the duo Waddle-Papin. Like Sauzée a few seconds earler, or like Mozer, Ricardo does not cede anything.
88' : Benfica obtains a free-kick at 25-30 meters of the goals of OM. It will be a long back-pass for Silvino.
88', 89' : Waddle, is always incisive in his dribbles but no solutions are proposed to him.
91' : Valdo is not off-side...Valdo shoots to the goals...Castaneda saves it! Valdo took here a shoot from a difficult angle when he had two solutions in the axis! And Castaneda was well here (It has to be said that this action has been often erased from the history books, but it could well have been a 2-2 in spite of all the chances that OM had had to fold the match).

92' : Silvino who has advanced outside of his box clear the ball just before Papin! Both launched like two crazy trains! Good reflex by the Portuguese keeper as once again, the reaction had arrived in an instant. Maybe he made a fool on Papin too. In the continuity of this action, Ricardo is him rightly sanctionned, receiving a yellow card for a foul on Francescoli. The chief of defence of Benfica will be suspended for the second leg. The free-kick, by Waddle will be the last action of the match.
Waddle, from the right side kicks it directly in the box with his magic left foot...once again for a deviation with the head by Germain...who once again will find Francescoli...Francescoli who's flying in the air...Francescoli who is making a bicycle-kick here! Francescoli! A bicycle-kick by Francescoli! Francescoli yes? Francescoli no? There's a rebound just before Silvino...Silvino deviates it...Francescoli will not score tonight.


The celestial Prince Francescoli tried everything
The referee even whistles an indirect free-kick in favor of Benfica on this action. It's over.

Post-match reactions :

"I could not think that Marseille could intensify his game to this point in the second half" declares Sven-Goran Eriksson, the coach of Benfica.


"We could have put seven goals" affirms Sauzée. "We never played like that. It was incredible " he adds.



But it's only two goals for, and one conceded at home in the end. If one would be tempted to say that Marseille shown here to be dominant both technically and physically and thus, has the edge psychologically, it remains that the second leg in Lisbon, in a legendary stadium, promises to be a complicated, high-leveled match of European Cup.


18 April 1990,  Estádio da Luz, Lisbon.
Sport Lisboa e Benfica - Olympique de Marseille
Semi-finals of the European champions Clubs Cup, 2nd leg match.
Attendance : 110 to 120.000 (against 40.000 in full Stade Vélodromme in the 1st leg).
10.4 millions of televiewers in France (record).

Waddle : like an eagle, but with a mulet. Or : "It's a long way...to the top, if you wanna rock n' roll"
Lineups :

SLB : Silvino - J.Carlos, Samuel, Aldair, A. Veloso - V. Paneira, Hernâni, Thern (Pacheco (52'), Valdo - Lima (Vata 52'), Magnusson. Coach : Sven-Göran Eriksson.

OM : Castaneda - Mozer - Amoros, Sauzée, Di Meco (Diallo 87') - Deschamps, Tigana, Germain - Waddle (Vercruysse 77'), Francescoli - Papin. Coach : Bernard Gili.

Marseille only needs a draw game to reach the Final. 

If the first offensive is to put to the credit of Benfica (an action cleared by Mozer with the head), OM, that Gili wants to be conservative enough (they left much energy recently with the first leg match then winning their duel with Bordeaux only four days ago, with a brilliant Waddle) will have however a good number of occasions again, this time in order to score the goal away that would be almost synonymous of qualification.

6' : Tigana racks a ball at midifield, transmits it to Waddle who rides ball at the feet, piercing the lines to finally find Papin, who strikes just off the bar. The referee declares him off-side anyway. What is not clear. 
12': another off-side whistled by the referee while OM is working on the Benfica's defence. Again, difficult to judge.
Then the head by Mozer just before the first half of an hour of play, on a corner-kick...that did not crossed the line, as it can be confirmed by the instant replay.
36' : Papin's head is found at the penalty spot by Francescoli. It is off the bar.

38' : half-volley by Papin from the right corner of the box, his special ! In the gloves of a careful Silvino. The shoot, that took the direction of the goals, even though not feeble, however lacked of a bit of power. Very well tried though, once again by Papin.

On their side, the players of Benfica, who most of all shone by multiplicating the fouls, especially on the trio Papin-Waddle-Francescoli which has received a special treatment (like the OM's supporters in the bleachers by the way), have had some chances too, even if globally less dangerous, maybe :
6' : first alert on OM's goals with a long ball and a misunderstanding between Mozer and Castaneda who sees his teammate's back-pass with the head longing his right post when him, wanted to catch himself the ball in the air as he had quitted his line. Castaneda is well present on the corner-kick directly played on him.
30' : second alert as...Castaneda can't block a cross on free-kick by Valdo.
36' : free-kick by Valdo, another time from the left. A header by Magnusson hits the left post of Castaneda. Their greatest occasion to score a goal that would not be less synonymous of qualification for them.
37' : just after this occasion, a free-kick by Valdo passes at one good meter of the right post of OM's goals. Valdo is an excellent shooter of set-pieces, but it does not compare with the precedent chance of Benfica. With more precision, it would have been more worrisome.
Before half-time, they also obtain no less than four consecutive corner-kicks. But the defence of Mozer keeps up. And, as Castaneda boxes the ball, the referee whistles the half-time.

0-0 at the end of a very physical first half during which, strangely, not a single card has been distributed to the players of Benfica. Or to Mozer who once had replicated. The referee seems to not see all the positions off-side of the local team as well.
If the team of Marseille is a bit tired for all the reasons mentioned above, Benfica has expended much energy into what is here more of a battle, than of the exciting football match seen at Stade Vélodrome two weeks earlier, which it would appear that it had impress the whole Europe.

The second half will be cast in the same mould and Marseille with players which, if not now creating more goals chances, still manage to keep their nerves, thus seem to be on the right track. Until the 83rd minute.

On a corner by Valdo, Magnusson is here to deviates the ball with his head. Vata more prompt than Di Meco (and Castaneda) scores the goal. A diving header? It doesn't really look like it. Thanks to the video replay, there is no doubt anymore if there was some : the substitute of Lima scored this goal with his hand. Or his arm, if one wants, but not with the shoulder as Vata still claims it today...what doesn't change much things regarding the rules of the game anyway.
Inexorably, the chronometer sees the time flows and Mr. Marcel van Langenhove, the "best Belgian referee" as a famous French commentator now deceased said before the kick-off of the match, the referee who was well far from the action, whistles the end of the game.

Vata's feat on the European stage
10 minutes earlier, Benfica had known a minor scare with an action a la Mozer-Castaneda of the 6th minute with Samuel (the substitute of Ricardo) who was near to cause the elimination of his team under the pressure of Papin... before to correct well his mistake by clearing the ball. Almost the lone chance in this second half for the two teams taken in account. Almost. There has been two.

A sum-up of the match with a 5 minutes-lenght video :


A Portuguese newspaper had entitled : "Castaneda, we count on you" (what the president of OM, for the anecdot,  found good to shown to his goalkeeper, in charge of the replacement of Huard, in order to motivate him). The miracle, if it's a miracle, came from an almost unknown Angolese striker that finally enters here in the history of the game by qualifying his club for its 7th Champions Cup Final after the victories of 1961 and 1962, and the runner-up places of 1963, '65, '68, and 1988.
As regards OM, it will take a little more time to compete with the best club in Europe and in the World, AC Milan, which beats Benfica in Wien on this so 1990 score of 1-0.

Atypical team, maybe OM should have attacked more in this second match as they knew how to do so well. But did they had all the means to do it?
Just after the match, the well-known president of OM (no need to introduce him again), like a volcano in erruption (his usual style) declares : "Some journalist treaten us of a little club. Now I know why OM is a little club. That's because we haven't knew how to make the difference. Because to our lack of luck [he said "réussite" which has also to do with the idea of success rate, at the offensive level] has been added decisions by the referee that were not always in our favor in the first leg match, openly against us in the second leg. Now I understood how to win the European Cup, I learn fast. It will not happen to us no more. We won't take a goal with the hand anymore".

This OM team looks very promising. But let's do a pause. 

The following of this second part on the "French clubs feats on the European stage" topic will be posted either in a new post which should be the "Part 2b" or added here, within the days to come. Unless it's weeks. The History acclerates. So it is more dense too.

Now, as we say, to be continued...

----------           ----------          ----------          ----------             ----------                ----------


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.

AC MILAN - OLYMPIQUE DE MARSEILLE

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.

OLYMPIQUE DE MARSEILLE - AC MILAN

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.

Magic
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.

SPARTAK MOSCOW - OLYMPIQUE DE MARSEILLE

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.

OLYMPIQUE DE MARSEILLE - SPARTAK MOSCOW

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 prevails 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.
CHAMPIONS CLUBS CUP FINAL

RED STAR BELGRAD - OLYMPIQUE DE MARSEILLE

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.

MONTPELLIER HSC - PSV EINDHOVEN : 1-0 (Ziober 54').

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.

MANCHESTER UTD 1, MONPELLIER HSC 1
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.



1991-1992

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.



1992-1993 

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 later...play 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.

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN FC - REAL MADRID CF
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'...at 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

AJ AUXERROISE 4 - AJAX AMSTERDAM 2
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 Germans...at 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. Baticle...no, Klos is well here on the trajectory. Dutuel...in 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 shoe...it'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 possible...it'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 axis...here is Prunier...Prunier's header...off 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)
_____________________________BARTHEZ_________________________
_______________________________BOLI___________________________
___________________ANGLOMA__________DESAILLY_______________
__EYDELIE___________________________________________DI MECO__
____________________SAUZEE___________DESCHAMPS_____________
_______________________________________________________________
_________AB. PELE____________BOKSIC__________VÖLLER_________
_______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________
__________________MASSARO_______VAN BASTEN_________________
_______________________________________________________________
__LENTINI_________RIJKAARD_______ALBERTINI_____DONADONI__
________________________________________________________________
__MALDINI_________BARESI ________COSTACURTA_____TASSOTTI__
________________________________________________________________
______________________________ROSSI____________________________     

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.



1993-1994




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.
REAL MADRID CF 0 - PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN FC 1
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.
PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN FC 1 - REAL MADRID CF 1
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 bird...it's a plane...it's Cruijff...no, 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.


1994-1995

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.

PSG 2 - BAYERN 0
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.

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN - FC BARCELONA

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.

17.10.1995
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.

31.10.1995
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.

76':

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.

FC GIRONDINS DE BORDEAUX - AC MILAN

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 Maldini...it'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.

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN FC - PARMA AC

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 minute...it'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 have...it 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.

FC NANTES 3 - JUVENTUS TURIN 2 
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

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN FC - DEPORTIVO LA CORUÑA

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

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN beats RAPID WIEN 1-0 
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 :


N'Gotty

Slightly nervous but determined and diligent, the Parisians win a Final 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 :
All French clubs' lineups in European Cups' Finals (draws)
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 Cups (with video of all his goals)
Franck Sauzée's career (article in French with a video of all his European goals amongst others)
Ivan Curkovic detailed stats in European Cups (with video of his performance in Eindhoven in 1976)
Deteiled stats in European Cups of Basile Boli, Antoine Kombouaré et Bruno N'Gotty


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