The Cup with big ears on the Old Port, like 30 years ago: Marseille proudly celebrated the 30th anniversary of its victory in the Champions League on Friday with a big party bringing together supporters and players of the time.
“Thank you to the people of Marseille, I love you!”, Launched Basile Boli, scorer and hero of the Munich final against AC Milan, installed on the balcony of the Hôtel de Ville.
Downstairs, a few thousand OM supporters had gathered in a stadium atmosphere, smoke bombs lit and chants sung in chorus at the signal of a “capo” from the South Winners, the main group of OM supporters.
“On the evening of May 26, I watched the final and the next day we came to celebrate the title here. We threw ourselves into the Old Port with friends, colleagues, family. That’s what it means to us “, said Rémi, 39, when a huge tarpaulin “Forever the first” was unveiled on the facade of the town hall.
Inside the building, the current president of OM Pablo Longoria spoke with Jean-Pierre Bernès, the right arm of then-president Bernard Tapie.
The family of the former politician and businessman then welcomed the players of 1993, Boli and Eric Di Meco in the lead, then Jean-Marc Ferreri, Fabien Barthez, Jocelyn Angloma, Alen Boksic, Abedi Pelé…
Laurent Tapie, the son of the “Boss”, still idolized by the vast majority of Marseille supporters despite the VA-OM corruption affair which immediately followed the Munich coronation, then announced the launch of a subscription for the creation a statue of his father.
“Forever the first!”
It will represent the former president of OM and six winning players of the C1 (Deschamps, Boli, Di Meco, Desailly, Barthez and Sauzée) and will be installed in front of the Vélodrome, an esplanade of which will now bear the name of Bernard Tapie.
“There will be something in Marseille that bears his name and that is not insignificant. Being near the Stade Vélodrome for eternity, nothing could have made him happier,” said Laurent Tapie.
Asked about the advisability of giving the name of Tapie, imprisoned in the context of the VA-OM affair, to a public space, the mayor of Marseille Benoît Payan quickly swept aside the criticism. “I invite them to come celebrate and join in the fun,” he said of any upset.
Then, on the balcony, he first greeted the supporters, without whom “there is no OM”, then the 1993 players.
“They are there to remind us of one thing: whatever happens, we are forever the first!”, He said.
Then the party continued with the replay of the Munich final on a giant screen. And it will continue at 11 p.m., with a massive lighting of smoke bombs organized by groups of supporters over more than 20 kilometers along the Marseille coast.
Then on Saturday, before the OM-Brest match at the Vélodrome, a giant tifo will be displayed on the four stands of the stadium for a final tribute to the evening of May 26, 1993.