Télé Sports sur l'A2
First broadcast date
Reportage on Olympique de Marseille, France football champion and champion in Fall mid-season.
Backstage images of Marseille supporters at the European Cup against Ajax. Interviews with local journalists and mayor Gaston Deferre.
Sport and games
Credits / Cast
- Juan Jean-Claude - Journalist
- France - South East - Marseille
The early 1970's marked the return of Olympic de Marseille to the highest level of French football. Although the olympian club, founded in 1899, had won the league championship in 1929, 1937 and 1948, and the Coupe de France six times (1924, 1926, 1927, 1935, 1938, 1943), it went through a difficult patch in the 50's and 60's, not only from the results point of view, but also from the financial. The enthusiasm which accompanied them winning the French championship in 1971 compensated for some twenty years in the wilderness, and matched the hopes raised since Marcel Leclerc's arrival as new chairman in 1965. Leclerc had made his fortune in the press with Télémagazine, which from 1955 had followed the rise of television. With the promise that he would get the club back on its feet, he got important financial support from the town council, led by Gaston Defferre. On the pitch the team was handed over to Mario Zatelli, a former club player and champion of France in 1937 and 1948. Two foreign stars were brought in to improve the play: the highly technical Swedish mid-fielder Magnusson and the efficient Yugoslave striker Skoblar. Their presence enabled OM to win the Coupe de France in 1969. Skoblar was one of the main pillars of the 1971 league title, scoring 44 goals that year, and earning him the golden slipper as best European striker.
So for the first time in its history OM was in the 1971-72 European Cup. Since the start of the competition in 1954 and the finals lost by Stade de Reims in 1956 and 1959, French clubs had not shone. Neither was the French team at the top of international football since its third place in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. In their first match OM won against the Polish Gornik Zabrze. In the next round the adversary was in a different class: Ajax of Amsterdam was the title holder. Since 1969 their trainer, Rinus Michels, had developed a game based on attack, movement and switching positions, which was very effective. This "total football" depended on an exceptional player, Johan Cruyff, who in 1971 won the Golden Ball for the Best European Player. In these conditions, and despite the vociferous support of the Marseillaise public in the Velodrome Stadium, OM was defeated 2 goals to 1in the first leg, with an even heavier defeat on the return: 4 goals to 1.
This early departure from Europe's major competition against the best team of the day (Ajax won the cup for a second time that year) did nothing to dent Marseille's domination of French football. The team consisting of Carnus, Lopez, Zvunka, Bosquier, Kula, Bonnel, Novi, Magnusson, Gress, Skoblar, Couecou won the double Cup and championship the following year, 1972.
Ejnès Gérard (dir.), 50 ans de Coupe d’Europe, Issy-les-Moulineaux, L’Équipe, 2005, 384 p.
Naville Louis, Les dieux de l’OM, Paris, Solar, 1971, 252 p.
Pécheral Alain, La grande histoire de l’OM, Paris, éditions Prolongations, 2007, 504 p.