So it has been a fantastic start for the club now with 5 wins from 5, I got talking to a couple of the staff at the training ground and they were telling me it was the first time they had ever started a league season with 5 consecutive wins, some achievement by the players considering the stature of the football club. It has been over 40 years since L”OM started with 4 back to back league wins, long may this continue. This got me thinking so I decided to do some research on the club and get my head around the ins and outs, be interested to learn more so if there are any other interesting facts about the club please let me know…
Marseille are known as the Bad Boys of French football and Les Phoceens
2) Robert Louis-Dreyfus
RLD an absolute legend at Marseille and deservedly so, Dreyfus got involved with Marseille between 1996 and 2007, following events when the club had hit rock bottom after their demotion to Ligue 2. RLD used his power at Adidas to sponsor Marseille and soon witnessed shirt sales rocket – he wasn’t afraid of putting his hand in his pocket either, reportedly spending €200m on the club. Dreyfus single-handedly rebuilt the club whilst helping it to reach two Uefa Cup finals, two French cup finals and finished runner-up in the league three times.
3) The club badge
The clubs founder was responsible for original design which features the letters “D” and “M”, this has changed and now the letter and “M” is positioned over an “O” with the gold star above to commemorate their European triumph. The club’s motto “Droit au But” translates to straight to the goal. I am a big fan of this motto, no messing around, get the job done.
4) Massive rivalry with PSG
This match is up there with Inter Milan vs AC Milan, Real Madrid vs Barcelona and Everton vs Liverpool. Referred to as ‘Le Classique’ and like other major football rivalries, the antipathy between the clubs stretches to social, historical and social behaviours.
I’m eagerly anticipating this game and although I won’t be available on 7th October, hopefully I’ll have established myself in the team for the return match in Paris.
5) Largest fan base in France, Fan groups
Olympique de Marseille has 12 million fans worldwide.
6) Before and after game ‘Jump’ by Van Halen is played and ‘Come with me’ after a goal
7) Jose Anigo
Sporting director Jose Anigo, a successful defender, racked up 206 appearances during his eight-year spell with the club, he then moved on to management and steered Marseille to a Europa League runners-up medal in 2004. Jose worked hard to get me at the club and I can’t thank him enough for his efforts, he’s remained true to the club and if I can adopt just a fragment of his success, then I can reflect on my time here as a great achievement in my career.
8) The Velodrome
The second largest stadium is France has a 60,031 capacity, the nearest comparison in the Premier League would be Arsenal’s 60,361 Emirates Stadium. The name ‘Stade Velodrome’ derives from the cycling track that was originally in place between the ground and the stand until the 1970’s. Having watched from the stands, the atmosphere within the Velodrome was like no other I’d experienced, the fans were buzzing throughout, an occasion I cannot wait to experience as a player.
9) The club has hosted a long list of footballing greats
10) Trophies won
Marseille were the first club to win the newly-named Champions League and are the second most successful club in French domestic football with nine titles behind As Saint-Etienne who’ve accumulated ten.
Uefa Champions League - Winners 1992-93
Uefa Cup/Europa League - Runners up 1998-9 and 2003-4