Monday, November 7, 2016

Olympique de Marseille Greatest All-Time Team

1993 Champions' League winner
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Founded in 1899, the club play in Ligue 1 and have spent most of their history in the top tier of French football. Marseille have been French champions ten times (nine times in Ligue 1) and have won the Coupe de France a record ten times. In 1993, coach Raymond Goethals led the team to become the first and only French club to win the UEFA Champions League. In 1994, Marseille were relegated because of a bribery scandal, losing their domestic trophy, but not the Champions League title. In 2010, Marseille became French champions again under the stewardship of former club captain Didier Deschamps.

Team
GK: Fabien Barthez (France)
Fabien Barthez is France's most decorated goalkeeper.  He won the World Cup in 1998 at home and then, the European Championship two years later. Barthez is France's most capped player in the World Cup, with 17 appearances at the finals. For domestic football, he played with Toulouse, Marseille, AS Monaco, Manchester United and Nantes.  He also won Champions League medal with Marseille in 1993.  
Fabien Barthez 

GK: Jaguare de Besveconne Vasconcellos (Brazil)
When playing with CR Vasco da Gama, he won the championship of Rio de Janeiro. He also played for FC Barcelona, Sporting CP and SC Corinthians Paulista. The most successful period of his career was in the 1930s with the French club Olympique Marseille. In Brazil, he is also considered to be the person who popularised the use of gloves by goalkeepers.

GK: Steve Mandanda (France)
Mandanda made his league début for Le Havre in August 2005. He joined Marseille in 2008.  He had played over 300 games for them since 2008. He spent a season with Crytal Palace.  For the natinal team, he was mainly a backup keeper.  At the time of writing, he has 26 caps.  He served as the third keeper at the WC Finals in 2010, 2014 and 2018, where France won the World Cup in 2018. He has three brothers who are also professional goalkeepers.

RB: Jocelyn Angloma (France
Angloma was a member of the great Marseille team of the early 1990's.  He won the European Cup in 1993.  He later played for Valencia and reached the Champions' League Final twice. He was a member of the French team at Euro 1992 and 1996.  In 2006, Angloma came out of retirement to play for his native région, Guadeloupe, and help them qualify for the 2007 Caribbean Nations Cup.

RB/LB:  Manuel Amoros (France)
Amoros is widely considered to be France's greatest fullback.  He was a part of the Golden Generation of the 1980's.  He played 82 times for France.  He played in the European Championships Finals of 1984 and 1992, winning the 1984 version.  He also played in the World Cup Finals in 1982 and 1986.  He won the Champions League with Marseille in 1993, but also losing the one in 1991. He also played for Monaco and Lyons.
Manuel Amoros 
CB: Carlos Mozer (Brazil)
Carlos Mozer started his career with Flamengo in 1980.  In Europe, he played for Benfica on two different spells and went to play with Marseille in between them.  With Marseille, he reached the 1990-1991 European Cup Final. He later played in Japan at the end of his career. He was capped 32 times between 1983 and 1994.  He went to the 1990 World Cup Finals in Italy with Brazil.

CB: Karl-Heinz Forster (Germany)
With West Germany, Forster earned 81 caps between 1978 and 1988. He won the European Championship in 1980, and came 2nd at the World Cup in both 1982 and 1986.  He was regarded one of the best defenders in the 1980's.  He played with VFB Stuttgart and Marseille.  With Stuttgart, he won a Bundesliga in the 1983–84 season.  He won two league titles in France. His brother Bernd also played for West Germany and VfBStuttgart.

CB:  Marius Tresor (France)
Marius Tresor was one of France's greatest defenders.  He was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers.  He had 65 caps.  He was the French captain before Michele Platini's arrival. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1978 and 1982.  In 1982, he scored one of the extra time goal against West Germany at the semifinal. For his club career, he also played for Olympique de Marseille and Girondins de Bordeaux.
Marius Trezor
CB:  Laurent Blanc (France)
Laurent Blanc was nicknamed  "Le Président" for leadership skills.  He had over 90 caps. He was a key member of the French team that won the 1998 World Cup  at home and the 2000 European Championship in Belgium and Holland.  The team was known for its defence as well as its offence. For his club career, he played for Montpellier, Napoli, Barcelona, Marseille, Internazionale and Manchester United.

CB: Basile Boli (France)
For club football, Basile Boli played for Auxerre, Marseille, Rangers (Scotland), Monaco and Urawa Reds (Japan).  He was a member of Bernard Tapie's Marseille that won the 1993 European Cup, the first ever for a French club. He scored the only goal at the Final against AC Milan.  He left the club in 1994.  For France, he won 45 caps.  He went to the European Championship of 1992 hosted by Sweden.  
Basile Boli
LB: Éric Di Meco (France)
During his career, Di Meco played mostly for Olympique de Marseille. He had loan spells at AS Nancy and FC Martigues befoe he returned in 1988. , going on to amass a further 153 Ligue 1 games in an eventual four-in-a-row run of domestic leagues. After Marseille's relegation at the end of the 1993–94 season, Di Meco joined AS Monaco FC.  He was capped 24 times.

CB/DM:  Marcel Desailly (France)
Marcel Desailly was considered to be one of the greatest defensive players during the 1990's.  He played 116 times for France, winning the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000.  He was the first player to win the European Cup in consecutive seasons with different clubs, when he won it with Marseille in 1993 and AC Milan the following year. He later played for Chelsea FC.
Marcel Desailly 

DM:  Didier Deschamps (France)
Deschamps was only the second player in history to captain his team to lift the three big trophies: the Champions League trophy, the World Cup trophy and the European Championship trophy.  He started his career with Nantes. The prime of his career was spent with Marseille and Juventus, where he won a Champions League for both club.  He earned 103 caps between 1989 and 2000. He also played for Nantes, Chelsea and Valencia.
Didier Deschamps 

DM: Jean Bastien (France)
Born in French Algeria, he spent most of his career playing for two club based in Marseille, Olympique de Marseille and GSC Marseille.  He also played at Racing Club de France in 1938-1939 and two in Toulouse FC in the 1940's. He was the captain of Olympique de Marseille.  He ended his career as player-coach at Montpellier HSC in 1950 - 1951.  Capped 4 times.  He played at the quarterfinal of 1938 WC Finals against Italy.

RW: Roger Magnusson (Sweden)
Roger Magnusson played for the Sweden national football team and for various clubs in Europe, including a short spell at Juventus FC. His most successful years were at Olympique de Marseille, where he formed a duo with striker Josip Skoblar winning the Ligue 1 in 1971 and 1972 and the Coupe de France in 1972. In the 1972 Coupe de France Final, he delivered two assists.  Capped 14 times.

LW: Chris Waddle (England)
Waddle mainly played with Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspurs, Olympique Marseille and Sheffield Wednesday.  He won the 1987 FA Cup with Tottenham Hotspurs.  Then, in 1989, he joined Olympique Marseille for 4.5 million pound, which was then the third highest transfer fees.  He went to Sheffield Wednesday in 1992, where he reached both FA Cup and League Cup Final.  He was voted FWA Player of the Year for that season. He went to the WC Finals in 1986 and 1990.

AM: Joseph Bonnel (France)
Bonnel played with Montpellier HSC and Valenciennes FC before going Marseille in 1967.  He played there until 1973. He was the centerpiece of the club that won the Coupe de France in 1969, the league championship in 1971 and finally a double Cup-League Championship in 1972.  He was capped 25 times between 1962 and 1969. He went to the World Cup 1966. He scored 3 goals during the 1966 season. 

AM: Roger Scotti (France)
Roger Scotti played 452 matches for Olympique de Marseille from 1942 to 1958.  He held the all-time appearance record for the club before breaking by goalkeeper Steve Mandanda.  He was capped twice.  The first match was against Belgium in 1950.  Six years later, he made his second cap in a match against Hungary.  His son also played for Marseille.

AM/SS: Abedi Pele (Ghana)
Abedi Pele was one of the greatest African player ever.  He was best remembered for his career with Marseille, where he won the first ever Champions' League title for a French club.  He was African Player of the Year for three straight years between 1991 and 1993. He was voted 3rd as the African Player of the Century. He had 77 caps for Ghana. He was a member of the team that won African Cup of Nations in 1982. He was at one point the country's all-time top scorer.
Abedi Pele 

FW: Emmanuel Aznar (France)
With Marseille, Aznar won the Coupe de France in 1938 and as captain in 1943, and the French championship in 1937 and 1948.  In 1942, he set an unofficial record by scoring 9 goals in one match against Avignon Foot 84, and is the only player to have scored nine goals in one match in French football history. That season he became the league's top scorer with 45 goals in 30 league matches and a total of 56 goals in 38 matches.  Due to the War, he only represented France in a sickle match.

FW: Josip Skoblar (Yugoslavia)
With OFK Beograd, Skoblar won the Yugoslav Cup in 1962 and 1966. He played for Hannover 96 before moving to Olympique de Marseille.  He was three time top goalscorer in Ligue 1 (1971–73), winning the European Golden Boot in 1971 with 44 goals. He won the French league title in 1971, and French league/cup "Double" in 1972. OM fans refer to him as "the Dalmatian Eagle", or "Monsieur Goal" (Mister Goal).  Capped 32 times.  He went to the 1962 WC Finals.
Josip Skoblar

ST: Gunnar Andersson (Sweden/France)
He started his career in Sweden, before playing for Danish side Kjøbenhavns Boldklub before being transferred to Olympique de Marseille in 1950.  With l'OM he was also Division 1 top goalscorer in 1951–1952 and 1952–1953 and runner-up in the Coupe de France 1953–1954. He was their all-time leading scorer. He also played for other French teams such as FC Girondins de Bordeaux and AS Aix.

ST: Mamadou Niang (Senegal)
Mamadou Niang played for Troyes, Metz and Strasbourg before joining Marseille in 2005.  He quickly became a hero at the club.  He was the league's top scorer in the 2009-2010 season.  Later, he played in Turkey and UAE at the end of his career.  He has represented Senegal at international level, participating in the 2004, 2006, and 2008 African Cup of Nations. He had 59 caps between 2002 and 2012.
Mamadou Niang 

ST: Vilmos Kohut (Hungary)
Vilmos Kohut played as a striker for the Ferencvárosi TC, French team Olympique Marseille and the Hungarian national team. Kohut got 25 caps and 14 goals for the Hungarian national team between 1925 and 1938. He represented his country at the 1938 FIFA World Cup and scored 1 goal in 2 matches.

ST:  Jean Pierre Papin (France)
Jean Pierre Papin is the Ballon d'Or winner in 1991. He was a member of the great Olympique de Marseille team of the 1990's that won four Lique in a row, but left the season before they lifted their first ever European Cup.  He later played for AC Milan, FC Bayern Munich, Bordeaux, Guingamp, JS Saint-Pierroise and US Cap-Ferret. Papin also played 54 times for the French national team. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1986 and the European Championship in 1992.  
Jean Pierre Papin


Honorable Mention
Maurice Gransart, Bernard Casoni, Jules Zvunka, Larbi Benbarek, Dragan Stojkovic, François Bracci, Jean Bastien, Samir Nasri, Mathieu Valbuena, Georges Dard, Jean Boyer, Fabrizio Ravanelli, Enzo Francescoli, Didier Drogba, Gabriel Heinze, Lorik Cana, Peter Luccin, Joseph Yegba May, Franck Ribéry, Alen Boksic, Alain Giresse.

Squad Explanation
-- The team is based upon the Bernard Tapie era.  The side was the greatest club side in French club football's history. I selected the follwoing players who played under Tapie: Didiner Deschamps, Fabien Barthez, Jocelyn Angloma, Karl-Heinz Forster, Chris Waddle, Jean-Pierre Papin, Manuel Amoros, Carlos Mozer, Marcel Desailly, Basile Boli, Abedi Pele and Eric Di Meco. Twelve members of this team came from that generation, but not all of them were on the European Cup winning team.
-- Jean-Paul Escale appeared in many all-time lists, but Jaguaré and Steve Mandanda.  I selected Jaguaré was important to the early history of the club.  Mandanda has earned it through his years of services. He is the all-time leading appearance record holder for the club.
-- Didier Drogba spent a single season with the club, but he played well that year.  However, I only put him as a honorable mention. Alen Boksic,  Larbi Benbarek, Dragan Stojkovic, Enzo Francescoli and Franck Ribery also did not spend enough time with the club.
-- At one point, Roger Scotti held the all-time appearance record for the club.  He edged out Enzo Francescoli, who only played a single season with the club.
-- The last spot went to Jean Bastien.  I briefly considered Mathieu Valbuena or Samir Nasri for the last spot.  Mathieu Valbuena played many seasons with the club.  Nasri came from their academy and was an important player while he was with the club. In the end, I chose Jean Bastien who played over 200 games for the club and was a former captain.

Formation




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