There are finals and trophies that will mark you forever. In the 1998-99 season, OM won nothing. But he entered the fourth dimension in the space of a match, at the end of the summer. On August 22, 1998, the sun went down and the temperatures softened inside the Vélodrome stadium, around 8 p.m. Marseillais and Montpellier kick off a meeting from which visitors will come out "dumbfounded, because it is a bit of a nightmare," confesses Pascal Fugier, then MHSC player, for SoFoot in 2017.
"To put it simply, you could limit seeing goals at Drucker's on TV"Jean-Christophe Rouvière, Montpellier player
Everything had started well for the Héraultais. The opening of the score by Ibrahima Bakayoko (15th), with a shot from the outside of the right foot into the area, was a good omen. Then a cross strike from Laurent Robert (19th) and a free kick from Franck Sauzée (23rd) worsened the mark, before Bakayoko won a double (34th). Amazement among a team that will play the title until the end of the season in Ligue 1, finally beaten by the Girondins de Bordeaux. The whistles fell from the spans of the Vélodrome, part of the 56,000 spectators left the stadium at half-time (0-4). OM coach Rolland Courbis tells Eurosport about his return to the locker room. “I meet Louis Nicollin (the president of the MHSC) and Michel Bezy (the Montpellier coach). We are teasing. And I tell them: "No need to console me, we will win 5-4". Obviously, I really think about it for half a second. ”
The importance of the Velodrome, "the 12th man"
The prophecy is going to take place, however. And it will take time to materialize. It was not until the 61st minute that Florian Maurice, on a cross from Christophe Dugarry for his first ball, reduced the head gap. This same Dugarry will ignite the supporters of a double (64th, 71st) on a corner. "When we started coming back and the audience was carrying us, we went into a kind of euphoria like you have known few times in your career," recalls Eric Roy. As if we were no longer touching the ground in fact. ” Roy had his feet on the ground, however, when he ran madly with his arms in the air, celebrating his goal of equalizing a half-volley from the right (84th): “When Robert Pirès serves Fabrizio Ravanelli, I know that 'he's going to deviate it from my head and that I marked before I even made the gesture.'
»READ ALSO - Foot nostalgia: George Weah and the cannon shot of Bayern-PSG
»READ ALSO - Nostalgia football: Maradona and the goal of humiliation in the Clasico Real-Barça
"Nobody understood what happened that night, we the first, concedes Jean-Christophe Rouvière, player from Montpellier. Already, going back to the locker room at the Vélodrome break with four goals ahead, against this team, it was impossible. But being caught up and getting ahead in less than thirty minutes, we entered the irrational. ” Because after the equalization, OM will seek victory on a penalty from Laurent Blanc (90th). "It is not even an exploit, it is a miracle", thunders Courbis. "I like to add more, but to schematize, you could limit see the goals at Drucker's on TV", jokes Rouvière, emphasizing the resounding echo of the match beyond the simple sphere of football.
Although improbable, Marseille's victory is very real. Hugged by Dugarry and Ravanelli, Blanc embraces the OM logo in front of a boiling audience. Players and technical staff warmly congratulate themselves on the final whistle. It was only the 3rd day of Ligue 1, but this success represented much more. "This atmosphere ... This is where I felt how the expression" twelfth man "took on its full meaning, blows the Héraultais Philippe Delaye. We felt that the match was eluding us at that time. " A match swept away by Marseille fever.
- Football nostalgia: the day Didier Drogba led Chelsea to the coronation in the Champions League
- Foot nostalgia: Maradona and the goal of humiliation in the Clasico Real-Barça
- “Foot nostalgia”: the day Lampard became the top scorer in Chelsea history
- Foot Nostalgia: George Weah and the cannon shot of Bayern-PSG