Since the European Cup was renamed for the 1992–93 season, Marseille is still the only French team to have won the Champions League. The team led by Raymond Goethals defeated the storied AC Milan lineup of Franco Baresi, Paolo Maldini, Frank Rijkaard, and Marco van Basten in the 1993 championship game.
Marseille won 1-0 in Munich thanks to a goal from sweeper Basile Boli, making them the new European champions. Not even Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Neymar’s Paris St-Germain have accomplished it. However, a match-fixing scandal that resulted in Marseille losing the Ligue 1 championship they had won the previous season and being demoted from the French top division overshadowed that accomplishment. The nice stuff comes first. While the inaugural Champions League is very different from what it is now – merely Eight clubs competed in the group stage, and the pool winners advanced to the championship match. Marseille accomplished the remarkable feat of being undefeated the entire time. Following their loss to Red Star Belgrade in the 1991 European Cup final, their president Bernard Tapie—remember his name?—made significant investments in the team.
Alen Boksic was acquired to score goals, while goalkeeper Fabien Barthez and center back Marcel Desailly were acquired for the defense. The Croatian international and midfielder Franck Sauzee each contributed six goals during the 1992–93 European season. Marseille, who had three victories and three draws in their six group games, barely defeated Scottish champions Rangers to advance to the final, where they would face Milan, the clear favorites. The European Cup had been won by the Italians in
1989 and 1990, and they swept their division with six victories in six. On May 26, 1993, however, they were unable to get past the Marseille defense before or after the 44th minute, when Boli met Abedi Pele’s corner at the near post and flicked a header beyond the still Sebastiano Rossi of Milan. In order to win the championship, Marseille needed to defeat relegation-threatened Valenciennes, and they did just that by winning 1-0 to complete part one of their double.
However, reports that everything was not as it seemed quickly surfaced. Former Valenciennes player Jacques Glassmann claimed Marseille midfielder Jean-Jacques Eydelie gave him 250,000 francs (about £30,000 at the time) to “take his foot off the gas”. Nantes teammate. Jorge Burruchaga and Christophe Robert, two additional Valenciennes football players, also received bribe offers. Robert’s wife picked up a bag of notes from the Marseille team hotel, which she later buried in her mother’s yard. Criminal inquiries as well as football-related recriminations got underway. Marseille was denied the opportunity to defend their Champions League title, stripped of the Ligue 1 championship, and demoted.
Runners-up Because PSG’s owners, TV firm Canal+, were concerned about losing viewers in the south of France, they declined both the Ligue 1 championship and Marseille’s invitation to the Champions League. As a result, Monaco, who finished third, was awarded the 1993–94 winners League spot, while the 1992–93 Ligue 1 winners’ title remained unclaimed. But Marseilles were However, there was no proof that any of the European matches had been affected by the match-fixing, therefore Marseille was permitted to maintain their continental championship. They continue to have the title of the first Champions League champions despite having a huge moral asterisk next to their name.
Tapie received a two-year prison term, which he served for eight months, while Eyedelie, who was 27 at the time and appeared to be nearing the pinnacle of his career, received a suspended sentence and an 18-month football suspension. Eyedelie did make a comeback, but he was never able to match his Marseille levels. He retired in 2003 after spending a few years traveling, including a loan with Walsall.
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