The historic Champions League swung in Munich, six trophies as a coach, but also the famous banner “Deschamps and your players, break up!”. As a player or coach, Didier Deschamps has experienced everything in Marseille, where he returns with the Blues on Friday to meet Côte d’Ivoire.
From player to coach, Didier Deschamps has lived it all in Marseille, where he returns on Friday with the Blues to face Côte d’Ivoire. In five seasons as a player, including one on loan to Bordeaux, and three as a coach, the Basque has been one of OM’s successes for more than 30 years, and for the vast majority of Marseillais, he is “the great Didier The Fields”.
But he also left the city exhausted and scarred by an extremely painful last season as a coach. On the pitch, the Basque won the titles in 1990 and 1992, as well as the one that was canceled in 1993, and of course the Champions League in 1993, the first European cup for French football clubs.
On the bench, from 2009 to 2012, he added a new league title (2010), three league trophies and two Champions Trophies to OM’s record.
Deschamps player, Deschamps coach
Between Deschamps player and Deschamps coach, OM won nothing for 17 years. And since his departure ten years ago, he has not won anything either. “Deschamps’ legacy in Marseille is the victory to win. He’s captain of the team from 1993, coach of the team in 2010, victory is his trademark. His record is clear and clear. We liked this period because we won,” he explained. Christian Cataldo, head of the Dodgers, one of the main groups of OM supporters that Deschamps has been the godfather of since its inception.
“It is indisputable that he is very high in the history of OM. There are people in the history of this club, good presidents, good coaches, very fantastic players. And Deschamps is there.”
The journalist from the daily newspaper La Provence Mario Albano, who has followed OM for 40 years, also assesses that Deschamps “is part of the legend of this club”. “It’s not even debatable or subjective, it’s a proven and indisputable fact,” assures the one who publishes “Grandes Finales de Marseille” next month, a book in which Deschamps necessarily has a good place.
“Even though he is not one of the greatest players, or one of the most spectacular, he is still extremely important. It is not innocent to be the first captain of a French club to lift a European Cup,” he explains. Albano. “What more do you want?” Christian Cataldo abounds. It is in the opposite turn, South Bend, that the story of Deschamps in Marseille, on the other hand, reached its lowest point.
“Deschamps is not a popular hero like Boli”
On March 28, 2012, OM played the Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich. The poster is huge, but the season has been tough, marked by the war between Deschamps and José Anigo, sports director, to whom he no longer speaks. In the turn, several banners are displayed, including the most famous: “Deschamps and your players, break up!”.
Deschamps will certainly leave at the end of the season, “very tired and physically damaged”, as he will say a few years later. “He forced the Haribo sweets,” smiles Mario Albano.
“He wanted to be in control of it all, he had become a little paranoid. But he must have found it totally unfair. He does not want to talk too much about it, it is still an injury,” he adds. Finally, the impression is blurred. Deschamps’ track record in Marseille is unparalleled, but not his love rating.
Mario Albano assesses that “the feeling and the public demonstrations towards him are a symbol of Marseille’s versatility”. “There is a constant desire for change in Marseille. After a while, people are tired and they want to see new faces,” explains the journalist from La Provence. “But if he had gone after the first year, or even the second year, he would have been a living God.”