The coronation of Olympique de Marseille against AC Milan on May 26, 1993 is surrounded by gray areas.
It’s a day of celebration in Marseille. This 26th marks the 30th anniversary of OM’s victory over AC Milan in the Champions League final (1-0). A success that offered the first European Cup to French football. And thirty later, it is still the only victory of a hexagonal formation in the most prestigious of the European Cups.
For some, the triumph of Raymond Goethals’ men thanks to a goal from Basile Boli is nonetheless questionable. And not only because of the VA-OM affair which had broken out a few days earlier and which, in the eyes of its critics, is the best symbol of Marseille practices in the time of Bernard Tapie. Jean-Pierre Papin, who had been the icon of the Vélodrome a few years earlier, also expressed his doubts in the summer of 1995, when he was playing for Bayern Munich.
Questioned by Italian journalists, JPP lets go as he talks about his future, one year from the end of his contract in Bavaria. ” I would like to end my career in Marseille with my family,” he throws. What cause the astonishment of one of his interlocutors. “With everything that happened there, you remember what you told us in Milan, and you saw what happened,” he retorts as Liberation reports. The tricolor striker does not disassemble. ” You saw, everything I told you was true. And it’s only 10% of what really happened to OM that has been publicly revealed. Of course, Tapie will never say anything, any more than Bernès. He will not go so far as to talk about the Munich final, we would cut his throat. The Marseillais are too proud. They won against the great Milan, if they were to learn that this match was rigged…”, he replies.
The words are strong. Another journalist asks him if he considers that a Milan player could have been bought as was the case in the French championship. “Not one, but two players. You can’t arrange a match with just one player, because with ten you can always play. With two fewer players, the game becomes more difficult,” he assures, without however wanting to let go of the names of the incriminated players.
The remarks obviously have the effect of a bomb and make the front page of the transalpine media. What force him to deny in the middle of the night to the Italian press agency, considering having been manipulated. ” I spoke in friendship and it falls on me, he says the next day. I just confirmed the existence of rumors circulating in Marseille after the latest statements from Jean-Pierre Bernès. I added that it was said that he had spoken of the final, it stops there. »