"Thank you to the people of Marseille, I love you!" said Basile Boli, scorer and hero of the Munich final against AC Milan, seated on the balcony of the City Hall.

Downstairs, a few thousand OM supporters had gathered in a stadium atmosphere, smoke lit and chants taken up in chorus at the signal of a "capo" of the South Winners, the main group of OM supporters.

Inside the building, the current president of OM Pablo Longoria spoke with Jean-Pierre Bernès, the right-hand man of the president at the time Bernard Tapie.

The family of the former politician and businessman then welcomed the players of 1993, Boli and Eric Di Meco in the lead, then Jean-Marc Ferreri, Fabien Barthez, Jocelyn Angloma, Alen Boksic, Abedi Pelé ...

Laurent Tapie, the son of the "Boss", still idolized by the vast majority of Marseille supporters despite the VA-OM corruption case that immediately followed the coronation of Munich, then announced the launch of a subscription for the creation of a statue in the effigy of his father.

Flags bearing the effigy of Bernard Tapie during the festivities for the 30th anniversary of OM's coronation in the Champions League, on May 26, 2023 in Marseille © NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP

"Forever the first!"

It will represent the former president of OM and six C1 winners (Deschamps, Boli, Di Meco, Desailly, Barthez and Sauzée) and will be installed in front of the Velodrome, an esplanade of which will now bear the name of Bernard Tapie.

"There will be something in Marseille that bears his name and it's not trivial. Being near the Stade Vélodrome for eternity, nothing could have pleased him more," said Laurent Tapie.

Asked about the advisability of giving the name of Tapie, imprisoned in connection with the VA-OM affair, to a public space, the mayor of Marseille Benoît Payan quickly brushed off the criticism. "I invite them to come celebrate and participate in the party," he said of any disgruntled.

Then, on the balcony, he first greeted the supporters, without whom "there is no OM", then the players of 1993.

Former OM players including Basile Boli with Marseille mayor Benoit Payan, during the festivities for the 30th anniversary of the Champions League victory, May 26, 2023 © NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP

"They are there to remind us of one thing: whatever happens, we are forever the first!" he said.

Then, the party continued with the rebroadcast of the Munich final on a giant screen. And it will continue at 23pm, with a massive lighting of smoke organized by groups of supporters for more than 20 kilometers along the Marseille coast.

Then on Saturday, before the OM-Brest match at the Velodrome, a giant tifo will be deployed on the four stands of the stadium for a last tribute to the evening of May 26, 1993.

© 2023 AFP