Stéphane Burgatt with AFP / Photo credit: NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP 10:27 am, May 27, 2023, modified at 10:27 am, May 27, 2023

The Cup with big ears on the Old Port, as 30 years ago: Marseille proudly celebrated Friday the 30th anniversary of OM's victory in the Champions League with a big party bringing together supporters and players of the time.

Marseille ignited under the effect of thousands of smoke. On May 26, 1993, OM won against the great AC Milan, the first and so far the only cup with big ears in the history of French football. A match that was replayed in real time on the Old Port on Friday night. Europe 1 was on site.

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Thousands of supporters gathered

At 23 p.m., the bells of Notre-Dame de la Garde rang on the fly and the first smoke and pots of smoke were lit on the forecourt of the Basilica that dominates the city. This was the signal and the entire Marseille coastline then went up in flames for a massive smoke "cracking", over more than 20 kilometers, organized by several groups of OM supporters. "If the Good Mother is with us, we will show the whole world what Marseille is capable of," the leader of one of these groups told his troops moments earlier.

A few hours before, OM fans had already met in front of the City Hall, on the old Port. "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. Downstairs, a few thousand OM supporters had gathered in a stadium atmosphere, the first smoke lights lit and chants taken up in chorus at the signal of a "capo" of the South Winners, the main group of OM supporters.

Relive the summary of yesterday's celebrations for the 30th anniversary of OM's coronation

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Laurent Tapie announces the launch of a subscription for the creation of a statue with the effigy of his father

"On the evening of May 26, I watched the final and the next day we came to celebrate the title here. We threw ourselves into the Old Port with friends, colleagues, family. That's what it means to us," said Rémi, 39, as a huge tarpaulin "Forever the first" was unveiled on the facade of the town hall. 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.

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.

"Forever the first!"

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

Then, the party continued with the replay of the Munich final on a giant screen, culminating in Boli's goal in the 44th minute, greeted by a crowd as enthusiastic as if it had been at the Velodrome or the Olympic Stadium in Munich. On Saturday, the party will continue before the OM-Brest match at the Velodrome, where a giant tifo will be deployed on the four stands for a last tribute to the evening of May 26, 1993.