Marseille: The First-Ever Champion

In 1992/93, the French club Marseille picked up the first Champions League trophy by defeating the Italian club of AC Milan

It’s been 29 years since the Champions League was first played and its official anthem composed by British composer Tony Britten was played for the first time in the stadium. Earlier, the tourney was noted as the European Cup, but in 1992; the name was changed to Champions League. Since then, the Champions League has been acknowledged as the best knockout club football tournament in the world. While everybody predicted a prominent and popular name to pick up the crown, the reality was different because a lesser-known French club secured the first-ever Champions League trophy.

On 26 May 1993, the first-ever Champions League final was played at the Olympiastadion in Munich between French Club Olympique de Marseille and Italian club AC Milan. The match ended with a scoreline of 1-0 and Marseille became the first French club to kiss a European competition trophy. The one and only goal of the match took place in the 43rd minute when Olympique de Marseille’s defender Basile Boli scored a header and gave its club a lead.

Unfortunately, the Champions League final match of 1992/93 proved to be the last game of legendary Dutch player Marco van Basten, who was only 28 at that time. The player was subbed off in the 86th minute of the game because of acute fatigue and an ankle sprain. Basten spent the latter two seasons in recovery, but the magical player failed to discover the physical fitness needed for playing. In August 1995, Marco van Basten retired from the world of football.

Marseille team line-up: Goethals (manager), Barthez, Angloma, Di Meco, Boli, Sauzee, Desailly, Eydelie, Boksic, Voller, Ayew, Deschamps (captain).

Substitute: Olmeta, Thomas, Durand, Casoni, Ferreri

AC Milan team line-up: Capello (manager), Rossi, Tassotti, Maldini, Albertini, Costacurta, Lentini, Rijkaard, Van Basten, Donadoni, Massaro, Baresi (captain).

Substitute: Cudicini, Eranio, Papin, Nava, Evani

Shockingly, the French club and its President Bernard Tapie was later found to be involved in a match-fixing scam. It was reported that Marseille allegedly paid Valenciennes to give up a match. For the following year, the club was prohibited from playing in a European club football contest and they were further demoted to the second division league. However, the club was not stripped of the Champions League crown.

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