Betting on Olympique Marseille is betting on the only French club to ever win the Champions League.
What else do we know about this popular French club with blood-fanatic supporters?
What does their history look like? Which big names wore OM’s fine jersey and what can betting on Olympique Marseille get you?
Olympique de Marseille | A club with a great history
Winning with bets is based fundamentally on loads of knowledge and a bit of luck. In other words, make sure you know what you are betting on. Regarding betting on Olympique Marseille, it is no different. We start from the very beginning.
If we dive into the history of Olympique Marseille, we have to go back to the end of the 19th century. René Dufaure de Montmirail founded an omnisports club in Marseille in 1892 that included football. In its first years, the club was still called Sporting Club, US Phocéenne and Football Club de Marseille.
The current name Olympique Marseille was chosen in 1899. The city of Marseille was founded around 600 BC by Greeks with the name Massalia. ‘Olympique’ refers to the Olympic Games, which were revived in Athens in 1896. Originally rugby was the main sport, from which the motto ‘droit au but’ (straight to the goal) is also derived.
Coupe de France wins and first national title before WWII
Olympique Marseille started playing football in a regional league, the Championnat du Littoral, in the 1900s. The club was better than other clubs from the city and suburbs, immediately winning the championship five times in a row. Starting in 1917, it also hosted the Coupe de France, the French Cup.
In the 1920s, Olympique Marseille profiled itself as one of France’s better clubs. The club finished second in the South East five times between 1921 and 1926. The prizes were won in the cup tournament: in 1924, 1926 and 1927, Marseille won the Coupe de France. The club also had several internationals in the selection. If you close your eyes, you will see French bookies – in sepia – working overtime to enable betting on Olympique Marseille.
In 1932, the Ligue 1 was created, and Olympique Marseille immediately finished second behind Lille. After a couple of reasonable seasons and another Coupe de France in 1935, the club finally took its biggest prize in 1937. Marseille had as many points as Sochaux, but with a better goal difference (+30 to +17). Just before the war, Marseille finished second three more times in a row and took a fifth Coupe de France in 1938. A remarkable sixth followed in wartime, in 1942-1943.
Relegation and brief dominance Ligue 1
Just after the war, in 1948, Olympique Marseille won its second national title. However, the club then sank deeper and deeper, until it finished 20th and was relegated in 1959. This was followed by three seasons of Ligue 2, one season of Ligue 1 (as 20th) and another three seasons of Ligue 2. In 1965, Marcel Leclerc became chairman. Under his leadership, the club slowly climbed up again.
This was crowned with four prizes in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The club became national champions in 1971 and 1972, and won the Coupe de France in 1969 and 1972. The national titles allowed Marseille to compete in the European Cup I for two seasons, but in the first season they were eliminated by Ajax, in the second season by Juventus.
With the successes, betting on Olympique Marseille naturally picked up again. That’s just the way it works. Success usually brings not only more silverware, but also more attention, fans, sponsors ánd bets.
In 1972, however, chairman Leclerc had to leave. He wanted to attract a third foreigner with Hungarian Zoltan Varga, but this was not allowed by the French federation. The club sacked Leclerc when the latter refused to cooperate. What followed was another grey period for the club. Only in 1976 did the club make the Coupe de France, four years later l’OM relegated from the Ligue 1.
Era of Bernard Tapie, Champions League
In April 1986, businessman Bernard Tapie became owner and chairman of Olympique Marseille. He promptly built France’s strongest club by attracting a number of top players. Think Jean-Pierre Papin, Alain Giresse, Eric Cantona, Abedi Pelé, Didier Deschamps, Marcel Desailly and Rudi Völler. Trainers included Franz Beckenbauer and Raymond Goethals.
Between 1989 and 1992, Olympique Marseille became national champions four times in a row. In 1993, they won in the European Cup I from AC Milan. The same club had won the tournament in 1989 and 1990. The following year, in 1991, OM reached the final of the European Cup 1 for the first time. However, they lost on penalties to Red Star Belgrade.
Two years later, the European Cup 1 had been renamed the Champions League. It was an immediate success against AC Milan thanks to a goal from Boli just before half-time. Despite the big names and favourites, Milan did not recover that 1-0.
Bribery scandal, return to the top with Didier Deschamps
In 1994, however, things went wrong for the club. It turned out that they had bribed players from Valenciennes club in 1993. They had to lose the match to Marseille, and not injure Marseille’s players on their way to the Champions League final.
The French league stripped Olympique of the 1992-93 national title and the right to play in the Champions League, European Supercup and Intercontinental Cup. In addition, the club was relegated to the Ligue 2. From betting on Olympique Marseille in the Champions League to placing bets on Ligue 2 matches. Things can change.
After two years, they returned to the Ligue 1. In 1996, Adidas’ CEO Robert-Louis Dreyfus took over the club. In 1999, Marseille finished second again. Moreover, they reached the UEFA Cup final, which, however, was lost against Parma.
Five years later, Marseille found themselves in the same final again, but this time Valencia was too strong. After a couple of second-place finishes in the Ligue 1 and lost cup finals, Didier Deschamps was appointed coach in 2009.
The current national coach of France, so also at the 2022 World Cup, had a couple of fantastic seasons in Marseille. In 2009-2010, he led the club to the national title. Moreover, between 2010-2012, he won the Coupe de la Ligue (second French Cup) three times in a row and the Trophée des Champions (French Supercup) in 2010 and 2011. Moreover, he reached the knockout stage of the Champions League three times in a row.
Struggling behind Paris Saint-Germain
In 2012, however, Marseille also finished tenth in the Ligue 1 and Deschamps left as coach. Over the past decade, Marseille’s trophy cabinet has remained unchanged. Despite being very close on several occasions. On three occasions they were runners-up, three times behind great rival Paris Saint-Germain. In 2016, they also lost the Coupe de France final to PSG.
Two years later, there was a fantastic run in the Europa League, but Atlético Madrid were too powerful in the final. In 2021-2022, Feyenoord won in the semi-finals of the Conference League. This, however, did not take away from the fact that betting on Olympique Marseille offered great value.
Club icons Olympique Marseille
Until a few years ago, Roger Scotti (player between 1942-1958) was the record holder with 452 games for Olympique Marseille. Jean Bastien (1935-1938 and 1941-1949) and Georges Dard (1936-1954) managed to grab two national titles with the club, in 1937 and 1948.
Between 1950-1958, Swede Gunnar Andersson scored 194 goals in 247 games, remaining the club’s all-time top scorer. Andersson almost lost his record to Josip Skoblar, who scored as many as 175 goals in 210 games between 1966-1967 and 1969-1974. Moreover, Olympique Marseille won the Ligue 1 title twice in 1971 and 1972 partly thanks to him.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Marseille was the best in France and one-time in Europe. Between 1990-1993, Belgian coach Raymond Goethals made himself immortal among fans.
Jean-Pierre Papin (1986-1992 at the club) was a key player under Goethals. He also won the Golden Ball in 1991 and became the world’s top scorer of the year. Papin would reach 182 goals for Marseille, but he left just before Marseille won the Champions League.
His place was then taken by German striker Rudi Völler. Didier Deschamps also enjoyed many successes, as did Fabien Barthez (later Manchester United) and Éric di Meco. Deschamps was also very successful as a coach 20 years later.
Meanwhile, Roger Scotti lost his record to goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, who played 613 games for Marseille between 2007 and 2022. Between 2006 and 2014, Mathieu Valbuena and Benoît Cheyrou were also regulars who grabbed six prizes between 2009 and 2012.
Rivals Olympique Marseille
Olympique Marseille’s biggest rival has been Paris Saint-Germain since the 1990s. Marseille won the Champions League in 1993 and PSG the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1996. They were France’s strongest clubs before the rise of Olympique Lyon in the early 2000s.
They still see each other as their biggest rival and play ‘Le Classique’ among themselves. Although it is becoming increasingly difficult for Marseille to stand up to world-class players like Kylian Mbappé, Neymar and Lionel Messi.
Looking back at Olympique Marseille season 2021/2022
Paris Saint-Germain were champions last season, of course, but Olympique Marseille were ‘best of the rest’. After finishing third in the Europa League group stage, they reached the semi-finals in the Conference League. Feyenoord narrowly beat them in that competition. In the Coupe de France, they reached the quarter-finals against OGC Nice.
Looking ahead at Olympique Marseille season 2022/2023
It will be very difficult for Olympique Marseille to keep Paris Saint-Germain from the national title. On the bright side, the club has qualified for the Champions League, hopefully good for some welcome revenue. The draw was also hugely fortunate with opponents Tottenham Hotspur, Eintracht Frankfurt and Sporting. A group that is absolutely evenly matched. Maybe Marseille can break a few records there, or surprise in the Coupe de France. Either way, there are plenty of interesting opportunities to bet on Olympique Marseille.
The rivalry between Olympique de Marseille and PSG is known as “Le Classique.” It’s one of the most intense rivalries in French football, showcasing the competition between the two biggest clubs in France.
Olympique de Marseille won the UEFA Champions League (formerly the European Cup) in 1993, becoming the first French club to win the prestigious trophy. This achievement remains a milestone in the club’s history.
Olympique de Marseille’s team colors are white and sky blue. They are often referred to as “Les Olympiens” (The Olympians) or simply “OM.”
Olympique de Marseille’s home stadium is Stade Vélodrome, located in Marseille, France. It is known for its passionate atmosphere and iconic architecture.
Olympique de Marseille’s participation in European competitions, including their UEFA Champions League victory, has elevated the international profile of French football. Their achievements have showcased the competitiveness of French clubs on the European stage.