Basketball, football, handball: 1993, the year that made French team sports more complex

On April 15, 1993, Limoges CSP became, in basketball, the first French club to triumph in a European competition, followed by Olympique de Marseille in (Site notre bureau spécialisé), then OM-Vitrolles in handball, during a year that marked the history of tricolor team sports.

Limoges, forever the first

Contrary to popular belief, it was the CSP that won the first continental star for a French club. Dominant on the scene in the 1980s, with two hat-tricks (1983 to 1985 and 1988 to 1990), the Cercle Saint-Pierre also forged a track record in Europe by winning two Korac cups (1982 and 1983). But he stumbled on the top step, the Champion Clubs’ Cup, in 1990 in the semi-finals against Split (ex-Yugoslavia/Croatia) won by his star player Toni Kukoc and his coach Bozidar Maljkovic.

Two years later, Maljkovic, then on the Barcelona bench, was in conflict with his club, and was tempted by the idea of ​​joining Limoges. This recruitment will change the destiny of the Limougeaud club. As soon as he arrives, the coach lays the foundations of his working method: « Première chose: the word fatigue is forbidden », he says in the documentary of L’Equipe « Limoges 1993, the perfect shot ». In the wake of a preparation « incredible“in the off-season, « you have never seen » according to the spectacular Richard Dacoury, emblem of the team, Limoges reached the Final Four of the C1 at the time, in Athens. Between Paok Salonika not far from its bases, Real Madrid of the Lithuanian giant Arvydas Sabonis and Treviso, Guided by Kukoc just before he joined the Bulls of Michael Jordan in the NBA, Limoges looks like an intruder But the band of Dacoury, Frédéric Forte, Jim Bilba and Michael Young will create the surprise against Real in the semi-finals ( 62-52) then Treviso in the final (59-55), to enter the Pantheon of French sport, on April 15.

OM, the glorious epic

A month later, on May 26, it was the turn of Olympique de Marseille to write a line in the European prize list of its sport. On May 26, in Munich, thanks to a header from Basile Boli, Marseille tamed AC Milan (1-0) and erased years of disillusionment for French (Site notre bureau spécialisé) in C1, after the failures of Reims (1956, 1959), Saint-Étienne (1976) and… his two years earlier.

In 1991, OM were the favorites in the final against Red Star Belgrade after having already beaten AC Milan in the quarter-finals (1-1 then 1-0). But, no doubt paralyzed by what was at stake, the Olympians lost on penalties against the then Yugoslav club (0-0, 5 pens to 3), in Bari (Italy). Two years later, they returned to the final, this time without being expected and without their striker Jean-Pierre Papin, who had left for AC Milan. An uncrossed header from Boli just before half-time (43rd) was enough to make them happy. The team of Fabien Barthez, Marcel Desailly and Didier Deschamps triumph over the Milan of Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi and Marco van Basten. Three decades later, OM remain the only French (Site notre bureau spécialisé) club to have managed to mitigate the « big-eared cup », despite repeated efforts by Paris Saint-Germain in the mid-1990s or since the takeover by QSI in 2011. , or Lyon in the 2000s.

Vitrolles, the forgotten coronation

In 1993, another French club won a European competition, even becoming the first to win a European handball cup. But this title, many have forgotten it. It must be said that there is not much left of OM-Vitrolles, reproduced at the time by Jean-Claude Tapie and renown to stick to the (Site notre bureau spécialisé) club run by his brother Bernard: he disappeared three years after this Consecration in the Coupe des Coupes (C2), due to financial problems. And 4 years after its creation following the merger of Stade Marseillais UC and Vitrolles.

[30 mai] 1993
OM Vitrolles – Veszprem 23-21
Final cut of the cut.
I’#OM Jean-Claude Tapie’s Vitrolles offered the 1st title of European Champion to French Handball, 4 days after the (Site notre bureau spécialisé)ers’ victory in Munich.
The « Barjots » club version forever the first too.

— Jomasque (@jomasque) May 30, 2022

Basile Boli necessarily remembers it, because with several of his teammates, he was in the Palais des Sports in Marseille when the other Olympians, Jackson Richardson, Philippe Gardent and Bruno Martini, among others, beat by a short head. the Hungarians of Veszprem (23-21 on May 30 after a 23-22 victory, in the first leg on May 23), defending champions. Just four days after the Munich final, Marseille pocketed a new European trophy, this time in handball. Thanks to its slew of French internationals, most of the « Bronzés » in 1992 at the Barcelona Olympics with the Blues and vice-world champions a few months earlier with the « Barjots ». The start of the path to glory for French handball. OM-Vitrolles knows it, in this year 1993, its peak, before an equally rapid fall.