The Olympique Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain football rivalry is known by two names, Le Classique and the Derby de France. This is not a rivalry born from proximity, as many are. The two teams are located in cities in different regions of France. It is, instead, a social and cultural rivalry, as Olympique Marseille represents the working class people and port city of Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain is seen as being associated with the ultimate bastion of French society and culture, Paris. It is Marseille, the power center of the south, versus Paris the capital city in the north.
The first derby between the two football clubs was played on 12 December 1971. They have met a total of 89 times. Paris Saint-Germain leads with 37 wins, while Olympique Marseille has earned 32. There have been 20 draws.
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Statistics and Records
In league play, at first Olympique Marseille dominated and then Paris Saint-Germain did so. From 1990-1999, the team from Marseille lost just two of 18 matches with the Paris club. Then from 2002 through 2004, Paris Saint-Germain beat their rivals eight times straight. Presently, Paris is the top team.
The two teams are fairly close in terms of overall titles won. L’OM has a much longer history than Paris Saint-Germain, having been founded in 1899. They have won 27 titles total, including nine Ligue 1 crowns, 10 Coupe de France, and two Trophée des Champions. In 1992-92, they won the UEFA Champions League. Les Parisiens, established in 1970, have won five Ligue 1 crowns, nine Coupe de France, and four Trophée des Champions. They have earned a total of 25 titles.
Top scorers in this rivalry include PSG forwards Zlatan Ibrahimović and Pauleta both with six goals. OM’s leading scorer in this two-team competition is Hervé Florès. In meetings between the two football clubs, the forward has scored five goals total.
Since 8 April 2012, Paris Saint-Germain has not lost a match to L’OM. Les Parisiens record during that time stands at 8-1-0. They outscored their rivals 19 goals to 6 and they did not concede in five of those matches.
Important Games, Players and Managers
As of late, this rivalry is marked more by fan battles rather than classic battles on the pitch. Since 2000, there have been hundreds of arrests and numerous deaths associated with this rivalry. However, Some of the more memorable derbies between these two clubS occurred in the 1990s.
A major contest and confrontation occurred on 29 May 1993. Just three days prior, l’OM was victorious over A.C. Milan in the UEFA Champions League final. Now they were playing their bitter rivals in a game that would decide the Ligue 1 crown. It was a tough beginning for Olympique Marseille, as they were exhausted from their big match against Milan.
They fell behind on a goal by PSG midfielder Vincent Guérin in the 8th minute. But then just 8 minutes later OM striker Vincent Guérin scored the equalizer. Then at minute 36 Basile Boli put OM ahead on what was a spectacular 18-foot header. Scoring was capped by the renowned Allen Bokšić at the 76th minute. It was a massive 3-1 win by Olympique Marseille.
However, Parc des Princes have had their turn too. In 1999, they managed a victory over their rivals that was very sweet. PSG had been struggling while Marseille had a shot at the league title. The team from Paris had not beaten OM in years. They managed a come from behind 2-1 win, with both goals coming late in the game at the 84th and 86th minutes. The late-season victory was responsible for Olympique Marseille finishing one-point away from the title.
Passionate fans are known for fueling rivalries, and both of these football clubs have plenty of followers who take this derby very seriously. Over the years, Olympique Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain supporters have been involved in numerous violent episodes. This is despite focused efforts to control fan violence. Violence is still a possibility and a problem when these two teams meet on the pitch.
Adding to the unrest are player transfers. A total of 47 players have been on the rosters of both clubs, and these transfer instances have brought about intensive abuse from fans of the player’s former team. Although the Derby de France has one of the shortest histories as far as rivalries are concerned, it is one that is marked by extreme emotions and actions. At this point in time, Paris Saint-Germain dominates in this battle.