Paris Saint Germain ( PSG )

Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique de Marseille – Derby de France


Matches between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Olympique de Marseille are known as the Classic or sometimes as the Derby de France. This Derby is not a confrontation between two clubs in the same city, such as can be found in Manchester, Milan or Rome, or even regional rivalry such as Manchester United and Liverpool. This Derby pits the metropolitan style and society of the capital Paris as opposed to the port city, and working class centre, of Marseilles. Capital city against port city, the centre against the south. All the ingredients for a fierce rivalry are certainly there – the fiercest in France and one of the keenest rivalries in the whole world of club football.

To date these two clubs are the only French clubs to have won European tournaments and were unquestionably, until the emergence of Olympique Lyonnais at the start of the current century, the two most successful clubs in France.  Both have a national fan base which only goes to increase the interest when they do meet each other.

No one who knows football will be surprised that the rivalry is reflected in each team’s respective fan base and over time various groups of Marseille and Parisian supporters have hated and battled each other.  This has meant that when a player ends up in the rival camp, he will receive a rough ride from his former supporters. There is also a protracted and intense record of violence between supporters of the two teams, which many observers feel that the clubs could have done more to quash.

The rivalry although intense is not an age old one as PSG only came into existence in the 1970s whilst Marseilles have been around for over a century. But once PSG began enjoying success, the rivalry heated up; both clubs dipped extensively into the transfer market and sniped at each other through the media.

To date there have been 87 matches between PSG and Marseilles and the margin between the two sides is very narrow. In the Ligue 1, Marseille have won 31 games to PSG’s 25, the goal ratio being 98 to 89. The meetings in the two Cup competitions, have definitely been shaded towards the Parisian team, with Marseille only achieving one victory in thirteen Cup contests.

Although Marseille have a lead in all Ligue 1 matches played between the two sides, there is no question that the past four years has seen the pendulum swing quite decisively in favour of the Parisian side. Since Marseilles won at home in November 2011, PSG have been undefeated, winning eight consecutive matches between October 2012 and October 2015. Players and supporters alike of Marseille will be hoping for better things in the future.

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