Le Classique (Paris Saint Germain - Olympique de Marseille)
Le Classique, which is also known as the Derby de France, is the match played between French clubs, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Olympique Marseille, which are Paris and Marseille’s biggest clubs respectively.
The first match between the two came in 1971, which Marseille won. The clubs have played each other over 80 times, as of 2013 Marseille have won 32 matches to PSG’s 30, with 20 draws.
Traditionally, Marseille and PSG have always been two of the biggest sides in France. PSG’s recent takeover by Qatari billionaires has seen them become one of Europe’s biggest and richest clubs.
The fixtures’ top scorer is Pauleta, who scored 6 goals against Marseille for PSG. Marseille forward Flores and PSG’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic are tied second, with 5 goals each in Le Classique.
French defender, Sylvain Armand has the most Le Classique appearances, having played 18 times in the match for PSG.
Over the years, Le Classique has seen many entertaining matches, the highest scoring of which was PSG’s 1970 4-3 victory over Marseille. In 1978 PSG won 5-1, the match’s biggest ever winning margin. More recently, in 2008, PSG beat Marseille 4-2.
The match is known to be a heated affair, with both sets of supporters creating intimidating and often rowdy atmospheres, especially when the two have competed for the French Ligue 1 title.
Marseille’s home fixtures are played at the 60,000-seater Stade Vélodrome while PSG’s are played at Parc des Princes, which has a capacity of 49,000.
Despite being deadly rivals, a total of 47 players have played for both Marseille and PSG, the most notable of which are Claude Makélélé, George Weah and Gabriel Heinze, who had actually declared he would never play for Marseille before making the switch. Tomislav Ivić is the only person to have managed both of the sides.
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