The OL Park vibrates "with nostalgia" in front of the Heroes match

The OL Park vibrates “with nostalgia” in front of the Heroes match

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In OL Park,

There were hardly any Lucas Paquetá or Maxence Caqueret jerseys on Tuesday afternoon among the 22,901 spectators present at Parc OL. Instead, there were the pretty flocked pieces bearing the names of Patrice Carteron, Bryan Bergougnoux and Juninho. Because before attending the last home game of this Ligue 1 season, on Saturday (9:00 p.m.) against FC Nantes, disappointed, Lyon fans enjoyed “an enchanted parenthesis” in Décines (Rhône). That is to say, a match of the Heroes that, above all, made it possible to raise 482,490 euros for Unicef ​​​​​​​​​​and OL Fondation, especially to help child victims of the war in Ukraine.

The Lyon team, led by Jacques Santini as in 2002, beat Team Unicef ​​on Tuesday (1-0).
The Lyon team, led by Jacques Santini as in 2002, beat Team Unicef ​​on Tuesday (1-0). – Stephane Guiochon

Seven months after its Marseille version, this Heroes match led by Sonny Anderson brought together the players of the 2002 French champion OL team on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the first of their seven consecutive Ligue 1 coronations. “Sonnygoal” did things well to try to bring a smile to the Lyon fans, frustrated by the current 8th place in the league and the slap received in the Europa League against West Ham (0-3).

Former football greats associated with videographers on the side of Team Unicef

Before this gala match played against a strong Team Unicef ​​​​(Lehmann, Van Buyten, Mendieta, Nasri, Giuly… but also Belgian rapper Roméo Elvis, comedian Paul Mirabel and videographers Michou and Inoxtag), striker The 51-year-old Brazilian had promised the Bad Gones that he would score “as always” on the flank of the north corner before celebrating with the fans. With an excellent serve from Swedish midfielder Kim Källström, Sonny Anderson kept his word and scored the only goal of the match (1-0, 70). “It’s my first goal in this stadium,” smiles the former OL captain, who had scored for Gerland’s side from 1999 to 2003, for the club to change dimension.

The Nuno Gomes-Cris duel was shaping up to be a heated opposition this Tuesday at Parc OL.


The Nuno Gomes-Cris duel was shaping up to be a heated opposition this Tuesday at Parc OL. – Stephane Guiochon

One era that still fascinates OL fans as much as the curve launched almost from the start on Tuesday with the chant “It’s OL champion of France. If this team takes you…, to make you ch…, we’ll make them win.” choir from another time that Céline and Stéphanie (43) loved to meet, Bad Gones subscribers since the late 90s, and who came with their boys to Décines on Tuesday nights. They do not hide their emotion: “It is extraordinary to see our former players like Cavegoal, Anderson, Cris, Edmilson, Caçapa. It plunges us directly into nostalgia. They have not changed, although they have gained a little weight anyway. »

“With them I learned to love football”

This is not the case for Jean-Marc Chanelet, sharp on his right side, Eric Carrière or Michael Essien, the former monster midfielder from OL then Chelsea. S’ils regrettent que ce match ne soit pas déroulé à Gerland, Lucie et Jérémy (30 ans) confient : « Laissez-nous nous amuser ce soir car on n’a pas eu l’occasion de le faire dans cette saison pourrie de LOL “. Coming in his old Juninho jersey, whose herd struggles to resist the years, Jérémy continues to praise the players titled in 2002. “It was with them that I learned to love football,” Célian slips by his side.

Iconic Team OL Légende strikers Alain Caveglia and Sonny Anderson were two of the most applauded former players on Tuesday at Parc OL.


Iconic Team OL Légende scorers Alain Caveglia and Sonny Anderson were two of the most applauded former players on Tuesday at Parc OL. – Stéphane Guiochon

Before raging against his distant successors? “We remember that OL made us love him 20 years ago, says the thirtysomething Mickaël, also present on Tuesday at Décines with his friends Coralie and Gabriel. We were in Gerland on the night of the title, in May 2002 against Lens (3-1) and it was by far our best sporting moment. There, the titles are far away, apart from Gambardella. »

“This hero game can’t erase everything”

It’s simple, the last trophy won by OL is still the Coupe de France against Quevilly (1-0), just 10 years ago. “We are all sad when there are difficult results like this season,” specifies Kim Kallström (in Lyon from 2006 to 2012). He had high hopes for the Europa League, which could have brought a lot to the club. 10 years without a degree, surely it is a long time and that creates a lack. But in my time, PSG did not have the Qatari media, which did change the face of the championship. And when you’ve been in charge of a football club like M.Aulas for 35 years, it’s normal for there to be ups and downs, right? »

Since taking power in 1987, JMA has rarely found its first team this low in the spring. Last week’s debacle in Metz (3-2) is even synonymous with a second season without a European Cup in the last three years. Could the sadness of Tuesday at Parc OL be put aside? “This Heroes game can’t erase everything, but all the better if tonight brings a little joy to the fans,” says Sidney Govou.

“A collective spirit of camaraderie”

How did Jacques Santini’s players approach this exhibition match? “Whatever happens, we told ourselves that we had to win tonight”, announces Sonny Anderson, captain of this famous first French champion title in 2002. “We could see that even if the body does not respond not as quickly as before. , the victory is always in us”, assures former central defender Claudio Caçapa, now Peter Bosz’s assistant. For Florent Malouda, “the winning culture is normally part of the club’s DNA. That is why there is a lot of frustration at the moment given the inconstancy of the team.

Finally, what was the true recipe for this unbeatable OL at the top of Ligue 1 for seven seasons, compared to the one who is about to end his probably worst season of the 21st century? Former left back or midfielder Christophe Delmotte, now manager of Valenciennes (Ligue 2) has the little explanation from him.

The good thing is that the group was built little by little, with only two or three changes per season. The most successful teams in OL came after 2004. There was a lot of collective spirit of camaraderie, with brave players. He helped us, in difficult games, to push ourselves to the limit of overcoming ourselves, far beyond what we could do. Sonny and then others stopped us. It is the collective bases that allowed us to have these titles. »


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