The Club

OM during the second World War

1939 - 1945



The Second World War marked a special period for Olympique Marseille and more generally for all French clubs. From the beginning of the war in September 1939, the French League was divided into several groups: the North zone, the South-West zone and the South-East zone. As war required, some players of French clubs lived in barracks and deserted the football fields.


Olympique de Marseille then integrated into the South-East zone with Nice, Cannes, Saint-Etienne and Antibes. Marseille finished second in the league, just behind Nice in the 1939-1940 season.


Équipe de l'OM 1942/1943
Team OM 1942/1943


Despite the war, the Marseille participated in the Coupe de France -- then renamed Charles Simon Cup -- but the Club, coached by Joseph Eisenhoffer, were defeated, 2-1, in the final by the Racing Club of Paris on 5 May, 1940, at the Parc des Princes in front of 25,969 spectators.


The following season, in 1941, Les Olympiens finished first in the South zone and were therefore the French Champions of the non-occupied zone. It’s a championship that is not counted in the triumphs of Olympique de Marseille, which was then chaired by Marcel Constant. A sixth French Cup won by the club was counted. Olympique Marseille, led by a core band of players -- Dard, Scotti, Robin and Pironti -- beat Bordeaux in the final on 22 May, 1943 (4-0). A margin of victory in a final had never been so wide. This match between Marseille and Bordeaux was replayed -- for the first time in the history of the competition -- after a 2-2 draw. Bordeaux had also used an unqualified player and -- in the name of sportsmanship, Joseph Pascot, a State Representative decided to replay the final.




During the 1943-1944 season, a federal championship was set up -- but OM did not win. A year later, on 10 May, 1945, OM was defeated in the final of the Liberation Cup -- also called the Victory Cup -- at the Huveaune stadium against FC Metz in Marseille.


During the war, OM stood out with some impressive victories. In the semi-finals of the Coupe de France in April 1940, Les Olympiens beat Lens by eight goals (9-1)! On 6 October, 1942, OM made a statement against Avignon, winning 20-2! Emmanuel Aznar scored nine goals and Georges Dard scored five times.


Finale de la Coupe de France, Zone libre 1943, l'OM rencontre le CO Perpignan (3-0)
Final of the Coupe de France, Free Zone 1943, OM meet the CO Perpignan (3-0).


Aznar and Dard were two major players in Marseille during the war years. Aznar, nicknamed "Manu," scored 116 goals in the first division with Marseille and Georges Dard played 330 matches in all competitions with OM, scoring 106 goals.


After the war, the championship regained its rights and is composed of 18 teams. Les Olympiens finished the first post-war season in ninth place despite Louis De Maréville's 21 goals, and they were eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Coupe de France.

The period numbers
Emmanuel Aznar scored 45 goals in 30 league games during the 1942-1943 season. "Manu" ends as the top-scoring Olympien in the league.
Roger Scotti is just 17-years-old when he wins the Coupe de France with OM in 1943. He is the trophy’s youngest winner.
OM -- led by homegrown players Dard, Scotti, Robin and Pironti -- scored 100 goals in 30 championship games in the 1942-1943 campaign.
In 1943, the final of the Coupe de France is replayed between OM and Bordeaux. This is the first time a final is played a second time. OM won 4-0.
OM bulged the net 20 times against Avignon in the league on 6 October, 1942. Aznar is particularly distinguished by scoring nine goals.