The Marseillais that have played more than 400 matches can be counted on one hand. Only two players, in fact: Roger Scotti and Steve Mandanda. Scotti played 452 games with Olympique de Marseille. It’s a record held over half a century by Scotti before Mandanda bested it in October 2017 -- becoming the most capped player in the history of OM. Scotti had Marseille in his heart.
Born in Marseille on 29 July, 1925, Roger Scotti (1m73) featured at OM for 23 years! He made his first appearances in the youth teams of the Provencal club starting in 1935 and in 1942, he debuted for OM. A very technical and very calm midfielder, he became the youngest player to win the Coupe de France in May 1943 at the age of 17 as OM won over Bordeaux in the final (4-0). He was still a high school student.
Roger Scotti truly marked post-war OM with his stamp. He once said, "leaving Marseille is tearing my heart out," is renowned for his intelligence, his coolness and his talent. Scotti's style of play was to play at a slow pace but his technique and his passes made all the difference. He was also a formidable penalty shooter. He missed the only penalty of his career against AS Nancy-Lorraine.
452 GAMES WITH OM
On 29 August, 1948, OM played against CO-Roubaix-Tourcoing and Scotti scored two penalties (4-2). On the second, Roubaix and French international goalkeeper Julien Darui, protested against the decision and Darui turns his back to Scotti, who scored the penalty without difficulty.
During his time in Marseille, Scotti was French Champion with OM in 1948 and won a Drago Cup in 1957 by defeating Lens in the final (3-1). Scotti was also a finalist in the Coupe de France in 1954 with Marseille in a South derby against Nice (2-1). His record, unfortunately, is still quite poor for a player who has played 452 games with OM.
Having played all his career in the Phocaean city, he refused all other tempting offers. Scotti was selected twice for France, once in 1950 against Belgium and again in 1956 against Hungary.
UNFORGETTABLE CHARACTER WITH OM
Teammates with Aznar, Andersson, Bihel and Pironti, Roger Scotti was able to show his unforgettable character with OM. On a Sunday, Scotti remarked to his coach Henri Roessler: "Coach, it would be better to play today with short-sleeved shirts, rather than those with thicker and long-sleeved. Roessler does not like Scotti's behavior and replies: "You will play as I want!" Roger then takes a pair of scissors and cuts the sleeves of his jersey before handing the pieces to his coach: "To shine your shoes, and look, I'm polite, I'm ready to wear the jersey. "
Scotti left OM in the summer of 1958, as did Gunnar Andersson. It was the end of an era. A year later, the club fell for the first time in its history into the second division. For his longevity and talent, Roger Scotti, a player with 62 goals in the league, has established himself as an outstanding footballer. He died on 12 December, 2001 in Marseille at 76-years-old. The city where he wrote the story.