Gunnar Andersson was the first legend of Olympique de Marseille. The Swede played for eight seasons at OM (1950-1958) and became extremely acclimatized to Marseille, or even a little too much. Very quickly become the new darling of the Marseilles, Andersson scored 170 goals in the first division in the blue and white jersey, making him the best scorer Olympian of all time in the league.
Born in Arvika, Sweden on August 14, 1928, Andersson distinguished himself in the youth teams of IFK Arvika and then in the IFK Amal team. In 1949 he joined IFK Göteborg, a great Swedish club. He then moved to KB Boldklub in 1950 and at a tournament organized in Catalan lands, Gunnar Andersson caught the eye of a certain Louis-Bernard Dancausse, president of Olympique de Marseille. Dancausse then offers a contract to Andersson.
The Swede (1m75) accepted him and joined OM in the winter of 1950. Gunnar was not very well known in his country despite his many goals when he joined Marseille. His arrival in the club Phocéen is incredible. Dancausse did everything to make Gunnar Andersson come to OM with the utmost discretion and no information to filter. But the president, in conflict with the local press, was quickly disappointed.
KIDNAPPED IN AVIGNON
Before reaching the South of France by train, Gunnar receives a telegram telling him to go down to Avignon where a car is waiting to take him to Marseille. In Avignon station, Andersson is "kidnapped" by two evening journalists, Raymond Gimel and Lucien d'Apo. A symbolic kidnapping and with two objectives for journalists: to have exclusivity thanks to the statements of Andersson and to thumb a nose at President Dancausse. Before writing their papers, Gimel and d'Apo take care of depositing the Swede at the hotel Arbois, located opposite the Saint-Charles station where anxiety and anger rises at Dancausse.
But Andersson is in Marseille and his crazy adventure begins at last! He acclimates very quickly in Provence and as a pure Marseille, he appreciates the pastis. He even scored a hat-trick on 5 September 1954 against CO Roubaix (5-2) when he had drunk ten pastis before the match because of a lost bet with a teammate.
Nicknamed in his debut "10:10" for his way of walking like a duck, Andersson played his first match at the 17th round of championship against Rennes on December 17, 1950 (1-1). He scored his first goals by slamming a 1-2 in Toulouse on December 31, 1950 (0-4). In his first season, the resident of Montolivet district finishes top scorer Olympian in the league with twelve achievements. During the 1952-53 season, the Scandinavian made the net shake 35 times in the league, a record at that time!
MISTER FIFTY PERCENT
He was later nicknamed "Monsieur fifty percent" for his ability to score more than half of the goals of his team and finished top scorer of the OM until 1958. The specialty of Gunnar is to make an ultra- fast of the left foot then to trigger a powerful strike of the right. He does not move much on the field but as soon as he is in the penalty area, he is a formidable scorer capable of exploits.
Despite limited physical means, Andersson mark during its period in Marseilles not less than 2 quadruplets, 10 triplets and 34 doubled for 194 goals in all competitions combined! He will be an unfortunate finalist of the Coupe de France in 1954 with OM against Nice (2-1), during which he scored a goal but he won the Charles Drago Cup three years later in 1957. Gunnar wins only a single trophy with the Provencal club in eight seasons but appears as a ray of sunshine in the sad 1950s of OM.
Andersson is also distinguished by goals gags. On December 17, 1957 at the Stade Vélodrome, OM faces Reims and in the 20th minute, the Marseillais scored a goal. But the Rémois rush to the referee to show him that the net is hole and that the ball came in there. The referee grants the goal. An unusual goal. Andersson, then on the downhill, left OM in the summer of 1958, a year before the relegation of the club in the second division. Under the tunic of Marseille, "Monsieur fifty percent", naturalized French in 1954, will have experienced a selection in France B team against Italy (match played at the Vélodrome), meeting during which it will not put in value.
After passing through the Phocaean city, Andersson successively evolves in Montpellier, Bordeaux, Aix-en-Provence, CAL Oran, AS Gignac and IFK Arvika. But weak in character and impressionable, he falls seriously into alcohol at the end of his career and has problems because of "little yellow drinks distilled by the devil" as he says in a letter to his mother. He died in Marseille on October 1, 1969 at age 41 suffering from a heart attack. It collapses rue Breteuil after going to get seats at the headquarters of the newspaper Le Provençal for the Cup Cup between OM and Dukla Prague. He died a few hundred meters from the Stade Vélodrome, the place where he wrote his legend.