The Club

Otto Gloria, an unforgettable passageway


Otto Gloria
Otto Gloria in training


During the 1961-1962 season, OM played in the second division for two years now. The results obtained by Lucien Troupel are not up to expectations and after a defeat in Troyes at the end of January 1962 (3-1), President Zaraya sacked Troupel. After a brief interim with Roessler, Otto Gloria was appointed coach of Olympique de Marseille in February 1962.


Unknown to Marseille, Otto Gloria is a great Brazilian technician. During his career, he coached prestigious teams (Benfica, Vasco de Gama, Porto, Atlético de Madrid, Sporting Portugal). Like a tango dancer, Otto Gloria has a fine mustache, dark hair and straight back. He arrives at OM on 31 January, 1962, while the team continues its bad results. Like a magician, he transforms Les Olympiens and makes strong decisions. He decides to lower the physical workload imposed on the players and shortens the sessions. In the field, he dismisses Fritz Kominek and secures defender André Moulon. Renowned as a great tactician able to detect the weak points of the opponent, Gloria opts for a 4-3-3 and restores confidence to the players, without rants and with a smile.




All his choices are paying off. Olympique de Marseille lose only three times during the Otto Gloria period, which will last four months. Les Olympiens are defeated in the quarter-finals of the Coupe de France in March 1962 (1-0), in the quarterfinals of the Charles Drago Cup against Lyon (0-1) and against Valenciennes in the league (2-0).


With Otto Gloria, the Marseillais finished fourth in the second division and find promotion! The rise to D1 is ensured thanks to an OM victory against Besançon at the Vélodrome on 20 May, 1962 in a boiling atmosphere (2-0). Gloria has reversed the trend in four months. A great feat.




But at the end of the season, Otto Gloria returned to Brazil. The technician felt that the situation of the club was still precarious and did not want to run the risk of continuing, knowing that his adventure with OM could quickly go from a love story to a nightmare.


Beloved to fans, Gloria leaves a big gap on the Canebière. The club does not recover from his departure and goes back to the hell of D2. For a long time, when the team went bad, we could see signs in honor of Gloria. The Brazilian dies on 2 December 1968 in Rio de Janeiro at the age of 69, suffering from a heart attack. Gloria has left an unforgettable memory in the Phocaean city.​​​​​​