Paulo Cesar and Jaïzinho, 2 World Champions at the Velodrome!

The legendary Josip Skoblar and Roger Magnusson leave OM in 1974. It was the end of an era. But two Brazilian world champions, Paulo César and Jaïrzinho, strengthened the ranks of Olympiens in 1974 and lived a short but beautiful history with Olympique Marseille.


In the summer of 1974, the Phoenician President Fernand Méric was ambitious and made interesting recruitments (Charrier, Lemée, Eo, Nogues, Troisi, Vannucci). But the recruitment of two Brazilians will particularly attract attention and create a new craze. Jules Zvunka, the OM coach, was seduced by the talent of Paulo César. OM recruits the 25-year-old Brazilian for 600,000 dollars. Caesar was joined in the autumn of 1974 by another Brazilian: Jairzinho.




The two players, world champions with Brazil in 1970 in Mexico, are then the first two players to have won a World Cup to play in the French league! Born 16 June, 1949 in Rio de Janeiro, Paulo César is an unpredictable striker, surprising and clever dribbler. But Caesar is also nervy and not very serious off the field. Paulo likes to party and when he's in shape on the pitch, it means he spent a pretty quiet night. On the other hand, when he pulls his tongue, it means that the night has been short and agitated. Capable of technical exploits, Paulo César is too inconsistent.


Jairzinho et Paulo César en fin de match
Jairzinho and Paulo César at the end of the match


His teammate, Jairzinho, is the opposite of Caesar. Quiet, serious, reserved. The Brazilian is such a star that the day before his first match against Monaco in October 1974, more than 10,000 people came to attend the last training. He also scored his first goal in his first match against Monaco and César scored twice (4-1). The first association between the two is a great success and the wait was even greater.


Scorer at the 1970 World Cup (7 goals), Jairzinho (81 selections, 33 goals) is injured and is forced off the field for two months. On his return, his association with Cesar did wonders and OM finished second in the first division at the end of the season. The victory against Nantes in the knockout round of the Coupe de France on February 2, 1975 in Bordeaux will remain as one of the best matches of Jairzinho and Paulo César in the blue and white jersey (4-0). The first scored twice and the second scored a goal.




But the quarter-final return of the Coupe de France between OM and PSG in May 1975 sounds the end of the samba era within the club Marseille (2-2). At the end of the match, the referee, victim of a jostling and a whim, is attacked by Olympien players. Jairzinho and Paulo Cesar are found guilty.


With heavy suspensions, the Brazilians leave. The two world champions then returned to Brazil. Only Paulo César (57 caps, 8 goals) will return to the south of France a few years later playing for AS Aix-en-Provence during the 1982-1983 year.