Why the iconic Le Classique derby between PSG and Marseille is a must-watch

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  • There is a French phrase attributed to a quality which can’t accurately be described in words – je ne sais quoi.

    And French football proudly features a fixture that regularly calls on that phrase to explain it’s unique allure.

    Le Classique is when the fierce rivalry between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Olympique de Marseille (OM) takes to the pitch to produce one of the most-iconic matchups in world football. This captivating clash transcends the sport and can even be considered a cultural phenomenon which defines French football.

    There is a rich historical significance to this fixture as the rivalry dates back to PSG’s founding in 1971. It has since evolved into an intense derby which sees the capital’s club and the pride of Marseille pitted against each other.

    The battle between these two influential cities is not fought for mere victories on the football pitch, but for regional supremacy and cultural pride.

    The contrasting identities of the two clubs has always provided a spark to their encounters. PSG have traditionally been associated with the glitz and glamour that is synonymous with the city of Paris and their financial prowess in recent years, which has facilitated a star-studded roster, has only served to further that image.

    Meanwhile, Marseille boasts a legacy of French football’s working-class and thus takes immense pride in its rich history of success. This dichotomy in club identity creates a compelling narrative for every clash.

    Le Classique matches are also renowned for the spectacle they provide. Whether held at Parc des Princes or the Stade Velodrome, the atmosphere for this clash is invariably electric.

    The passion of both fan bases not only manifest into flares, banners, and chants which can send shivers down the spine of all inside the stadium, but it spills over into the streets as well and engulfs the host city.

    The iconic derby is one of the most-watched on the planet. Its intensity, contrasting identities, passionate fan bases, and global appeal make it a fixture that captures the hearts and minds of fans around the world.


    All-Time Record:

    PSG wins – 48
    Marseille wins – 34
    Draws – 23

    Player Records:

    Most Appearances – Steve Mandanda [Marseille]
    Top Scorer – Zlatan Ibrahimovic [PSG]

    Team Records:

    Biggest Win: PSG 5-1 Marseille [8 January 1978]
    Longest Winning Run: PSG [31 October 2012 – 21 May 2016]


    GK: Steve Mandanda (Marseille)

    CB: Marcel Desailly (Marseille)
    CB: Thiago Silva (PSG)
    CB: William Gallas (Marseille)

    RM: Lionel Messi (PSG)
    CM: Ronaldinho (PSG)
    CM: Didier Deschamps (Marseille)
    LM: Kylian Mbappe (PSG)

    CAM: Neymar (PSG)

    ST: Jean-Pierre Papin (Marseille)
    ST: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG)