Marseille desperate to end wait for trophy

PARIS - Olympique Marseille are desperate to end a 17-year wait for a trophy and boost their Ligue 1 title hopes by beating League Cup holders Girondins Bordeaux in Saturday's final at the Stade de France.

Marseille, who lost their last two French Cup finals in 2006 and 2007, have not won any silverware since they claimed the Champions League in 1993 and sporting director Jose Anigo could not be more frustrated with the situation.

"At the beginning of every season, we're being told: 'You've been playing well, you are in the Champions League but you don't win anything'," he told the club's website. "It's been going on for 17 years. Well, if we could end this..."

Some silverware would not only look good in the Stade Velodrome trophy cabinet, it would also give Marseille a timely fillip as the Ligue 1 title race hots up.

Bordeaux lead fourth-placed Marseille by just three points with 10 games left until the end of the campaign.

"Winning this trophy (the League Cup) would give us wings and strength," said Anigo. "It would also help us build a new generation of winners."


Marseille have lost their last four finals.

The Provence side were beaten by Paris Saint-Germain and Sochaux respectively in the French Cup while in 1999 and 2004 they suffered UEFA Cup final defeats by Parma and then Valencia.

"Losing a final is always peculiar. You have the feeling you've been working for months for nothing. Reaching a final means nothing," said Anigo.

Marseille head into the showdown having bounced back from a Europa League last 16 exit at the hands of Benfica by beating Ligue 1 title contenders Olympique Lyon 2-1 last Sunday.

"Our team is mentally very strong. Our players have character," said Anigo.

Bordeaux, who reached the Champions League quarter-finals by beating Olympiakos Piraeus for their seventh straight win in the competition, are back in form after a poor spell earlier this month and the final promises to be a tense affair.

Marseille can count on midfielder Lucho Gonzalez to unsettle their opponents while Bordeaux will rely on France playmaker Yoann Gourcuff, who was in a class of his own against Olympiakos as his team again showed their strength at set pieces.

"Set pieces will be (a) deciding (factor) and Bordeaux are very strong in this area," added Anigo.

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