Marcel Desailly: The Games That Changed My Life

The former France international and two-time Champions League winner recalls his most memorable matches for club and country

August 26, 1986: Nantes 3-0 Bordeaux

Making my debut for Nantes was a great achievement, a great moment, a great sensation… wow!

I was in the youth academy at Nantes from 13, combining school and football. We all dreamed about becoming professional footballers; almost 200 of my team-mates passed and only three of us became pros. My first game was against Bordeaux. Making my debut for Nantes was a great achievement, a great moment, a great sensation… wow.

May 29, 1993: Marseille 3-1 PSG

 We’d won the Champions League on the Wednesday and on the Saturday we played Paris. They were second, we were first, so that game was very special. They scored, then we did. We won 3-1 in the end and won the league – it was just great. After all the games, it was down to this one: get the victory, win the league. Simple. And only the victories are important.

Marcel Desailly

Marseille’s victory over PSG helped them win the Ligue 1 title

May 18, 1994: Milan 4-0 Barcelona

Scoring in the Champions League final felt amazing, even if the game was locked down as we were 3-0 up. But they had Romario, Hristo Stoichkov, Ronald Koeman – really big players. It was a magnificent moment – much greater than with Marseille.