453. Mandanda set for record breaking night in Strasbourg

sat 14 Oct at 12:00
Thierry Agnello
Photos © 
Y. Parienti et Roland Grunchec / OM
Sunday evening at Meinau against RC Strasbourg, the Marseille goalkeeper will play his 453rd official match wearing the OM strip. Legend.

We often say that records are made to be beaten. But we had to wait for almost 60 years for this one to be defeated.
This Ligue 1 match being played in Alsace, close to 9th day, is sure to go down as a club legend. Simply because it marks a major turning point in OM's rich and turbulent history. Since 1958, the record for official matches played by Roger Scotti in the white strip (452), was quietly waiting to be surpassed.
In the Olympian legend, Roger Scotti's name of course holds a place of honour. Obviously, because this Marseille born player with a big personality was known for having played the largest number of matches in official competitions, (The Coupe de France, the Coupe Drago and the championship). More importantly, he was a great footballer. He was a truly all-round talent. His Intelligence, cunning, culture and coolness earned him his reputation as an outstanding player.

Roger Scotti, who played at a time when the number of games per season was less than today, was a man who was known for not only his talent but also his quiet calm.
Born on 25th July (1925) in Marseille, he began his professional career in 1942. Over 16 season, (1942 to 1958), he remained loyal to his club with which he won the Coupe de France in 1943 and the championship in 1948. As "Féli" Pironti and Jean Robin, his now departed friends often said: Roger's problem was perhaps that he loved Marseille too much and the creature comforts it gave him from such a young age. With more ambition, his career might have looked completely different. Especially in selection.
His record over 452 official matches is as follows: 373 championship matches, 27 wartime championship matches, (1942/43 and 1944/45), 13 amateur matches, (1943/44) and 39 matches in the Coupe de France.
60 years later, Roger Scotti was reborn one evening thanks to Steve Mandanda. Steve, an Olympian for the last ten years, (2007 to 2017, with an on loan break to Crystal Palace in 2016/17) has had a career at OM that already totals 341 games for L1, (before RCS-OM) as well as 76 European matches, among others.  
And where Roger Scotti only had 2 selections for France, (in 1950 against Belgium and in 1956 against Hungary) which was probably sufficient, Steve Mandanda has already had 24.

The new record, now carried by the international goalkeeper, could enable him to climb gradually to match that of Michael Landreau (618). With 528 official matches in all, (Le Havre, OM, Crystal Palace), Steve will already be approaching the top 10 after this match in Strasbourg, catching up with Henri Michel and Jean-Paul Bertrand-Demandes (532)  
Roger Scotti passed away on 12th December 2001 in Marseille. Most probably he will be remembered on Sunday night when Steve Mandanda, 32, will wear the Olympian jersey in an official match for the 453 th time.


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