Raymond Goethals or Raymond "La Science"

17 jul 2018

Raymond Goethals in Alpina chalet of Rottach-Eggern before the final of UEFA Champions League 1993

Goethals. When this name is pronounced, the Marseillais remember a glorious time. Certainly the best in the history of Olympique Marseille. Raymond Goethals is a legend in the Phocaean city. A coach who raised the most prestigious trophy with the club Marseille: the Champions League. Nicknamed "Raymond the Science", Goethals was born October 17, 1921 in Forest in Belgium. He started football as a goalkeeper at Daring Brussels in 1941 and finished his modest career at Racing Brussels eleven years later. But it is as a coach that "Môssieur Gotalsse" will write his legend.

He began his coaching career in his homeland and successively coached RFC Hannutois, RS Waremme FC and Sint-Truiden VV. He is also vice-champion of Belgium with Saint-Trond VV in 1966 with few means. He became the coach of Belgium in 1968 and took the Red Devils to third place in Euro 1972. The "Belgian sorcerer" then became coach of Anderlecht, a club in which he spent three years (1976-1979) and where he won in 1978 the European Cup Winners' Cup and two editions of the European Supercup (1976, 1978). Wherever he goes, Goethals imposes his paw.

"The Belgian wizard"

During the 1979-1980 season, he spent a short time in Bordeaux and settled in Sao Paulo during the 1980-1981 financial year. He also won the regional championship with the Brazilian club. An inveterate smoker of Belga, he returned to Belgium in 1981 and trained for three years Standard de Liège (1981-1984), the time to be crowned champion of Belgium twice (1982, 1983) and to glean two editions of the Supercoupe (1981-1983).

After Brazil, France and his country, Goethals then coached in Portugal at Vitoria Guimarães for a year before being appointed manager of Racing Jet and coach Anderlecht again. He won two editions of the Belgian Cup during his second visit to the Mauves (1988, 1989).

Raymond "La Science" with Bernard Tapie

He then returns to France where he knows a second passage in Bordeaux. But in January 1991, Goethals arrived at another French club, a prestigious club: Olympique de Marseille. At the beginning of the season, the Marseille boss Bernard Tapie dismissed Gerard Gili and Franz Beckenbauer was appointed head of the first team. But the results of the German are mediocre and Tapie decides in January 1991 to name Goethals. For his first on the Marseille bench on January 13, 1991, OM won 7 goals to 0 against Lyon at the Vélodrome! Papin scored a quadruplet. The beginning of a beautiful love story between Marseille and Belgium. "Raymond la Science" leads OM to the title of champion of France in 1991. But his players narrowly fail in the final of the European Champion Clubs' Cup against the Red Star of Belgrade in Bari on May 29 (0 -0.5 tab 3) and in the final of the Coupe de France against Monaco on June 8 (1-0). The same year, Goethals receives the "Golden Bench" award, an award that rewards the best European coach.

But the Belgian leaves the Provencal club in the summer of 1991. Tomislav Ivic is then appointed coach but Goethals makes his return to the head of the first team in October. The native of Forest wins again the championship of France with Marseille in 1992 but his men are eliminated by Sparta Prague in the 8th finals of the European Cup of champions clubs. Disappointment.

Goethals the legend

At the end of the 1991-1992 season, major starts are recorded, particularly those of Papin, Mozer and Waddle. The end of an era. Tapie then obtains the signatures of Völler, Bokšić, Ferreri, Eydelie, Desailly, Barthez, Omanbiyik and Martin Vasquez. Goethals leaves his place to his deputy Jean Fernandez but the Belgian will return in November. And on May 26, 1993, Goethals enters the legend. He won with OM the Champions League against the great AC Milan in Munich thanks to a goal from Basile Boli on corner (1-0). The Belgian remains today the only coach to have won the Champions League with a French club. Three days later, her team is crowned French champion at the Vélodrome against Paris (3-1).

In addition to his success, Goethals is a man apart. An anecdote between him and Eric Cantona attests. One day, Cantona throws Goethals: "We do not put Canto on the bench." Goethals retorted: "Take a chair and sit down next." On May 26, 1993, eight minutes from half-time in the final of the Champions League against the Milanese ogre, Goethals wants to get out Boli, injured. But Tapie stops him using a walkie-talkie. Rudi Völler blows Goethals out of Boli but the Belgian coach says: "But he does not want the other guy." The rest, we know him ... Some reproached the Belgian wizard for his conservative side because he preferred to rely on experienced players rather than on young people. The venture between Goethals and OM ends at the end of the 1992-1993 financial year. In 1994, he has a last race in Anderlecht. He died on December 6, 2004 at 83 years in Forest from cancer. Marseille does not forget it. Forever the first.