OL relies on “gold mines” of images to launch a series on the twenty years of their first title

Seventy hours of interviews carried out with almost all the protagonists, plus dozens of hours of VHS archive footage viewed… Olympique Lyonnais has pulled out all the stops to immerse its supporters as well as possible in this memorable season. 2001-2002, concluded with the first title of champion of France in its history (sorry for the spoil). After mobilizing six employees from its media sector for more than six months, OL is launching its series on Wednesday A little closer to the stars, with a first episode of 27 minutes freely available on YouTube. The seven successors will be broadcast every Wednesday, gradually until June 22, on OL Play.

“We realized that we had before us gold mines of images and interviews, explains Gaël Berger, editor-in-chief of OL media. At the start, we didn’t think of going on a documentary series, then we said to ourselves that it was the most ambitious format and adapted to everyone’s desires. We had to do it for all generations of Lyon supporters, and even beyond. »

Between “Les Yeux dans les Bleus” and “Sunderland ’til I die”?

The former Radio Scoop journalist would like to see A little closer to the stars stand between Eyes in the Blues et Sunderland ’til I die for football fans in France. From the first episode, The hangover, especially devoted to the final of the Coupe de la Ligue on May 5, 2001 against Monaco (2-1), “the click” for this group carried by Sonny Anderson, the fans feast on several occasions. The anecdotes of the Parisian post-final sleepless night, Steed Malbranque’s desire to leave swung to the press in the parking lot of the training center or even the pre-season training camp in Tignes (Savoie) with Robert Duverne at the helm, the 2000s smell good.

“When you found even a 15-second sequence that was worth watching, in the middle of hours of viewing archives of TLM [ex-chaîne lyonnaise] never broadcast, we did the dance of joy in the office, smiles Gaël Berger. You will see, there are very strong moments, and I sometimes had a lump in my throat during certain interview passages. »

Then the Lyon team's attacking leader in 2001-2002, Sonny Anderson was instrumental in beating RC Lens at the end of the final sprint.
Then the Lyon team’s attacking leader in 2001-2002, Sonny Anderson was instrumental in beating RC Lens at the end of the final sprint. -AFP

Juninho went over his falling out with OL to testify

OL fans can be reassured, Juninho, absolute idol during the seven titles of champions of France (from 2002 to 2008), is part of the adventure, despite his estrangement with Jean-Michel Aulas and the club since his hasty departure as sports director last December.

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“”Juni” has made the difference: these emotions of a first coronation in Lyon, twenty years ago, are inscribed in him, specifies his former teammate Jean-Marc Chanelet, also present in the series. It is important to dissociate this title conquered together and its post-career, in order to please all nostalgics and to make discover our history to the youngest. This transmission issue has not escaped OL, while the series without a voice off is unveiled at the end of the club’s worst season since the beginning of this golden era (an 8th place in Ligue 1 and the symbolic anniversary of 10 years without the slightest title).

Fiascos against Châteauroux and Liberec to the apotheosis against Lens

A context that does not escape the former right side Jean-Marc Chanelet : “Our testimonies and all these images can serve as a little reminder in this period of scarcity for OL. This series is a great initiative that shows the importance for the club of this page that we wrote together in 2002. ” As stated Gael Berger, A little closer to the stars (referring to the renewal campaign launched by OL in the summer of 2001) also reminds us how much the history of the Lyon club could have turned on the wrong side that year.

Fans believe that this season comes down to 10 minutes of footage from the last match at Gerland against Lens (3-1). But before that, there were tense exchanges between players and supporters, because OL had nevertheless been knocked out by Châteauroux in the Coupe de France and especially by Slovan Liberec in the UEFA Cup. Then we understand how this group has become a winning machine. We discover his locker room leaders, when some no longer believe in the title. These guys are forever linked. »

The recent success of the Heroes’ Match at Parc OL, for the 20th anniversary of this first Ligue 1 title, just like the quivering enthusiasm around this documentary series, leaves little doubt: the gang of Sonny Anderson, Grégory Coupet, Sidney Govou and Juninho are also linked for life to the supporters of a club they have raised to the roof of French football.

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