A challenge that was initially very stimulating ended in the worst possible way. A few weeks after his departure from Olympique de Marseille, Marcelino gave an interview to the prestigious French daily ‘L’Équipe’ to look back on some unpleasant events with the perspective that comes with the passage of time.
“On Monday we trained normally. Then, in the evening, Pablo [Longoria] called me and told me what had just happened at the club’s headquarters. He and the other directors had received threats, and they were practically being forced out of their jobs. Longoria was sad, surprised and also shocked. This is how García Toral recalls what happened a day after the 0-0 home draw against Toulouse. “There are things that cannot be accepted. In life and, of course, in football”, he says during the conversation, which was on the front page of the French newspaper on 11 October.
The Asturian coach was deeply disappointed by what happened in those days: “We had put all our enthusiasm into developing a very attractive project at a great club. In any case, we thought it was a great club in every sense of the word, but these deplorable events show that it is not as great a club as we would like it to be. The coach referred to his extensive career to give context to the gravity of the situation: “I spent twenty years as a coach, and almost twenty as a professional player before that, and I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. And I don’t think I’ll ever see it again.
The impossibility of creating a project at Olympique
“Football is passion, of course, but there are limits,” said Marcelino. “My very brief experience leads me to think that this is a club where creating a project is absolutely impossible. Because such a big club cannot be manipulated by a few,” he lamented. “Clubs have to evolve, not go backwards. And OM, as the results have shown for a long time, is a club that instead of evolving is going backwards”.
As for his state of mind, he also expressed himself very clearly: “I’m better than I was three weeks ago, but my staff and I are still angry because they didn’t let us work. It was an unreal and suffocating situation”. Marcelino, however, did not generalise about the fans of the Marseille club: “I’m convinced that the majority of the supporters think differently, that they are even totally opposed to this way of acting”.