European clubs Real Betis and Marseille will face each other at the Technique Stadium on Wednesday, July 27, in a pre-season friendly.
Both sides have rich history not only on a domestic scale, but also on the continental scene. We take a look at the two sides ahead of the game…
Real Betis Balompie
Formed in 1907, Real Betis became the second team to be set up in Seville after their fierce rivals Sevilla.
Betis have won 13 titles during their history with one La Liga title, seven Segunda Division title, three Copa Del Reys, one Tercera Division and one Campeonato Regional Sur.
Their one and only La Liga title came in 1935, finishing one point ahead of Real Madrid, then known as just Madrid FC.
Los Verdiblancos have played in 11 seasons of European football – with their latest entry coming in the most recent season, but they fell to eventual winners of the Europa League, Eintracht Frankfurt.
Manuel Pellegrini is the current manager of Real Betis, and the Argentinian has plenty of managerial experience.
The former centre-back has won the UEFA Intertoto Cup with Villarreal in 2004 as well as winning the Premier League with Manchester City in 2014.
The Spanish side have some brilliant players in their ranks including the likes of Claudio Bravo, Nabil Fekir and Borja Iglesias.
Betis enjoyed a fantastic 2021/22 season as they finished fifth in La Liga; that alone would have been good enough for European football. However, Beticos won their first Copa del Rey in 17 years. After the game finished 1-1 after 120 minutes, Real Betis beat Valencia 5-4 on penalties to win the famous trophy.
Olympique de Marseille
Founded in 1899, Marseille have become a staple of French football, winning 30 trophies – second only to Paris Saint-Germain.
Throughout their 122-year history they have won ten Ligue 1 titles, one Ligue 2, ten Coupe de Frances, two Coupe de la Ligues, three Trophee des Champions’ and one Coup Charles Drago.
On top of that, Les Olympiens also have European pedigree. Marseille won the first iteration of the renamed Champions League as they beat AC Milan in the final in Munich. With that win, they became the first and only French club to achieve the feat.
The French side have also won the Intertoto Cup in 2005; they have been runners-up in a European Cup final and three UEFA Cup/Europa League finals – most recently in the 2019 final against Atletico Madrid.
Jorge Sampaoli is currently at the helm at the Stade Velodrome as he has just completed his first full season in charge.
The 62-year-old has managed a host of different clubs with his biggest achievement coming in 2015 when he guided Chile to their first Copa America title. Following a 0-0 draw after extra time, La Roja got the better of Lionel Messi’s Argentina with a 4-1 win on penalties.
Marseille hosts a squad of incredible players including the likes of World Cup winner Steve Mandanda as well as their captain and 2021/22 Player of the Season Dimitri Payet.
In 2021/22, OM finished second in Ligue 1, and they will be looking to build on that good season with Champions League football to the south of France.
The fixture at the Technique Stadium promises to be a fascinating one and certainly one not to miss. Admission details will be announced in due course.