The history of the Nantes – Toulouse matches: a story without relief

Bernard Verret takes stock of the meetings between the two clubs: looking for great moments in the history of matches between Nantes and Toulouse is a relatively difficult exercise. The responsibility lies mainly with Téfécé, which has never played a leading role in French football.

The most notable success of Toulouse FC is the conquest of the Coupe de France in 1957 at the expense of Angers. At that time the FCN was still navigating painfully in the 2nd Division and each end of the season presented financial statements which singularly limited its ambitions.

Toulouse had therefore attended the 1st Division well before Nantes, it was part of it in 1946 but it was not until 1963-64 that the two clubs found themselves face to face, their first confrontation taking place on September 21, 1963 in the city. violets. The Canaries lost 1-0, on a goal scored 5 minutes from time by Khenane Mahi, a player who had previously made Rennes happy. The Nantes team had the particularity of fielding two Simons, Jacques of course who was starting to make a name for himself as he piled up the goals, but also Jean-Jacques, a young amateur from the region. In attack, Bernard Blanchet took more and more space while Jean-Marie Couronne began to lose speed. Jean Guillot, he orchestrated the game, showing a good example to the young Jean-Claude Suaudeau. The line-up presented that day by José Arribas was completed by Robert Siatka, Gilbert Le Chenadec, Yvon Jort, Georges Bout and Daniel Eon.

Toulouse hires Marcos

Toulouse, even if it played a most often obscure role, was then one of the pillars of the 1st Division. He didn’t stay that way much longer. Its misfortunes were the consequence of the dreams of grandeur of two of its leaders, Jean Puntis first who had assets but emptied the coffers by buying lots of players. Then it was the wealthy communist Jean Doumeng, nicknamed the “red billionaire”, who threw Téfécé into the hole by provoking a particularly eccentric merger with Red Star, the club of Saint-Ouen, a northern suburb of Paris. Doumeng had made a fortune in the trade of agro-food products with the USSR, a country with which transactions were delicate, he was a go-getter and when he became influential he managed to propel Just Fontaine to the head of the France team. . The idea was good, the top scorer of the 1958 World Cup advocated attacking football and he called on several Nantes players. The merger with the Red Star turned out to be less judicious, the club had to be divided between the capital and the city of Capitole, playing sometimes at Saint-Ouen, sometimes at the Stadium, training, we didn’t really know where, why not at Limoges or Châteauroux, in any case it was a total flop, especially for Toulouse which disappeared from the football map while Red Star remained in the 1st Division, not for very long.

Adonkor’s goal

It was 1967 and the city sung by Nougaro had to wait 15 years, to see the birth of another club, US Toulouse (where Angel Marcos ended his career as a player and began that of coach) and find the name Téfécé, to return among the elite. His reunion in 1982-83 with Nantes, rushing towards a sixth title of champion of France, was painful. The Canaries swept Toulouse 3-0 at Marcel-Saupin and won at the Stadium 1-0, goal from Maxime Bossis.

This 3-0 is a notable memory since Seith Adonkor scored a goal there, the only one obtained during the 113 matches he played under the colors of the FCN. An explosive midfielder, he had started two years earlier in Metz and he was gaining more and more weight in the Nantes midfield. A year and a half later, he died at the same time as Jean-Michel Labejof in a road accident which actually caused a third victim because Sidi Kaba, whom the rescuers had managed to extract from hell, painfully dragged his sentence. , his regrets and his sufferings until the end of his long night, of his too brief life. José Touré had scored Nantes’ second goal against Toulouse, the addition having been made full-bodied by Vahid Halilhodzic.

The eviction of Makelele

Téfécé often presented a defensive, rough team and it was by using drastic means that in December 1992, he managed, during the match preceding the winter break, to stop the forward march of Coco Suaudeau’s young team. Six months earlier, the FCN was practically dead, it could not even honor the electricity bills of La Jonelière and it had only escaped bankruptcy by changing its name, temporarily becoming the FCNA. Guy Scherrer, a president who exploded in French football as his speech was so unconventional (“the objective is to give people pleasure, he said, it’s more important than winning a match”) had been able to bring together regional energies, aroused sympathy and he had hardly cared about the inability to recruit where the club was.

However, a whole generation was impatiently awaiting this moment when it would be given a chance and the Pedros, Ouédec, N’Doram, Karembeu, Loko, Makelele had jumped at the chance. Their talents, their attacking, technical and imaginative play quickly dazzled La Beaujoire and overwhelmed their opponents. Against all odds, they had even risen to the top of the championship and they took their place as leaders by entering the lawn of the Stadium. They fell from above. The Toulouse started with a bang and scored twice in 6 minutes, by Bancarel and Vaclav Nemecek, a playmaker from Sparta Prague, both physical, technical and far-sighted. The Canaries did not recover, especially since the opposing defense did not bother with frills: the Frapolli, Galtier, Arribagé, Romano did not give in to the lace, they also had vice and when Claude Makelele who did not did not have the slaughter that we knew him later and evolved on one side, in an offensive role, openly rebelled because he was tired of taking hits on the sly, the referee pointed him immediately in the direction of the cloakrooms. It was Rémy Harrel and Nantes were not done with him because a few months later they finished the Coupe de France final against Paris Saint-Germain with only 8 players, Harrel having sent off prematurely to the shower Karembeu, Lima and Vulic.

Beaujoire invaded

The roads of Toulouse and Nantes separated several times thereafter, by the fault of Téfécé which made a small turn in National. So that we came to the famous match at the end of the 2007 championship, on May 19, memorable not for footballing reasons but because the lawn of La Beaujoire was invaded before the end of the match, in the 87th minute, by a multitude of angry supporters. They intended to protest against the policy of Roussillon and the indifference of Dassault, they had no idea what awaited them.

The FCN tumbled in turn, he returned to the 2nd Division, 44 years after his accession. The 0-0 he was in the process of conceding in fact condemned him irremediably on the evening of this disastrous 37th day. Toulouse, declared the winner on green carpet, completed the best championship in its history, it ranked 3rd behind Lyon and Marseille and qualified, at the expense of Rennes, for the preliminary round of the Champions League. This joke played on the neighbors was the only consolation of a sad evening.

The Dam of Anguish

It was a performance without a future and the paths of Téfécé and FCN did not cross again until 2013 for meetings generally lacking in flavor. In 2019-2020, there was even only one meeting, the first leg won 1-0 by Nantes since the return was canceled because of the Covid. So much so that we came to the play-offs of fear in the spring of 2021. Nantes were defending their place in Ligue 1 and they thought they had achieved the most difficult part by winning the first leg 2-1 at the Stadium, goals from Blas and Kolo Muani . However, four days later, paralyzed by fear, the stake and, also, the lack of talent, he bowed in turn 1-0, saving himself only for the benefit of the goal scored outside. He lived through a hellish last half hour because he was trailing and a shiver of dread ran through La Beaujoire when Charles Traoré’s hand touched the ball, without making the referee flinch. We had rarely seen a Nantes team play so badly, but we had just as rarely seen such happy losers. Despite their defeat and after having trembled several times against a team yet unable to break three legs of a duck, the Canaries saved their skins and it was almost a miracle at the end of a terribly trying season where they had consumed four coaches, including a former coach whose hiring had led people to believe that Waldemar Kita thought he was on April 1 when it was December. Domenech remained in place for 46 days, the time his team played 7 matches and won none.

The history of the Nantes – Toulouse matches: a story without relief