Five... players to feature for Spurs and Marseille
Tue 06 September 2022, 12:00|Tottenham Hotspur
As we prepare for our first competitive encounter against Ligue 1 side Olympique de Marseille in the UEFA Champions League at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Wednesday evening (8pm), our latest ‘fives’ list takes a look at five players to have featured for both clubs...
Spurs 1985-1989; Marseille 1989-1992
With his languid style and flowing mullet, Chris Waddle was the first player to feature for both of tonight’s clubs when he left us for Marseille in July 1989. Having made his name during five years with hometown club Newcastle United, playing alongside the likes of Peter Beardsley and Kevin Keegan and helping the Magpies win promotion to the First Division in 1983/84, Waddle headed south to join us in July 1985. He scored a brace on his Spurs debut against Watford on the opening day of the 1985/86 season and, although we had a disappointing season and finished 10th, Waddle had showed glimpses of his wonderful wing play that soon made him a big favourite with Spurs fans. With David Pleat in charge and playing alongside the likes of Glenn Hoddle and Clive Allen, Waddle was one of the stars of our 1986/87 campaign in which we finished third in the table, lost the FA Cup Final and reached the semi-finals of the League Cup. In his first two seasons with us, he played 104 games and scored 25 times. But he was on the move to France in July 1989, with his £4.5 million transfer to Marseille making him the third most expensive player ever at that time. He quickly endeared himself to the Marseille faithful when he scored an incredible goal against PSG, controlling a long ball on his chest in the area, lifting it over the goalkeeper and then backheeling the ball over the line! Marseille had a team full of star quality which included the likes Eric Cantona, Jean-Pierre Papin, Didier Deschamps, Jean Tigana, Alain Roche and Enzo Francescoli and, in his three years in France, Waddle helped Marseille to three Ligue 1 titles (1990, 1991, 1992). They also reached the 1991 European Cup Final, only to lose on penalties to Red Star Belgrade. For the club’s 100-year anniversary in 1998, Waddle was voted by Marseille fans as their second best player of the century, behind Papin. He returned to England with Sheffield Wednesday in July 1992, having scored 29 goals in 149 appearances for Marseille, and later had spells with Falkirk, Bradford City, Sunderland, Burnley and Torquay United.
Marseille 2003-2005; Spurs 2005-2007
Much-travelled Egyptian striker Mido played for 11 clubs during his 14-year playing career, with Spurs and Marseille among them. Born in Cairo, he started his career with local side Zamelek, making his professional debut at the age of 17. He then had spells in Belgium (with Gent), Netherlands (Ajax) and Spain (Celta Vigo) before getting his first taste of French football when he joined Marseille in 2003, signing a five-year contract. Mido was quickly into his stride in the south of France and played Champions League football for the first time in his career, scoring against Real Madrid in November 2003 in a 2-1 defeat. But the second half of that season was less successful as he struggled to find form and then was hit by injuries. In the end, he spent just one year with Marseille before moving to Roma on the final day of the 2004 summer transfer window, although within six months he had arrived at White Hart Lane, initially joining us on an 18-month loan in January 2005. Mido started with a bang, scoring twice on his debut against Portsmouth and finished the campaign with four goals in 13 appearances for us. Despite competing with Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane for our striking positions, Mido scored a respectable 11 goals in 27 Premier League appearances during 2005/06 and joined us permanently in August 2006. But opportunities weren’t as forthcoming the following season and he ended 2006/07 with five goals in 23 games before leaving us for Middlesbrough. Over the next six years, Mido spent time with Wigan, Zamalek, West Ham, Ajax and Barnsley before announcing his retirement from playing in June 2013.
Marseille 1997-2001; Spurs 2010-2013
The only player to have played Premier League football for Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs, William Gallas spent four years at Marseille before arriving in England. The defender emerged through the famed French football academy at Clairefontaine before starting his career at Caen. After helping to them promotion to Ligue 1 as champions in 1996, he moved to Marseille in 1997. It wasn’t until the 1998/99 season that he really made his breakthrough, featuring 42 times for the club, which included the likes of Laurent Blanc, Robert Pires and Fabrizio Ravanelli among their ranks. His first taste of Champions League football came in 1999/2000 and he scored his first goal in European competition in a 1-0 win for Marseille over then reigning European champions Manchester United in October 1999. After 108 appearances for OM, Gallas moved to London with Chelsea in 2001, winning two Premier League titles and a League Cup during five seasons at Stamford Bridge. He then spent a further four years across the capital with Arsenal before arriving in N17 in August 2010 when signed by Harry Redknapp. His debut came against West Bromwich Albion in September 2010 and two months later, after injuries to Michael Dawson and Ledley King, Gallas captained us for the first time as we won 3-2 at his former club Arsenal. Bringing a wealth of experience to our squad, he featured in our first-ever Champions League campaign that season and went on to make 78 appearances for us, scoring once. Gallas ended his playing career with a season at Australian side Perth Glory in 2013/14.
Spurs 2015-2016; Marseille 2016-2019
Winger Clinton N’Jie arrived in N17 with plenty of promise but never quite lived up to his potential here at Spurs. Born in Buea in Cameroon, it was with Lyon that he first made his name and, after scoring seven league goals in 30 games for the French side in 2014/15, we secured his signature in August 2015. He first appeared for us in a Europa League match against Qarabag a month after joining but an injury sustained in a match against Monaco in the December curtailed his progress and he missed virtually the rest of the season, appearing for the last time for us against Southampton in May 2016. N’Jie joined Marseille on a season-long loan in August 2016 as he looked to regain his form and during that season, scored four times in 23 games, prompting the French side to sign him permanently in the summer of 2017. He helped them to the Europa League Final of 2018, scoring once in 13 appearances in the competition and featuring off the bench in the final against Atletico Madrid, which OM lost 0-3. After three years with Dinamo Moscow between 2019-22, N’Jie joined Turkish side Sivasspor in July this year, where he currently remains.
Marseille 2015-2016; Spurs 2016-2019
Georges-Kevin Nkoudou scored his one and only Spurs goal in the UEFA Champions League, having previously played for Marseille before arriving in N17. The winger made his breakthrough with Nantes having previously been on the books of PSG as a youngster, making his name during the 2014/15 season when he featured 32 times for Nantes and scored twice. Marseille swooped for his signature in June 2015 and the 2015/16 term was a successful one for the Versailles-born player as he netted 10 goals in 41 appearances, including four in seven Europa League matches. Nkoudou arrived in north London in late August 2016 and made his debut against Gillingham in the League Cup, going on to play 17 times for us in all competitions in his first season. It was in his first start of the 2017/18 campaign that his solitary Spurs goal came, netting 10 minutes from time in our 3-0 win over APOEL at Wembley. But, with playing time at Spurs limited, he spent the next two seasons on loan, first at Burnley and then with Monaco, before he left us on a permanent deal to join Besiktas. Prior to this season, Nkoudou had scored 16 times in 86 goals for the Turkish side.