Olympique de Marseille fans are famously among the most passionate and emotional in France, and they don’t take kindly to players who let them down.
Mathieu Valbuena certainly falls into this category.
The diminutive playmaker enjoyed a terrific eight-year spell at the Stade Velodrome, where he became the darling of the fans. However, there was a rupture in 2014 when he left to play for Dinamo Moscow, with many believing that he had opted for the Russian side purely for financial reasons.
They player’s attitude was also criticised.
Then, when he returned to France this summer, he opted to switch to Marseille’s rivals Olympique Lyonnais, rather than return to OM.
Sunday’s meeting between the two sides was Valbuena’s first return to the stadium where he made such a big impression since leaving last year.
…and Marseille fans were not happy to see him.
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There was considerable booing when the attacking midfielder’s name was read out during the pre-match squad introduction, while the Marseille fans also hung an effigy of the player up in front of one of the tribune.
Les marseillais attendent Valbuena de pied ferme, et le font savoir… pic.twitter.com/X0GxDDhu4y
— L’Actu Foot (@ActuFoot_) September 20, 2015
Les sifflets du Vélodrome à l'annonce de la titularisation de Valbuena… http://t.co/lVp2YeicsD
— Actu Foot (@ActuFoot_) September 20, 2015
What a welcome.
Valbuena’s new side took the lead mid-way through the first half, when Alex Lacazette converted a penalty after being brought down by Steve Mandanda.