the anecdote of an illustrious leader in Aulas


Since the announcement of the departure of Jean-Michel Aulas, tributes have multiplied in the world of French football. Sometimes criticized for some of his excesses, the former president of OL is unanimously praised for his work and his involvement.

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Jean-Michel Aulas OL

Apart from Hatem Ben Arfa, all the tributes to Jean-Michel Aulas go in the same direction. Former players or leaders, each of them highlights their contribution to French football as a whole since taking over the reins of a Lyon on the verge of bankruptcy in 1987.

Gervais Martel, meanwhile, rubbed shoulders with “JMA” throughout his period as leader of RC Lens (nearly 30 years), he who started in 1986 in Artois. With our colleagues from The Teamthe 68-year-old man wanted to pay tribute to a person for whom he has great esteem.

“He’s like a brother”

This stop is weird, because I’ve known him for more than thirty years, recognizes the former president of RC Lens. He was always a good adviser, he always dubbed me, I have immense respect for him, for his exceptional work with all these titles. I am also happy to talk about him, because he leaves in good health. Often when we give this type of eulogy, it means that the person is deceased. But there, he still has his whole life ahead of him! We will find him, we need him, he is a precursor. He always pushed football forward even if from time to time he was a candy-breaker, it must be said. On points of detail, in relation to his club, he was always in bad faith and therefore in good faith for his club in short.

Martel remembers the 2006 World Cup final in Germany in particular, which he experienced in the stands alongside Aulas: “On the night of the final, we hadn’t seen Zidane’s whim, but we were a little nervous given the score, he was pushing my wheelchair and we found ourselves in the stadium kitchen where we were blocked by German police. It pissed me off a bit… And we finally arrive in front of the Les Bleus locker room when Jacques Chirac is making his speech to the players! We’ve been through so much together. Honestly, he’s like my brother.”

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