Coronavirus: Runners-up, what a feeling! – Villas-Boas revels in Marseille's Ligue 1 feat

By Sports Desk May 02, 2020

Marseille head coach Andre Villas-Boas revelled in the club's second-place finish behind Paris Saint-Germain after the Ligue 1 season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

PSG were declared champions, ahead of Marseille, after the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) confirmed final standings will be decided on a points-per-game basis for the 2019-20 season.

Marseille were 12 points behind PSG – enough to secure a runners-up position and Champions League berth – when the campaign was postponed in March through 28 games.

Villas-Boas dedicated the achievement to former Marseille president Pape Diouf, who died aged 68 in March after contracting COVID-19.

Portuguese boss Villas-Boas wrote via Instagram: "Runners-up of France! What to say? Which words to choose? Where to start? What an extraordinary feat!

"So many moments of joy, so many explosions of feelings! Summarising this season between brilliance and exceptional moments is too easy because it has been so for several consecutive games.

"What has marked and often marks the teams of choice is the ability to reinvent themselves in the face of adversity, whether it is when it hits bottom or when dreams escape us. We were a group! We were a team. We knew we were consistent and had the right word and the right reaction to each other.

"This state of mind is felt on a daily basis in communion with everyone. The other's problem is my problem. It was like that every step of the way. Thank you all without exception. To my brilliant and unrivalled players who, with a lot of effort and selflessness, gave everything in every game.

"To Frank McCourt and Jacques Henri-Eyraud. To Andoni Zubizarreta and Albert Valentin who brought me to this wonderful city of Marseille and allowed me to know the strength of the Velodrome and the unique passion of its inhabitants.

"To my staff, travel friends, my kings of skills. To the decisive and tolerant medical staff who have achieved unique results this season. Administrative and logistics staff attentive to every detail. To Rani who is always everywhere to solve problems. To Elodie who has a crazy Portuguese by her side. To everyone who participated in this wonderful trip, thank you.

"In this sensation and this desire to burst out in joy, we are called to reason which alerts us to the sad moment we are living. We would trade all victories and trophies for each of the lives lost. To the fans who are currently overwhelmed by these same sensations, who want to cry out with joy but where the tear persists in retaining passion, thank you! Thank you from the heart! Your strength and your sense of demand forced us to respond. This victory is also yours. I would like to finish by dedicating this second place to the former Marseille president Pape Diouf."

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