By SAMUEL PETREQUIN and JEROME PUGMIRE, AP Sports activities Writers
PARIS (AP) — Bernard Tapie, a flamboyant businessman who was beloved by sports activities followers for main French soccer membership Marseille to glory but additionally dogged by authorized battles and corruption investigations, has died. He was 78.
A function of French life for many years, Tapie’s demise Sunday unleashed tributes from throughout the worlds of sports activities, politics, enterprise and leisure in France, reflecting the wide-ranging, storied and repeatedly controversial number of his a number of careers and endeavors.
“He led a thousand lives,” the workplace of French President Emmanuel Macron mentioned in a message of condolence to his household. It mentioned Tapie’s “ambition, power and enthusiasm had been a supply of inspiration for generations of French.”
Tapie’s spouse, Dominique, and their two kids introduced his demise to the Marseille newspaper La Provence, which he owned. Tapie had been preventing most cancers, identified in 2017. Tapie additionally had two different kids from a earlier marriage.
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The household’s assertion mentioned Tapie wished to be buried in Marseille, “town of his coronary heart.” He was adored there by followers of town’s soccer membership, which counts Macron amongst its supporters. The membership tweeted that “he’ll go away an ideal void within the hearts of the individuals of Marseille.”
Lille and Marseille followers joined collectively in a second’s applause earlier than their match on Sunday as an image of Tapie was proven on Lille’s scoreboard. Marseille gamers wore black armbands.
Tapie’s reputation peaked in the course of the 1980’s and ‘90’s when, as membership president, he guided Marseille to victory within the 1993 Champions League. Marseille is the one French membership to have gained European soccer’s showcase membership competitors.
Euphoric Marseille followers sang “We Are the Champions” late into the night time after defender Basile Boli’s bullet header defeated Italian big AC Milan 1-0 in Munich. The aspect was captained by Didier Deschamps, a midfielder whose enormous work ethic matched Tapie’s and who then coached Marseille to the league title in 2010 and France to World Cup glory in 2018.
“Bernard Tapie’s demise deeply saddens me. It is beneath his steerage that I skilled my first huge achievements,” Deschamps mentioned. “However I hold many different recollections of our relationship and I’ll always remember that he formed my path. He undoubtedly strengthened my spirit as a competitor … his iron will rubs off on gamers.”
Tapie was extraordinarily demanding of his gamers but additionally near them. Amongst his star recruits had been dazzling wingers Enzo Francescoli and Chris Waddle, ruthless finisher Rudi Voeller and imposing central defender Carlos Mozer. Lengthy earlier than the times of social networks and digicam telephones, Tapie can be filmed opening Champagne together with his gamers within the dressing room after an enormous win.
“RIP Bernard Tapie what a person Legend,” Waddle tweeted and shared a photograph of him standing alongside prolific striker Jean-Pierre Papin with Tapie behind them.
Gamers had been dedicated to him and performed electrifying attacking soccer that lit up stadiums in France and overseas.
Marseille additionally gained 5 French league titles between 1989-93 and the league and French Cup double in ’89. However the ’93 title was stripped and Marseille relegated to the second tier due to a match-fixing scandal. Gamers for league rival Valenciennes had been paid to throw a sport, with a lump sum of cash buried within the backyard of one of many gamers. Tapie was convicted of rigging the match and served greater than 5 months in jail. Marseille was not in a position to defend its European crown.
The prosecutor in that case mentioned on the time that “soccer has come out of this sordid, stained and soiled.”
Marseille followers, nevertheless, continued to adore Tapie. Admirers on Sunday connected bouquets of flowers to a portrait of Tapie erected outdoors the membership’s stadium.
Tributes additionally got here from Marseille’s rivals. Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe tweeted: “RIP to this nice man.”
Identified by the nickname “Nanar,” the gregarious Tapie began his profession as a singer and made his fortune by shopping for out struggling corporations. He was a well-known determine for many years, recognized for his tailor-made fits and a broad decrease jaw.
A multifaceted businessman, Tapie was additionally an actor who appeared comfy within the limelight when on the Paris theatre stage and as a politician. Showing ceaselessly on tv, Tapie turned a celeb together with his excesses, successes and failures that led to chapter and authorized battles.
Tapie was born in Paris in 1943. After a brief and unsuccessful stint as a pop singer, Tapie thought of embracing a profession in auto racing earlier than a severe accident left him in a coma.
He offered televisions after which specialised within the restoration and resale of corporations. One of many first companies Tapie bought was Leclanche Marvel, a battery producer.
His masterstroke got here in 1990 when he purchased German sporting items firm Adidas, a transfer that additionally proved to be his downfall.
Tapie, who briefly served as minister of metropolis affairs beneath the late French President Francois Mitterrand and was a member of the French parliament for a number of years, offered his majority stake in Adidas by means of French financial institution Credit score Lyonnais in 1992. Tapie then claimed the deal was mismanaged and started a 20-year authorized battle with the financial institution in an try to assert damages.
In 2017, an attraction courtroom ordered him to repay 404 million euros ($449 million) that he was awarded in 2008 for the disputed sale of the corporate.
Tapie’s enormous urge for food for enterprise additionally led him into sports activities past soccer. He managed star cyclists Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond to victories within the Tour de France with the La Vie Claire crew.
Related Press author John Leicester in Paris contributed to this report.
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https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2021-10-03/former-marseille-president-businessman-bernard-tapie-dies | Former Marseille President, Businessman Bernard Tapie Dies | World News