Marseille v Konyaspor background
This week, football fans watching UEFA Europa League matches in stadiums, online and on TV will witness the premiere of the new UEFA RESPECT TV ads, called #EqualGame. The adverts feature Ada Hegerberg, Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba, Cristiano Ronaldo and amateur players and will run throughout the season to promote inclusion, diversity and accessibility in European Football with the motto “Everyone has the right to enjoy football, no matter who you are, where you’re from, or how you play.”
More information on the campaign and on the advertisements can be found in the accompanying media release and on the campaign website: www.equalgame.com.
Marseille kick off their UEFA Europa League Group I campaign at home against Konyaspor, hoping to extend the Turkish side’s wait for a first European win.
• The teams are meeting for the first time and it is Konyaspor’s first encounter with French opponents.
• Marseille’s six games against Turkish clubs have ended W2 D2 L2 (W2 L1 in France).
• Marseille have won both of their European home matches this season – against Oostende (4-2) and Domžale (3-0) – scoring seven goals in the process.
• Konyaspor have yet to avoid defeat in a UEFA away game, suffering 2-0, 3-1 and 4-1 reversals.
• Fifth in France last term, Marseille last featured in the UEFA Europa League group stage in 2015/16 when they made it to the round of 32, eventually losing to Athletic Club.
• Winners of the 2016/17 Turkish Cup, Konyaspor made their European competition debut in last year’s UEFA Europa League group stage, but failed to win in six matches (D1 L5).
Links and trivia
• The journey from Konya to Marseille is a little short of 2,400km.
• Konyaspor defender Petar Filipovic turns 27 on the day of the Marseille game.
• The Turkish club’s midfielder Mehdi Bourabia was born in Dijon, France, and played for Grenoble (2009–11) and LOSC Lille’s reserves (2013–14) before heading abroad.
• Konyaspor’s Ivorian midfielder Moryke Fofana also played in France with Lorient (2015–17).
• Marseille’s Adil Rami won the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League with Sevilla.
• Marseille coach since 2016, Rudi Garcia started out as a midfielder at Lille, returning to lead the club from 2008–13 – and masterminding their domestic double triumph in 2010/11. He subsequently spent three seasons in charge at AS Roma.
• Konyaspor boss Mustafa Reşit Akçay is back in the group stage for a third time, having coached Trabzonspor and Osmanlıspor in past editions. A youth specialist, he notably went unbeaten in his first 19 games in UEFA competition (W15 D4).