With the AJA, it’s all of French football in its most folkloric history that lands in the elite of the round ball, ten years after having left it.
Ten years is a long time, but a few flashbacks are enough to remember the magic of Auxerre which has thrilled generations of supporters.
First, the great AJ Auxerre is Guy Roux, the temperamental and colorful coach, who pushed the Burgundian bench for more than 40 years. Under his orders, Auxerre climbed all the levels of the honor division to accession in D1 in 1980. Guy Roux and his refrain: « We play the maintenance » which could be engraved at the entrance of the Abbé-Deschamps stadium .
It’s true, we remember, the golden age of Auxerre is therefore rather in the 1990s
The emotional roller coaster years still led by the truculent Guy Roux. AJA’s first great moment was in 1993, when Stéphane Maher cried on the lawn of Abbé-Deschamps, in the UEFA Cup semi-final second leg against Borussia Dortmund. Facing the Germans, the Burgundian defender misses his penalty after the shots on goal. AJA is eliminated. This is the drama.
Dortmund, which is definitely becoming Auxerre’s pet peeve. In 1997, in the first season in the Champions League, the French club went to the quarter-finals, was stopped again by Borussia. And this time, it is anger that seizes the AJA. After a superb goal by Lilian Laslandes in the first leg refused by the referee. His acrobatic return is considered too dangerous, the controversy is in all the news.
While Auxerre hovers after a crazy 1996 season, that of the double Coupe de France championship with the band of Laurent Blanc, Corentin Martins, Christophe Cocard and so on.
There were other big names in football who went to AJA
It is one of the crucibles of French football Joël Bats Eric Cantona, Basile Boli, Bernard Diomède or Djibril Cissé. And there, I only quote you players trained, or revealed, in Auxerre.
This club is a small miracle, it hoisted this average town of less than 35,000 inhabitants into the upper echelons of French and European football, before gently falling financially and sportingly from the 2000s until the descent into League two after 32 years in the top flight
Then, ten years in the second division to finally reach this year, and the rise of the Auxerrois. Imagine the emotion of the supporters.
The suffocating rise of Auxerre, like this club, was at the end of May at the end of the play-offs, after the shots on goal against Saint-Etienne, to bring down another monument of the round ball. Auxerre, who are preparing to face Lille for their big return to the League on a Sunday. We shouldn’t be bored.