AS Saint-Etienne : Lyon-Saint-Etienne: “Aulas and Rocher, it would have heated …”, say Di Nallo and Revelli | ASSE

One, Fleury Di Nallo, 76, is the top scorer in the history of Olympique Lyonnais (222 goals). The other, Hervé Revelli, 73, the top scorer in the history of AS Saint-Etienne (274 goals). Both have their clubs in their blood. Derbies, they disputed 43 between them. They scored 15 goals each in these oppositions so special for the two neighbors. Again, a record. Records that are not close to being broken.

The Parisian-Today in France has brought them together. Two memories. With unbroken passion, they played the match again for long minutes. Redo the derby. The eternal OL-ASSE rivalry.

What does derby mean to you?

FLEURY DI NALLO. It’s the game of the year. We defend our city. We were fighting with the Stéphanois, but it was nice. We had tough players, Mihajlović for example. Domenech, at least, he had a reputation above all but he was not that bad. But we respected each other.

HERVÉ REVELLI. I am not originally from Saint-Etienne, I fell “inside” after Fleury. I have incredible memories. People don’t all understand when I explain to them. We prided ourselves a little. Nicely. But now it’s getting out of hand. There are not even any more supporters (Editor’s note: Stéphanois are banned from stadium Sunday in Lyon). A derby without both colors is not a derby.

There were no short sentences at the time?

FDN. It is especially Roger Rocher (the emblematic president of ASSE between 1961 and 1982) that lit. He said: “Sainté that will always remain the locomotive and Lyon the wagons”

RH. He said to us: “when I look at my rear view mirror in the car, I always want to see Lyon behind”. The first thing he said to a new player who was arriving was: “We have a derby here, against Lyon, we have to win this match, absolutely”. Laughing, he also ignited: “If you lose the match before, or after, it doesn’t matter. But Lyon, forbidden ”. Well, we were given a soap anyway if we lost the one before.

Fleury Di Nallo, a former Lyon striker, raised the Coupe de France in May 1967, after OL's victory over Sochaux. Bancet / Icon Sport Collection
Fleury Di Nallo, a former Lyon striker, raised the Coupe de France in May 1967, after OL’s victory over Sochaux. Bancet / Icon Sport Collection

FDN. It’s a shame, we the big boss of OL, we never saw him. Aulas and Rocher at the same time, it would have heated. Aulas would have sent as it does today, Rocher would have repacked it.

Is there more tension today?

H. R. Two years ago, I arrived at Groupama Stadium, I parked my car. I represented ASSE, I was dressed with an ASSE set. A security guard said to me: “take off the jacket, the tie, the scarf”. I tell him: “I have to get naked too.” I left everything in the trunk. I knew what had happened with Georges before (Editor’s note: Georges Bereta’s car was ransacked in 2015 towards Gerland during a derby). Well, I took a few insults on the stadium stairs, but nothing bad.

Could you have played in the other club?

RH. At the very beginning, yes. After no. I was soaked green.

FDN. In 1967, I almost signed there, I went to Roger Rocher, to his house, in the mountains. He said to me, “I’ll take you right away.” He made an offer to OL, with two more players including Jean-Michel Larqué who was starting out. OL said no. I had received a threatening letter: “if you go to Saint-Etienne, you have a 3-year-old son, you never know …”. But I didn’t want to go there.

Bernard Lacombe was pushed to do it himself…

FDN. Bernard, I was OL sports director at the time (in 1978). At OL, I am told: “If he does not leave, we file for bankruptcy. You have to find the words ”. He didn’t really want to say the least.

Do you still have the same passion for your club today?

FDN. I don’t miss an OL match at the stadium. After, it’s not the same anymore. Before, all good players, they did not start from OL and ASSE. Today, it’s the good ones who leave and the bad ones who stay. Before, we changed the bad ones. A player like Memphis Depay, he has class, he is above in Lyon, but he has nothing to do with Lyon. I lived 100 m from the stadium. Bernard Lacombe, he came to see me play, he was 10 years old. The supporters always stop me to tell me about the OL of Di Nallo-Chiesa-Lacombe.

Hervé Revelli facing Franz Roth, during the final of the Champions League, May 12, 1976. Bancet / Icon Sport collection
Hervé Revelli against Franz Roth, during the final of the Champions League, May 12, 1976. Bancet Collection / Icon Sport

RH. And me, it’s year 76 (year of the European Cup final) morning, noon and evening… Otherwise, the heart is eternally green.

How do you see Sunday’s match?

RH. We are not in a good spiral. But we are both in danger. Woe to him who will lose …

FDN. Lyon is especially obliged to win. You will still save yourself …

RH. I hope…