Hexagoal Ligue 1 Trophy

Cana: made in Paris, completed in Marseille

Publish on 16/03/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS


Lorik Cana has been on both sides of the Classique divide, but says that though his career owed much to Paris Saint-Germain, his heart will forever be with Olympique de Marseille.

The ex-Albania international midfielder made his professional debut in 2003 when PSG boss Luis Fernandez threw him into the fray. After two seasons in the Rouge-et-Bleu first team, he switched to Marseille where — in the space of four seasons — he became a fan favourite and even wore the captain's armband.

"Paris made me a footballer, and I'll always love the club for that. When I wanted to leave, when I wanted to make a step up, it was Marseille," said the 35-year-old, who had arrived in the French capital aged 17.

"When you achieve your dream, playing for the team you love, spending fantastic seasons and building a link with people and the city, that's even better. In 16 years as a pro, I think those four at OM are perhaps the best."

'A bit special as a fan'

That is why, despite his strong links to PSG, Cana will be supporting the blue-and-white half of this great French football rivalry when the pair step out at a packed Parc des Princes on Sunday evening.

"I have always said that I'm proud to have grown up in Paris and to have played for PSG, but I was a supporter of Marseille as a little kid," said the ex-FC Nantes, Lazio, Galatasaray and Sunderland midfielder, who retired after playing for his country at UEFA EURO 2016.

"I'm a little bit special as a fan. When PSG aren't playing OM, I wish them success. In the Champions League, I supported PSG. But when you have to pick sides, I'm 100% Marseillais."