#OL70Years One day, one season : 1998-99
The men of the season
Squad : Bak, Bassila, Blanc, Braizat, Bréchet, Carteron, Caveglia, Cocard, Coupet, Delmotte, Devaux, Dhorasoo, Fournier, Grassi, Hellebuyck, Job, Kanouté, Laville, Linarès, Malbranque, Ouerdi, Uras, Violeau.
Manager : Bernard Lacombe
President : Jean-Michel Aulas
The story of the seasonFor the past few years, we have felt that something has been happening on the side of Olympique Lyonnais. The club is gaining momentum and more and more taking center stage. This 1998-99 season will be no exception to the rule. Reinforced by the arrivals of players such as Dhorasoo and Grassi, Les Gones finished third in the championship and qualified for the preliminary round of the Champions League. If the results in the national cups weren't impressive, (two eliminations in the round of 16), happiness would indeed be a part of a run in the European Cup. Impressively, OL made it to the quarterfinals of a European competition for the first time. Defeated in Bologna (3-0), Bernard Lacombe's players offered an impressive return leg at the Gerland but narrowly missed coming back (2-0). This season will also be remembered for a much more dramatic reason. In the depths of winter, Luc Borelli, the team’s substitute goalkeeper, died in a car accident and plunged the club into deep sadness.
The match of the season: OL-Toulouse
25,000 fans flocked to the Stade Gerland for OL's first home game of the 1998/1999 season. The club has made significant efforts to recruit. This match against Toulouse would unfold like a dream. OL came out on top (6-1) and the Lyon supporters witnessed the supersonic debut of new playmaker Vikash Dhorasoo. The transfer from Le Havre ran quickly and for a long time. He has an eye for a clever pass. For 90 minutes, it was a recital. With Frederic Kanouté and Alain Caveglia, the trio delighted the Stade Gerland, with the promise to go even higher.
The player of the season: Alain Caveglia
Alain Caveglia, not retained after his academy training in Lyon, returned, through the front door, in the summer of 1996. A formidable scorer, a decisive captain, he established himself as the star striker of OL but also as a symbol of the city and the club to the supporters. For three seasons in a row, he was emblematic of OL: 62 goals, 30 assists. In February 1999, his best friend in the squad, Luc Borrelli, substitute goalkeeper, died in an accident. The tribute paid by the Stade de Gerland will be an impressive one. Because Alain Caveglia, like all Lyonnais, never forgets.
The season in numbers