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Better Know a Champions League Opponent: Marseille

Five fun facts/bits of randomness about Arsenal's first Champions League opponent, Marseille, who play in a stadium that was originally home to bicycle races (hence, Stade Velodrome):

1. The team motto, "Droit au But," means "Straight into the Goal" or "Right into the Goal." Yahoo! Answers provides some comedy gold via "William," who asks the Internets what it means, noting, "My friend siad (sic) it was France or sumthing (sic) like that."

2. Mathieu Valbuena is Peter Dinklage! Not exactly, but this Daily Mail-published photo from an August friendly between France and Belgium marvelled at how the French national and Marseille midfielder appeared to be half the size of Fellaini and Kompany.

3. Sadly, Joey Barton is no longer playing with Marseille, but when he was loaned out by QPR last year, he adopted a Inspector Closeau-like French accent for a press conference, which is worth seeing again and again.

4. In July, Marseille played a half-rugby, half-soccer charity match against neighboring French rugby club Toulon, which Eric Cantona refereed. At one point, the rolling subs system broke down and it became 15-on-11, and Toulon player Chris Masoe re-enacted the birth of rugby by picking up a soccer ball and running with it.

5. Because he's young and French, attacking midfielder Florian Thauvin (the Julian Draxler of France, basically) is still allegedly an Arsenal target, according to at least one dodgy soccer site. (Of course, because he's French, there are also rumors that Newcastle's in for him.)

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