#70SportWays (42): the fairy tale of Calais Racing Union Football Club
The story of Calais Racing Union Football Club at Coupe de France 2000 is probably one of the most known fairy tales of football. Calais is an amateur club, composed by amateur footballers. All of them, in 2000, were workers, who used to play mainly for their passion for football. And their passion brought them into history.
Coupe de France permits indeed the participation to all Clubs who decide to subscribe for it, including fourth division teams, like Calais. And the team started a new adventure in the competition, beating – at the beginning – other amateur clubs, including – at the eighth turn – Dunkerque.
Surprisingly, the fairy tale continued in the following matches. Lille (Second Division), was beaten after thrilling penalties, Langon-Castets with an amazing 3-0, while Cannes (again Second Division) was shocked on penalties. THese brilliant victories lead Calais to the quarter finals, against Ligue One teams. Against all odds, the red-yellow team obtained another victory 2-1 over Strasbourg and – incredibly a 3-1 over the France Champions of Bourdeaux.
This incredible path lead them to the final game at Saint Denis Stadium in Paris, where, in front of 80,000 people, this group of workers played against Nantes. The professionists this time were able to win 2-1 in a thrilling match, thanks to a penalty in the final minutes of the game. But the incredible adventure of Calais and of those sport heroes will never be forgotten. And when the captain of Nantes Mickaël Landreau, was asked to lift the cup, he did not took it alone. He called Becque, Calais captain, and their took it together, in one of the most emotional episodes of the history of football.