The 1999 UEFA Cup Final was a football match between Parma of Italy and Marseille of France on 12 May 1999 at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Parma won the match 3–0. In doing so, Parma won their second UEFA Cup title and fourth European trophy, having previously won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and the UEFA Super Cup on one occasion each.
Although this was just Parma's third entry into the UEFA Cup, they were contesting their second UEFA Cup final, winning the only other one in 1995, beating Juventus over two legs. Having also won the Coppa Italia that year, Parma were attempting a rare cup double. Parma had previous experience of playing against French sides in Europe, having played Paris Saint-Germain in 1995's UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (against whom they lost by three goals to one on aggregate in the quarter-finals) and Bordeaux en route to the final against Marseille, also at the quarter-final stage. Parma lost by two goals to one in France before thumping them at home, scoring six goals without reply.
Marseille had also had European success, but had won just one trophy: the UEFA Champions League in 1993. That victory was marred by match-fixing accusations and, although the title was not stripped from the French club, their participation in the UEFA Super Cup was barred. Coincidentally, Parma would have been their opponents had they been granted permission to compete.
The Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia played host to the match, having never previously hosted a major European final. Its capacity stood at 78,360, making it Russia's largest sports stadium.
While Parma's selection for the match was more straightforward, underdogs Marseille had four players suspended for the final after the team's spicy semi-final victory over Bologna, which also ended in a fight in the players' tunnel at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara. Fabrizio Ravanelli and William Gallas both received yellow cards which barred their participation in the final. Christophe Dugarry and Hamada Jambay would serve the first match of their respective and five- and four-match suspensions on the sidelines for the final for their involvement in the brawl.
Hugh Dallas, the Scottish referee who had also officiated in the Franco-Italian 1998 World Cup quarter-final, conducted the coin toss, which was won by Marseille captain Laurent Blanc and the Frenchman elected to shoot towards his team's own fans in the second half. Roberto Sensini, Parma's captain, chose to kick the match off.
The first 25 minutes saw a cautious Marseille side play much of their football in their own half, only to knock it long to their isolated frontmen Robert Pirès and Florian Maurice. Following such an occasion, Sensini hit a long ball forward towards Juan Sebastián Verón, whose headed flick-on looked not to be dangerous until a lazy headed backpass from the experienced Laurent Blanc gifted Hernán Crespo one-on-one with the keeper; the Argentine coolly lobbed Stéphane Porato with his first touch to give Parma the lead after 26 minutes.
Ten minutes later, as the Italians continued to dominate the match, a Parma attack twice looked to have been ended by Marseille's defence, but the ball found Lilian Thuram in an advanced right-back position on both occasions. On the second occasion, Thuram was able to slide in to find Diego Fuser five yards from the byline and just onside. He whipped in a deep cross which Paolo Vanoli, the Gialloblù's car mechanic turned midfield player, expertly directed past Marseille's goalkeeper into the net to double Parma's advantage.
Five minutes before the hour mark, Thuram surged forward down the right before giving the ball to Verón outside him. Verón chipped the ball into the penalty area with a ball looking to be destined for Crespo's boot, a fine dummy duped the Marseille's defence and gave Enrico Chiesa the opportunity to volley home emphatically from 12 yards to make it 3–0 and seal a Parma victory.
2005 Cannavaro Drug Controversy
In April 2005 a video tape was released which showed Cannavaro being injected with a substance the night before the final. The substance was found to be neoton (phosphocreatine), which is used in cardiac surgery to protect the heart during periods of anoxia and stress. It is not on the banned substance list. This chemical is, in partnership with adenosine triphosphate (ATP), fundamental to the ability of the body to produce muscular energy. Phosphocreatine is formed naturally within the body, with over 95% of the compound stored within the muscle cells. Approximately 5 oz (120 g) of phosphocreatine is present in the body of a healthy adult; the levels of the compound do not fluctuate to a significant degree. When phosphocreatine stores become reduced, the body replenishes its supply from one of two sources. The first source is amino acids, the muscle- and tissue-building blocks present in all proteins. The liver produces phosphocreatine from amino acids. The body also receives dietary creatine primarily through the consumption of meat. No action was ever taken regarding this incident.