'Just the beginning' for Marseille, says owner McCourt

Lyon (AFP) –


Marseille's American owner Frank McCourt pledged there was more to come from the French giants following Wednesday's 3-0 Europa League final defeat by Atletico Madrid in Lyon.

Marseille had been desperate to win the second European trophy in their history, on French soil, 25 years after beating AC Milan in the inaugural Champions League final.

But two goals from Antoine Griezmann and a late third from Atletico captain Gabi handed the Spanish club a deserved third Europa League title in nine seasons.

"Like all the fans, I am obviously disappointed with our loss tonight. But above all, I'd like to remind everyone of our team's incredible journey during the tournament," said former Los Angeles Dodgers owner McCourt, who purchased Marseille in October 2016.

"Our team has shown tremendous commitment this whole time. It's the OM I love to see and want to see at every game. The season we've had, and it's not over yet, has been amazing."

Marseille finished a dreadful 13th in 2015/16 -- the club's lowest position in 15 years -- but rebounded to end the campaign fifth last year and go into the final weekend of this season chasing a Champions League berth.

Rudi Garcia's team are fourth, a point behind Lyon in third place which now guarantees a spot in the Champions League group stage as a result of Atletico's Europa League triumph.

"This exceptional step shows us that OM can do great things. This is just the beginning. We have great ambitions. Our aim is to build over the long term and to make OM a team capable of competing for titles every year in France and in Europe," McCourt said.