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Know about Ligue 1, History, Format, Clubs, Stats and everything

It’s ironic that many people know Paris Saint-Germain(PSG) has signed Argentina’s ace striker Lionel Messi, but they aren’t aware of which league PSG plays. Such has been the journey of Ligue 1 over the years. It has always been overshadowed by the prominence of many legends of the game.

This French top tier football league has been one of the top 5 football leagues in Europe and the least followed around the globe among the top 5 leagues.

History of Ligue 1

Cycling was the prime sport in France in the early and mid-1800s. Football started to capture the attention of many French people in the late 1800s and since then, slowly but surely football has become the passion of the country.

The first professional league was played in 1932, but it all started when the first national competition took place in 1894.

Also Read: Top Five Highest Goal Scorers in Bundesliga in 2020-2021

What is the Format of Ligue 1 ?

In 1932, 20 teams took part and since then there haven’t been many changes in the format of the league. When the league was young, it had ‘National’ as its name. Later on, the name changed to ‘Ligue 1’.

There are a total of 5 tiers in the French club football league system. Ligue 1 is a top-flight league, which is followed by Ligue 2. Then comes Championnat National, Championnat National 2 and Championnat National 3.

Ligue 1

It has all the basic promotion-relegation rules as in other European Leagues. The clubs finishing the season at 19th and 20th position will face relegation into Ligue 2 and the top 2 teams from Ligue 2 will be promoted to Ligue 1.

The 18th placed Ligue 1 team will face the 3rd placed Ligue 2 team for a two-legged playoff game and the team’s fate will be decided by the aggregate score. These particular teams lock horns at the end of the regular season.  

European qualification

As per the current scenario, according to UEFA Coefficient, the teams finishing at the top two positions in Ligue 1 will automatically qualify for the prestigious Champions League group stage, while the third-place team needs to go through qualification rounds to join the winners and runner-ups.

The third-placed team has to play Europa League qualifiers to secure a spot in the Europa League.

Clubs played in Ligue 1

A total of 74 clubs have played in the league.

Ligue 1

Through the rigorous battle of relegation and promotion over the years, the current Ligue 1 has left only with 5 founding clubs which are Marseille, Metz, Montpellier, Nice, and Rennes.

Paris Saint-Germain is the only team who hasn’t been relegated since their promotion to Ligue 1 which happened in the 1974-75 season.

Let’s see how the clubs have been doing since 1932!

ClubParticipation
Marseille70
Bordeaux67
Saint-Étienne67
Sochaux66
Rennes63
Lyon62
Monaco61
Nice61
Metz61
Lille60
Strasbourg59
Lens58
Nantes52
ClubWinsRunner-up
Saint-Étienne103
Marseille912
Paris Saint-Germain99
Monaco87
Nantes87
Lyon75
Bordeaux69
Reims63
Lille46
Nice43
Sochaux23
Sète2
Lens14
RC Paris12
Olympique Lillois11
Strasbourg11
Roubaix-Tourcoing1
Auxerre1
Montpellier1
Nîmes4
Cannes1
Fives1
Toulouse (1937)1
Metz1

PSG’s domination through disparity

Though Lillie had won the 2020-21 season, the dominance of PSG is still unassailable. Obviously, they would not have dominated the league without world-class players. It’s absolutely fair to use the money to buy players, but with the sheer amount of money that they have had, they have created their monopoly which puts them into a completely different league.

Who would not want Neymar, Messi, Ramos in their squad? Everybody wants them, but only PSG can afford them. So even though, let’s say for example Monaco wants one player on which PSG also has its eyes on. 

That’s where the monopoly comes into the picture, PSG will offer a certain amount that Monaco can not afford and quite easily PSG knocks Monaco out of the competition.

PSG has a market value of 869.2 million Euros which is more than head and shoulders above the second-best team Olympique Lyonnais of 323.25 million Euros.

Also Read: Top Five Highest Goal Scorers in Serie A in 2020-2021

The stats sum up everything, don’t they?

Just see how PSG’s market value has skyrocketed while other clubs never really took off.

Let’s see some stats of Ligue 1

Most appearances

RankPlayerPeriodClub(s)Games
1Mickaël Landreau1997–2014Nantes, Paris Saint-Germain, Lille, Bastia618
2Jean-Luc Ettori1975–1994Monaco602
3Dominique Dropsy1971–1989Valenciennes, Strasbourg, Bordeaux596
4Dominique Baratelli1967–1985Ajaccio, Nice, Paris Saint-Germain593
5Alain Giresse1970–1988Bordeaux, Marseille586
6Sylvain Kastendeuch1982–2001Metz, Saint-Étienne, Toulouse577
7Patrick Battiston1973–1991Bordeaux, Metz, Saint-Étienne, Monaco558
8Jacky Novi1964–1980Marseille, Nîmes, Paris Saint-Germain, Strasbourg545
9France Roger Marche1944–1962Reims, RC Paris542
10France Jean-Paul Bertrand-Demanes1969–1988Nantes532

Most goals

RankPlayerPeriodClub(s)GoalsGamesRatio
1Delio Onnis1972–1986Monaco, Reims, Tours, Toulon2994490.67
2Bernard Lacombe1969–1987Lyon, Saint-Étienne, Bordeaux2554970.51
3Hervé Revelli1965–1978Saint-Étienne, Nice2163890.56
4Roger Courtois1932–1956Sochaux, Troyes2102880.73
5Thadée Cisowski1947–1961Metz, RC Paris, Valenciennes2062860.72
6Roger Piantoni1950–1966FC Nancy, Reims, Nice2033940.52
7Joseph Ujlaki1947–1964Stade Français, Sète, Nîmes, Nice, RC Paris1904380.43
8Fleury Di Nallo1960–1975Lyon, Red Star1874250.44
9Carlos Bianchi1973–1980Reims, Paris Saint-Germain, Strasbourg1792200.81

Trophies awarded in Ligue 1

The title winners are awarded with the trophy L’Hexagoal.

Ligue 1

Along with L’Hexagoal, awards like Player of the Month, Player of the Year, Manager of the Year, and Young Player of the Year are handed out each year for Ligue 1 and Ligue 2.

Renowned players who have played in this league

  •   Joel Bats
  •   Alin Giresse
  •  Jean Tigana
  •  Enzo Scifo
  •  Michel Platini
  •   Jorge Burruchaga
  •   Dragan Stojković
  •   Eric Cantona
  •   Jürgen Klinsmann
  •   Zinedine Zidane
  •  Marcel Desailly
  •   Thierry Henry
  •   David Trezeguet
  •   Youri Djorkaeff
  •   Luis Fernandez
  •   David Ginola
  •   George Weah
  •   Ronaldinho
  •   Didier Drogba
  •   Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  •   Thiago Silva
  •   Edinson Cavani
  •   Neymar Jr
  •   Kylian Mbappé
  •   Sergio Ramos
  •   Lionel Messi

For more such interesting & unheard facts about cricket and sports, please visit thesportslite.com frequently.

Thank you for visiting. Have a good day ahead 🙂

Saurabh Karmarkar
Saurabh Karmarkarhttp://thesportslite.com/
An ardent Test cricket fan, a loyal Bayern Munich supporter who loves to write about sports and a fitness enthusiast.
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