May 14, 2008

Brazil: 2008 Campeonato Serie A- Zoom Map.

Filed under: Brazil,Zoom Maps — admin @ 4:54 pm


Note: to see my most recent map-and-post of Brazilian 1st division football, click on the following, category: Brazil.

The Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A was formed in 1971.  Before then, the state championships held primacy (and are still important, as most clubs still play in their state leagues, from January to April).  The vast size of Brazil had made a national league, prior to the 1970s, an impossibility.  But improvements in transportation and infrastructure made it possible.

Since 2003, the league has maintained a strict, European-style system of relegation and promotion, as well as the standard home-and-away schedule.  But the biggest problem facing the game in Brazil is the disruptive wholesale player and management shifts that occur each season.  Brazillian clubs are constantly selling off their promising players to European clubs.  And with the Campeonato season stretching from May to December,  just as the season starts taking shape, the August transfer window for European football begins.  And once clubs sell off their best players, the inevitable dip in form usually necessitates a managerial change.  Last season, only 4 clubs (Gremio, Palmeiras, Santos, and the champions Sao Paulo) kept their manager the whole season.  All this must be bewildering for the fans.

Here is a list of Brazillian football clubs’ fan bases, from a 2004 poll. brazil_club-fan-bases.gif

The biggest club is Rio de Janiero’s Flamengo.  They claim 18% of all Brazillian football supporters, with 33 million fans.  Flamengo have won 5 Campeonato titles (but none since 1992).  The crowds that attend Flamengo matches are traditionally from the working class. 

The second biggest club, Corinthians, of Sao Paulo, were relegated last season.  This followed a big spending spree which culminated in the club winning the title in 2005.  But when their business-partner/investors (London-based) Media Sports Investments were investigated by Brazilian authorities, it all unraveled, and Corinthians found themselves relegated just 2 years after winning the title. {see this entry, on Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, from Wikipedia}.

The third biggest club in the poll is Sao Paulo.  The club has won the last 2 championships (5 Campeonato titles overall, tied for the most with Flamengo), as well as the Copa Libertadores in 2005.  The club prides themselves on their organization and infrastructure.

#4 is Palmeiras, also from Sao Paulo.  Founded by Italian immigrants, as SS Palestra Italia.  They changed their name during WW II.  Palmeiras have won 4 Campeonato titles (the last in 1994, though).

#5 is Vasco da Gama, from Rio de Janeiro.  This club was the first to open up the sport in Brazil to the poor, and, especially, to black players.  Vasco have 4 Campeonato tiles, the last in 2000. 

#6 is Cruzeiro, from Belo Horizonte (the third biggest city in Brazil).  They also changed their name, of Palestra Italia, during WW II.

#7 is Gremio, from the southern city of Porto Allegre.  They were finalists in last year’s Copa Libertadores, which they lost to Argentina’s Boca Juniors.  Gremio was founded by German immigrants; the club’s fan base is skewed to the middle and upper class.  Their in-city rivals Internacional, #9 in the poll,  have historically had a fan base centered among the working class of the city.  Like Vasco da Gama in Rio,  Internacional were the first club in Porto Allegre to use black and mixed-race players (the club was founded by Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish immigrants, who were not allowed to join Gremio).  Internacional won the Copa Libertadores in 2006.

#8 is Santos, from the city of the same name, which functions as Sao Paulo’s port.  This was the club Pele played for.

#10 is Atletico Mineiro, from Belo Horizonte.

#11, Botofogo, and #12, Fluminense,  are both clubs from Rio de Janeiro, and both have traditional fan bases concentrated among the middle class and upper class (especially in Fluminense’s case).

Thanks to ( for the Kits.  Thanks to Big Soccer for the poll.  Thanks to Tim Vickery, for his article on the Brazil 2008 season, in the most recent issue (May 2008) of World Soccer.  Thanks to FourFourTwo magazine.

April 30, 2008

Argentina: 2008 Clausura- Zoom Map.

Filed under: Argentina,Zoom Maps — admin @ 6:03 pm


The Argentine Superclasico: 4th May, 2008.  
By Sam Kelly  [of the "Hasta El Gol Siempre" site (]

Sunday, 4th May will be a special day for football in 2008.  For perhaps the first occasion this year- and it’s likely to be one of the only occasions all year- the eyes of the wider footballing world will be paying real attention to a club match that isn’t taking place in Europe.  There are fierce rivalries all over the planet, of course,  at local and at international level,  but this weekend sees one of the biggest- possibly the  biggest, bar none.  Because this weekend, by the docks of Buenos Aires,  River Plate (top of the Argentine league, and in with a good shot at their first league title in four years)  visit Boca Juniors.  Only one country could have the gall to refer to it’s biggest rivalry not as a simple clasico,  but as the superclasico.


The pair are Argentina’s two biggest clubs by a long way:  River claim slightly under one-third of football fans in the country;  Boca slightly over one-third.  And these figures are supported by numerous polls conducted independently of the two clubs,  by newspapers and other media outlets.  Popular myth has it that the rivalry was born when the two sides, both founded in the early years of the twentieth century in the dockside area of La Boca,  played a match to decide who would stay there, and who had to move out.  Quite why they couldn’t live side-by-side,  popular myth doesn’t explain.  Boca won the match, and River upped sticks,  first to Palermo, and then still further north to Nunez, where they’re located today.  The truth behind the move may have been a little more rooted in the availability of playing space,  at a time when Buenos Aires was undergoing a massive growth in population…but Boca did indeed win the first match between the clubs, 2-1, in August 1908.  Since then, it’s been 100 years of pure hatred.


Historically, Boca have had the upper hand ever since,  and their fans refer to River as ‘hijo’  (or ‘son’)- claims of fatherhood are often the chosen method of lording it over one’s rivals in South America.   In 323 meetings, in all matches (including friendlies),  Boca have won 117 and River 105, with 101 draws.  In the league it’s a little closer:  65-61 in Boca’s favor, with 55 draws.  In recent seasons, River have been gradually clawing the deficit back a little, not having lost to Boca in competitive matches since the 2005 Torneo Clausura- since when River have a five match unbeaten league run against their great rivals.  During this same period, River haven’t won any trophies (their last was the 2004 Clausura title), and their victories in superclasicos have been the only consolation for the drought.


This time around, that could be changing.  Under new manager Diego Simeone (whose short management career has already taken in one title win, with Estudiantes, in 2006),  River have a new effectiveness in their play, and such a good goalkeeper in Juan Pablo Carrizo that an (at times) incredibly shaky backline doen’t seem to affect results.  They’re joint top with Estudiantes, four clear of Boca after the latter lost another classico  this Sunday just gone, 1-0, to San Lorenzo.

River wins in La Bombonera are rare- the recent unbeaten spell has included a few draws there- but one this weekend could define the sides’ seasons,  even more so since the match is sandwiched between the two legs of the Copa Libertadores last sixteen. 

And speaking of the Copa, it could provide revenge for whoever comes out worse this weekend.  If both sides continue far enough, they’ll resume the planet’s fiercest rivalry in the Semi-Final, for the 3rd time this century.  Just think:  in Britain, the press ask us to believe Chelsea vs. Liverpool is exciting… 

**Click here, for an article on Boca Juniors’ stadium worries, by the BBC’s Tim Vickery.

Thanks to Sam Kelly, of course…check out his site (

Thanks to the Colours Of Football site (, for the kits.

Thanks to (

Thanks to (

April 27, 2008

Germany: Bundesliga, 2007-08 Season-Zoom Map.

Filed under: Germany,Zoom Maps — admin @ 1:16 am


[Note: to see my most recent map-&-post of Bundesliga, click on the the following, category: Germany.

On this map, in deference to the quite impressive attendance figures of the Bundesliga,  I have included a column listing percentage of capacity, on the average attendances list.  Those Germans really know how to pack ‘em in.  Plus their stadia generally seem to be very fan-friendly, with almost zero ugly track-and-field ovals, good site lines, and seats right up on top of the action.  And this being Germany, after all, I am quite sure that the beverages are top notch.  Plus, I understand that the ticket prices are very reasonable.   With all these incentives,  fans flock to Bundesliga matches…ten clubs are averaging over 40,000 per game (and 3 clubs in Bundesliga-2: FC Koln,  Borussia Monchengladbach,  and 1860 Munich,  are averaging over 37,000 per game). 

This map shows all the German Tiltles, since 1903,  although there was no unified pro football league in Germany until 1963-’64.  That was when the Fussball-Bundesliga was formed.

Up until that point, football in post-war Germany was divided into 5 separate leagues, or Oberligen (meanwhile, Soviet-occupied East Germany had it’s own, corrupt,  league).  In West Germany, there were the North,  South,  West,  Southwest,  and Berlin Oberligen.

In 1962, the decision was made to consolidate, in emulation of the English Football League structure.  46 clubs applied for membership in the new, nationwide, top tier.  16 were selected, on basis of prior achievements  {see this, from Wikipedia}.  The Bundesliga began in the autumn of 1963.

Since then only one team has remained in the Bundesliga continuously:  Hambuger SV  (usually called Hamburg, in the English-speaking world,  probably because no one wants to conjure up the image of a ground beef sandwich).  But this club from that northern port city has not won the crown for 25 years running.  

Since the Bundesliga’s formation, one club has stood out, in terms of success:  FC Bayern Munchen  (ie, Bayern Munich).  Again, this season, the giant club from Bavaria will win the championship.  It will be their 21st German Title, and, amazingly, their 20th Bundesliga crown.  That will amount to 20 Bundesliga Titles, out of a total of 45 Bundesliga seasons.  And their success now has a shining new monument (literally):  the Allianz Arena  {see this imagesee this Wikipedia entry}.   It has been sold out the entire season.

Thanks to for the kits.  

April 20, 2008

Scottish Premier League, 2007-’08 Season: Zoom Map.

Filed under: Scotland,Zoom Maps — admin @ 6:46 am


The Scottish Premier League was formed in 1998, following the example set 6 years earlier by England’s Premier League.  There are 12 clubs in the league.  Last place is relegated.  The winner qualifies for the Champions League;  2nd place gets a spot in the 3rd round Qualifiers for the Champions League;  3rd place enters the UEFA Cup;  as does the Scottish Cup winner ( the other Cup finalist gets that spot,  if the Cup winner finishes in the top 3).  Scotland’s domestic league is currently ranked #10 by UEFA for European competitions {see this}. 

The Title this season is pretty much sewn up by Rangers, even though they lost to 2nd place Celtic last Thursday, allowing the Hoops to pull within 2 pts.  That’s because Rangers have 3 games in hand.  The season is in it’s rather strange, final Split phase, when the 12-team league splits in half, to play 5 final games within it’s half {see this}.

This map show the 12 clubs in the 2007-’08 SPL season.  Both major domestic trophies are listed:  the National Title (Scottish First Division Title/ Scottish Premier Division Title/ Scottish Premier League Title); and the Scottish Cup.   Seasons in the first division, and consecutive seasons there, are also listed.

Rangers and Celtic, both from Glasgow (and often referred to as the Old Firm) have dominated the Scottish football world.  Rangers have 51 National Titles,  Celtic have 41.  The third highest tally is 4 Titles, won by three clubs:  Hearts and Hibernian (both from Edinburgh);  and Aberdeen.   In spite of Rangers’ higher domestic tally, it is Celtic who have had the success in Europe, winning the European Cup in 1967, famously with a squad comprised entirely of players born within 30 miles of Celtic Park.  

Celtic also has a larger fan base than Rangers, drawing around 57,000;  Rangers draw around 49,000;  no other club in Scotland draws over 20,000 per game.  Hearts averages around 16,000;  Hibs around 14,000;  and Aberdeen around 12,000.  After that, the clubs in the league have fan bases similar to clubs in the 3rd or 4th Level in England, drawing well below 10,000. 

For a while, in the mid 1980′s, it looked like the grip the Old Firm has on the Scottish game was weakening, as Aberdeen won 3 Titles, and Dundee United won 1.  But there has been no winner other than Rangers or Celtic since 1985, when the crown was won by Aberdeen.

Click the following, for the SPL table:

**Click here, for the Scottish Premier League website:  (

Click here, for Scottish Premier League attendances (SPL website).

Click here, for Wikipedia’s entry on Rangers FC.

Click here, for Wikipedia’s entry on Celtic FC.

Thanks to Colours-Of-Football site, for the kits (

April 13, 2008

Portuguese Liga: 2007-’08 Zoom Map.

Filed under: Portugal,Zoom Maps — admin @ 10:41 am


In Portugal, Porto has already clinched the Title.  It is Porto’s third straight championship, and fifth in the last six seasons {click here for Wikipedia’s entry on FC Porto}.

This weekend is the 26th of 30, in the Portuguese football season.  One interesting development this is that newly promoted Vitoria Guimaraes, the club with the country’s fourth largest fan base (but absolutely zero major titles), has a real chance of making it to the Champions League Qualifiers.  It could be at the expense of Sporting [Lisbon], who were just eliminated in the UEFA Cup Semi-Finals, by [the Glasgow] Rangers.  One has to think Sporting’s European run has eroded their domestic form, as the club has lost 3 of their last 8 league games.  Vitoria Guimaraes’ famously rabid fans will be screaming themselves hoarse, urging on their team to maintain their slim 2 point lead over Sporting.  **{Click here, for a video compilation of Vitoria Guimaraes’ fans in action  (@youtube).}.     {Click here, for Wikipedia’s entry on Vitoria Guimaraes.}

Update: Benfica was embarrassed by relegation-threatened Acedemica Coimbra 0-3, on Friday.  And on Saturday, Vitoria Guimaraes beat Boavista 1-0.  That means V. Guimaraes is now in 2nd place.   It looks like there’s going to be some new blood in the CL next fall.   Especially with Benfica imploding  {see this recent article, from the Pitch Invasion site}.

Ever since organized professional football has been played in Portugal, “os Tres Grandes,” or the Big 3,  (Benfica, Porto, and Sporting) have had a near-absolute dominance over the rest of the nation’s clubs.  It is more of a domination than even the Old Firm’s grip on the Scottish game.    In fact, Boavista’s fluke 2001 National Title, and the Title won by Belenenses in 1946, are the only two championships won outside of the Big 3.

And as far as gate figures go, there is a similar haves-and have-nots aspect.  The Big 3 are all able to pack them in: Benfica is drawing around 40,000 these days, Porto is at 37,000 or so, and Sporting pulls in 29,000 per game.  After that, there are just two clubs with medium-sized fan bases:  Vitoria Guimaraes, averaging around 17,000;  and Sporting Braga, averaging around 13,000.    After these five clubs, no other club in Portugal’s Liga is averaging more than 8,000 per game.  The only other clubs with halfway decent fan support are Acedemica Coimbra, at about 7,200, and Maritimo, at about 5,600.  

CS Maritimo, along with CD Nacional, are from the Atlantic Ocean island of Madeira {see this map}.  The island is part of an archipelago, also called Madeira, and is one of the 7 Regions of Portugal {see this}.  It is one of two Autonomous Regions in Portugal (the other is the Azores Islands, which is further west in the Atlantic: it’s biggest club is Santa Clara, which has spent 3 seasons in the top flight, the last in 2003.)  Madeira is where football superstar Christiano Ronaldo, of Manchester United, came from,  getting his start with Nacional.

Portugal’s domestic league is currently ranked #6 by UEFA, for European competitions.  3 clubs are awarded Champions League spots (1st and 2nd place finishers go directly to the coveted Group Stage, and 3rd place goes to the 3rd Round Qualifiers); 3 clubs are awarded UEFA Cup spots.    {Click here, for the Rankings for 2008-2009 UEFA Competitions.}   In 2006, The Poruguese Liga reduced it’s membership from 18 to 16 clubs.

{Click here, for the Portuguese Liga table (SocceerStats[dot]com).}

Here are 3 Google Earth shots of Premeira Liga Stadiums in Lisbon (click on each sentance below).

**Benfica’s “Stadium of Light.” [Note: the name refers to the neighborhood it is in: Luz, which translates as "light."]- Click here.

**Sporting’s Estadio Jose Alvalade-21st Century.-Click here.

**Belenenses’ Estadio do Restelo-Click here.

Thanks to for the kits.  Thanks to (golftoday[dot]co[dot]uk) for the map.  Thanks to Jeremy, of the Albion Road site (,  for sending me the 3 Google Earth shots, and for information on the Portuguse Liga from his comprehensive website. 

April 9, 2008

The 2007-08 League Championship (England, 2nd Level of Football): Zoom Map.

Filed under: Eng-2nd Level/Champ'ship,Zoom Maps — admin @ 9:59 am


Note: to see my latest map-&-post of the English 2nd division, click on the following, category: Eng-2nd Level/Champ’ship.

[Note: on this zoom map, I have added a new category, of total seasons in the 1st and 2nd Levels, with the last season each club was in the top flight noted.  I also added club nicknames, and original names of the clubs.] 

The (English) Football League was formed in 1888.  The founding members comprised 12 clubs, all of which came from north of Birmingham {see this}.   With the assimilation of the rival Football Alliance {see this}, in 1892, a second tier was created.   The two levels were the First Division, and the Second Division, each with 14 clubs.   At the end of each season, the bottom two clubs in the lower division were forced to apply for re-election to the League.  

In 1898, the League expanded to 36 clubs (18 in each division).   Automatic Promotion and Relegation was introduced, whereby the 1st and 2nd place clubs in the Second Division each season moved up to the top flight, and the bottom two clubs in the First Division were sent down to the Second Division  {see this}. 

{Click here for a brief history of the English Football League, from the Football Club History Database.}

Fast forward to today.  The 3 clubs in the 2nd Level of English football,  the League Championship {see this}, which are annually promoted to the top flight of English Football, the Premier League (est. 1992 {see this}),  each receive around 60 million pounds in new revenue (that’s about $110 million).  This is according to the accounting firm Deloitte.  Which makes the struggle for promotion such a huge matter. 

Tuesday, at Blackpool,  West Bromwich Albion provided another example of their high octane offense, with 3 late goals (including a brace by Kevin Phillips).   {See this article, from the Sky Sports site.}   The win vaulted the Baggies back to the top of the League Championship, knocking this season’s surprise team, Bristol City, to 2nd place.

West Brom’s loss to Portsmouth in the FA Cup Semi-Finals last weekend may prove to be a blessing in disguise, as the squad can now focus on their promotion bid.  They lead the league in scoring, with 84 goals (3rd place Stoke City has the second most goals, with 64), and their goal difference of +29 dwarfs the competition (Hull City, in 4th place,  has the next highest, at +18) .  But in this highly competetive second tier, WBA has struggled since the Holidays.  Now they are back in first, with a game in hand on half their main competitors for automatic promotion.

Realistically, it’s down to 5 clubs competing for the 2 automatic promotion spots:  1. West Bromwich Albion,  2. Bristol City,  3. Stoke City,  4. Hull City,  and 5. Watford.  Just 2 points separate the five clubs.  

In 6th place, 8 points off the automatic promotion places, is Crystal Palace, who beat Stoke 1-2 away, on Monday.  And right behind Palace are no less than 7 clubs within 6 points of the playoff places.  The clubs realistically out of the running for automatic promotion, and competing for the playoff places (of which there are four) are:   6. Crystal Palace   7. Wolves   8. Ipswich Town   9. Charlton Athletic   10. Plymouth Argyle   11. Burnley   12. Sheffield United   13. Cardiff City.

Thanks to, for the kits.

{Click here, for the League Championship table (SoccerStats[dot]com).}

April 6, 2008

Netherlands, Eredivisie 2007-’08-Zoom Map.

Filed under: Netherlands,Zoom Maps — admin @ 10:35 am


Professional football in the Netherlands has been played since the late 19th century, with the first National Title won by RAP Amsterdam, in 1898.  But it took another couple decades for the dominant clubs of today’s Dutch football to emerge:  Ajax (est. 1900) won their first Title in 1918;  Feyenoord (est. 1908) won their first Title in 1924;  PSV Eindhoven (est. 1913) won their first Title in 1929. 

PSV is on course for their fourth consecutive championship.  They have won the Title 6 out of the last 8 seasons.  The club has won 20 Dutch Titles, overall.  PSV stands for Philips Sports Vereniging (that last word means “Union”), and was formed as a sporting club of Philips, the electronics conglomerate.  They play in a swank 36,600-capacity stadium in Eindhoven, which is in the southern part of the country, in the province of North Brabent.  All the seats in the stadium are heated.  The red and white stripes on their jersey reflect a similar, horizontal pattern on the flag of  North Brabent.  PSV won the 1987-’88 Champions League, and the 1977-’78 UEFA Cup.  The current squad is still alive among the last 8 clubs in the 2007-’08 UEFA Cup, with their home leg v. Fiorentina coming up on 10th April (1-1 score, in the first leg).   {Click here, for Wikipedia’s entry on PSV Eindhoven.} 

The Eredivisie was formed in 1956.  Currently, there are 18 clubs in the league.  There are 1 to 2 clubs relegated each season, depending on the outcome of the relegation/promotion playoffs, which involves the 16th and 17th place finishers in the Eredivisie, and the top 8 (!) clubs in the Ereste Divisie (the second tier).  

{Click here, for Wikipedia’s entry on the Eredivisie.}

{Click here, for the Eredivisie Round-Up, from the Sky Sports site.}

The Netherlands domestic league is currently ranked #8 for European competitions by UEFA {see this: scroll down to third table on page}.   The National Champions automatically advance to the Champions League Group Stage.  2nd place through 5th place enter a playoff for the other Champions League spot (in the CL 3rd Round Qualifiers).  There is a similar playoff for 3 UEFA Cup spots {see this};  the winner of the KNVB Cup also gains entry to the UEFA Cup.   Overall, The Netherlands receives 2 Champions League spots, and 4 UEFA Cup spots.

**Click here, to see my attendance map of Netherlands football, circa 2007.   **Click here, for my Hand-drawn map of  Netherlands football, circa 2004.

Thanks to (colours-of-football[dot]com) for the kits.  Thanks to (demis[dot]nl) fot the base map.

March 6, 2008

Italy: 2007-08 Serie A- Zoom map.

Filed under: Italy,Zoom Maps — admin @ 9:50 am

Please note: there is a more recent map-and-post on Italian 1st division football, here- category: Italy.

Italian football has been played in an organized form since 1898.  But for the first three decades, it was within regional leagues.  The Serie A was created in 1929, and unified the regional leagues.

[The "consecutive seasons" category, on this map, goes back to the 1929-30 season.]

Click here, for the official website of professional Italian football (lega-calcio[dot]it).

Click here, for Wikipedia’s entry on the Serie A

This map shows all the clubs in the 2007-08 Season of the Serie A.   One new addition to my zoom map format is the inclusion of away kits.

Inter (ie., “Inter Milan”) are on their way to their second straight Title (third straight, if you count the title that was stripped from Juventus for referee-tampering, and awarded to Inter, for the 2005-’06 season {see this}).  Inter had a slip, though, losing their first league game last Sunday, at Napoli, 1-0.  Second place Roma gained ground, after thrashing Parma 4-0, but are still 6 points behind Inter.

The battle for Champions League spots is going to go down to the wire (4 Champions League places are awarded to Italy:  the first 2 places in Serie A advance to the CL Group Stage, while 3rd and 4th places go into the 3rd Round CL Qualifiers).  Basically, 3 clubs will be fighting for the last 2 spots.  Juventus holds 3rd place by 1 point over 4th place Fiorentina, who have just increased their lead over 5th place AC Milan to 4 points.  It looks like AC Milan is faltering, with 4 draws in their last 5 games (plus being eliminated from the Champions League by Arsenal, on Tuesday):  expect wholesale changes in the off-season, if the Milanese giants fail to make it to the Champions League (which they won last year).  Fiorentina is a welcome surprise.  The Florentine club has been playing an exciting brand of football, and last weekend stunned Juve by coming back from a 2-1 deficit, to win 2-3.

Italy’s domestic league is currently ranked #3 for European competitions, by UEFA, behind #1 Spain, and #2 England.   Like Spain and England, Italy currently has 4 Champions League spots, and 3 UEFA Cup spots  {see this}. 

Click here, for the Serie A Table.

Thanks to ( for the kits.

February 29, 2008

France. Ligue 1, 2007-08 Season: Zoom Map.

Filed under: France,Zoom Maps — admin @ 5:58 am


Note: to see my most recent map on football in France, click on the following, category: France.

The French Ligue 1 was formed in 1932.  Currently, 1st place and 2nd place qualify for the Champions League;  3rd place gets a spot in the 3rd round qualifiers of the Champions League.  There are 3 more spots allotted to France, for the UEFA Cup: 4th place,  the winners of the Coupe de France, and the winners of the Coupe de la League (or 5th place and 6th place, if the 2 cup winners are in the top 4).    France is currently ranked #4 in Europe, for UEFA competitions. 

This map shows the 20 clubs in the 2007-08 Ligue 1 season.   Listed are each club’s League Titles, and Coupe de France victories, as well as total (and consecutive)  seasons in the first division.   Also listed are each club’s full name, their stadium, and their current attendance figures.

Lyon has won the last 6 titles, but they face a strong challenge from Bordeaux this season.  Bordeaux trails by 3 points, after 26 games.  Nancy are the surprise team: they are in 3rd place, but shouldn’t be threat to Lyon…they will do well just to remain in contention for the UEFA Cup.   This is also the case with Le Mans, in 4th:  a shock, but no threat to win it.   If Marseille hadn’t started the season so horribly, they might have been able to mount a challenge for the crown.  They currently are in 5th, after spending the first third of the season at or near the relegation zone.  They have been on fire since, but being 13 points below Lyon is just too much to make up in 12 games.  Another Champions League spot should be in their grasp, though.   Nice are in 6th; the small club from the south of France are yet another surprise in League Un this season.

As far as the relegation battle goes, the just-promoted Metz is definitely going right back down.  There are some big names at or near the drop zone:  Paris Saint-Germain, and Lens, as well as Toulouse, who finished 3rd last season.  Lille and Rennes are also in touching distance of the drop: Lille, who have been in the Champions League 3 times (the last in 2006-07, when they made it past the group stage) will play Lyon at the 80,000-seat rugby stadium, Stade de France, on Saturday (see this). 

The other two promoted clubs, Caen and Strasbourg, have fallen some, after strong starts, and both will probably be fighting the drop.  Two months ago, the one club besides Metz that seemed destined for the drop was Auxerre, the club from a small town of 40,000, in Burgundy.  But a 6-game unbeaten run, and 3 straight wins, have moved Auxerre up the table to 12th.  But no club outside the top 5 is really safe.  Amazingly, only 7 points separate 6th place from 17th place, so the permutations are endless.

**{Click here, for the Ligue 1 table.} 

**{Click here for the Official Ligue 1 website, translated}. 

 **{Click here for Wikipedia’s entry on Ligue 1}.

Here is a site with a few maps of football clubs in France.  It  is a betting site, but it has a nice interactive map, and season-by-season categories  {Click here}.

Thanks to,  for the kits.

February 23, 2008

Spain: La Liga, 2007-08 Season: Zoom Map.

Filed under: Spain,Zoom Maps — admin @ 3:43 am

Note: to see my latest post on Spanish football, click on the following, category: Spain.


Continuing my new series of  ”Zoom Maps,”  here is La Liga, 2007-08 season. 

The rankings next to each club’s name are based on total points won (all time).  You can see the full list here, from the RSSSF site:

This system of ranking has its flaws (like skewing more heavily towards the recent years, when 3 points replaced 2 points for a win) but I have noticed that it is often referred to when Spanish clubs are discussed (well, in FourFourTwo magazine, at least).

The official name of the Spanish first division is the Liga de Futbol Professional (LFP).  It is commonly known as “La Liga.”  It was founded in 1929, and only 9 clubs have been crowned Campeones de Liga.  They are:  Real Madrid (30 times, and reigning champions);  FC Barcelona (18 times, last in 2006);  Atletico Madrid (9 times, last in 1996);  Athletic Bilbao (8 times, last in 1984);  Valencia (6 times, last in 2004);  Real Sociedad (2 times, last in 1982.  They are currently in the second division, having been relegated last spring.);  Deportivo La Coruna (2000);  Sevilla (1946);  and Real Betis (1945).

Click here, for Wikipedia’s entry on La Liga: 

On the map, League Titles, cups won (the Copa del Rey), and seasons in the top flight are included.  Also included are each club’s stadium, and it’s capacity; and each club’s full name.

**Click here, for the current standings in La Liga.

**Click here, for 2007-’08 Spanish attendance statistics.

Thanks to the Colours Of Football site, for the kits:

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