July 28, 2012

England: 2012-13 Premier League – Top of the Table chart, featuring 2011-12 champions Manchester City / Plus 2012-13 Premier League Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data.

(Note – to see my latest map-&-post of the Premier League, click on the following: category: Eng>Premier League.)

    2011-12 English champions, Manchester City.

Manchester City – 2011-12 Premier League champions
Manchester City Football Club.
Est. 1880 as St. Mark’s (West Gorton) FC; name changed to Ardwick AFC (from 1887-93); name changed to Manchester City FC in 1894.
Manchester, England.
City of Manchester Stadium (aka Eastlands, aka Etihad Stadium), capacity 47,726. Built in 2002, for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Running track removed and a third (lowest) tier installed in 2003.
2011-12 average attendance: 47,015 per game [home league matches], with a 99.1 percent-capacity/ attendance was up +2.4% from 2010-11.
3 English Titles (2012).
5 FA Cup Titles (2011).
Manchester City have played 84 seasons in the English first division [out of 105 seasons total (1888-89 to 1914-15; 1919-20 to 1939-40; 1946-47 to 2012-13)], with 11 consecutive seasons in the 1st Level (2002-03 to 2012-13).

On the final day of the 2011-12 Premier League season, on Sunday 13 May 2012, Manchester City beat Queens Park Rangers 3-2. Man City’s Sergio Agüero scored the title-winning goal in the 95th minute, which allowed City to win the Premier League title over Manchester United on goal difference. You can go on all you like about the pernicious influence of petro-dollars distorting the competitive balance in English football (and Man City would most likely still be the hapless under-acheiving club they were prior to their infusion of United Arab Emirates-based money). And I would agree to a certain extent. Chelsea, and now Manchester City have bought their way to a title. But it is nice to see someone other than the ‘Big Four’ win it in England. And it is also nice to say good riddance to the phrase Big Four. So now what do we call the exclusive group of clubs that are legitimate contenders for the Premier League title? The Big Six? How about the Five with a Chance, because Liverpool won’t be winning it. Actually, Arsenal’s board has shown their unwillingness to spend, so they really don’t figure to win it either. And Tottenham as champions is just too far-fetched. So it really is just 3 – Man City, Man U., and Chelsea – with legitimate title chances, and 4 more (Arsenal, Liverpool, Newcastle United and Tottenham) fighting for that fourth coveted Champions League Group Stage spot. I hope I am wrong on this, and some other dark horse candidate emerges, like Newcastle did last season.

    English clubs playing in Europe for 2012-13 -
    Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United, Liverpool…

Below is the top of the 2011-12 Premier League final standings with respect to clubs qualifying for Europe for 2012-13…
1st place – Manchester City qualified for the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League Group Stage by winning the 2011-12 Premier League.
2nd place – Manchester United qualified for the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League Group Stage by finishing in 2nd place in the 2011-12 Premier League.
3rd place – Arsenal qualified for the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League Group Stage by finishing in 3rd place in the 2011-12 Premier League.
4th place – Tottenham qualified for the 2012-13 UEFA Europa League Group Stage by finishing in 4th place in the 2011-12 Premier League. Tottenham would have qualified for a Champions League qualifying spot, but they lost their spot to Chelsea, after Chelsea won the spot automatically by winning the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final, over Bayern Munich, 1-0.
5th place – Newcastle qualified for the 2012-13 UEFA Europa League Play-off Round by finishing in 5th place in the 2011-12 Premier League.
6th place – Chelsea qualified for the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League Group Stage despite finishing in 6th place in the 2011-12 Premier League. Chelsea won a spot in the 2012-13 UEFA Champions League Group Stage automatically, by winning the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final, over Bayern Munich, 1-0.
7th place – Everton finished in seventh place, but did not qualify for Europe.
8th place – Liverpool finished in 8th place. Liverpool qualified for the 2012-13 UEFA Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round by winning the 2012 Football League Cup title.

    2012-13 Premier League location-map with attendance data

2012-13 Premier League location-map with attendance data

Image and photo credits for chart page – [Note: there is a Gallery of the Man City title parade in the link at Mancini's photo below, also in the following link -
Manchester City -
Title-winning goal - Agüero scores, Alex Livesey/Getty Images via
Agüero & Dzeko celebrate (as do City fans in the stands),
Manager - Mancini,
Players (l to r) - Agüero: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images Europe via
Dzeko: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Europe via
Silva, Clive Rose/Getty Images Europe via
Nasri, Press Association via Manchester City FC - Official at
Touré, Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe via
Man City stadium photos - Interior,
Photo of two tiers full of Man City fans with banners and flags from
Manchester United/Old Trafford - MUFC fans w/ green and gold from Getty Images via, here. Interior photo of Old Trafford from, Aerial photo of Trafford and Old Trafford from
Arsenal/Emirates Stadium - Fans with Arsenal flags at Emirates Stadium by World of Good at, here. Exterior, gound-level photo of Emirates Stadium by Lumjaguaari at, here. Exterior aerial photo of Emirates Stadium from, here.
Tottenham/White Hart Lane - Fans with flags at White Hart Lane from, here. Interior photo of White Hart Lane from,. Aerial photo of White Hart Lane by Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via
Newcastle/St. James' Park - Interior photo of fans in Jackie Milburn Stand at St.James' Park by PA via Photo of interior of St. James' Park by poity_uk at Aerial photo of Sports Direcrt Stadium aka St. James' Park from
Chelsea/Stamford Bridge - .Photo of part of West Stand and part of Matthew Harding Stand by travelbadge R-in-circle at, here. Photo of Chelsea fans in the Matthew Harding Stand by cyberdees at, here. Exterior photo of Stamford Bridge with hotels in foreground from Ted's Premier League Blog/Aerial photos of Premier League Stadiums [2009] (scroll three-quarters of the way down the page for photos).

Liverpool/Anfield – Photo of fans in the Kop with flags, banners, and scarves – unattributed at Photo of Shankly Gates by Aerial photo of Anfield by Simon Kirwan/

Manchester City 2011-12 home jersey segment from
Champions League icon from
Thanks to soccerway for attendance data,

July 17, 2012

Germany: 2012-13 Bundersliga – Top of the Table chart, featuring 2011-12 champions Borussia Dortmund / Plus 2012-13 Bundesliga Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data / Plus a small map of the 5 Bundesliga clubs from the Rhine-Ruhr metro region.

Filed under: Football Stadia,Germany — admin @ 6:04 pm

Borussia Dortmund – 2011-12 Bundesliga champions

    Borussia Dortmund – back-to-back champions of Germany (2010-11 & 2011-12)

The champions of Germany, the back-to-back winners Borussia Dortmund, were in fact the highest-drawing football club in Europe (and most likely, in the world) in 2011-12, filling their massive 80,720-capacity Westfalenstadion (aka Signal-Iduna Park) to a 99.7 percent-capacity, averaging 80,521 per game. Since the 1970s, there is a recurring pattern in Germany where it often goes…X wins the title/ Bayern Munich wins the title the following year/ Y wins the title/ Bayern Munich wins the title the following year, etc. That went on most recently from 2001-02 to 2004-05 (4 seasons) and from 2005-06 to 2010-11 (6 seasons), and it also happened from 1977-78 to 1980-81. With Borussia Dortmund repeating as champions in 2011-12, that cycle is broken (for now). Only 4 clubs have ever won back-to-back Bundesliga titles – all-time most successful German club Bayern Munich (4 times+), Borussia Dortmund (twice), Borussia Mönchengladback (twice), and Hamburger SV.
Here is the list of repeat champions in Bundesliga (1963-64 to 2011-12), with a link to the list of Bundesliga champions ‘Fußball-Bundesliga/ Champions‘ (
2 straight titles – 1969-70 & 1970-71: Borussia Mönchengladbach.
3 straight titles – 1971-72 & 1972-73 & 1973-74: Bayern Munich.
3 straight titles – 1974-75 & 1975-76 & 1976-77: Borussia Mönchengladbach.
2 straight titles – 1981-82 & 1982-83: Hamburger SV.
3 straight titles – 1984-85 & 1985-86 & 1986-87: Bayern Munich.
2 straight titles – 1994-95 & 1995-96: Borussia Dortmund.
3 straight titles – 1998-99 & 1999-2000 & 2000-01: Bayern Munich.
2 straight titles – 2004-05 & 2005-06: Bayern Munich.
2 straight titles – 2010-11 & 2011-12: Borussia Dortmund.

The Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan region, with 5 clubs in the 2012-13 Bundesliga – Borussia Dortmund, FC Schalke 04, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Fortuna Düsseldorf, Bayer Leverkusen…
Seen below are the 5 Bundesliga clubs (in the 2012-13 season) from the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, all from within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan region (Rhine -Ruhr region seen in pale red). The Rhine-Ruhr is a heavily-populated former industrial area, with a population of around 11.2 million {2012 figure}. The Rhine-Ruhr is the largest urban agglomeration in Germany. The closest-distance-between-clubs of the five clubs is the 23 km. (14 miles) between Borussia Mönchengladach and Fortuna Düsseldorf; while there is a distance of 27 km. (17 miles) between Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 (who are located in Gelsenkirchen). Clubs from the Rhine-Ruhr metro region that have recently been in Bundesliga – Köln (relegated from Bundesliga in 2011-12), VfL Bochum (relegated from Bundesliga in 2009-10), Arminia Bielefeld (relegated from Bundesliga in 2008-09) and MSV Duisburg (relegated from Bundesliga in 2007-08) – 3 of those 4 clubs are currently [2012-13] in 2.Bundesliga, while Bielefeld were relegated to 3. Fußball-Liga last season.
Base map for Bundesliga location-map by NordNordWest from
Rhine-Ruhr overlay on map from map by Bezirksregierung Düsseldorf at

    German clubs playing in Europe for 2012-13,
    Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Schalke 04, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayer Leverkusen, VfB Stuttgart, and Hannover 96

Bundesliga clubs in 2012-13 UEFA Champions League & Europa League (7 clubs)
Champions League icon from

    2012-13 Bundesliga Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data

2012-13 Bundesliga Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data
Here are links to the attendance data I used, at [note: Attendance is located above the league table, on the far right].
2011-12 Bundesliga attendance
2011-12 2-Bundesliga attendance
2011-12 3-Ligen attendance.


Photo and Image credits for chart page – Borussia Dortmund Trophy celebration, Jürgen Klopp, Robert Lewandowski, ‘Borussia Dortmund v Qarabag UEFA Europa League Play-Off‘ [Gallery]. Shunji Kagawa, photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Europe) via Jakub Błaszczykowski, photo by Frank Augstein/AP at Ivan Perišić, photo from Reuters via Großkreutz, photo by Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images via Dortmund fans with flags from Getty Images via
Large photo of Westfalenstadion from Panoramic photo of interior of Westfalenstadion from Borussia Dortmund official site’s page on Signal-Iduna Park, at
Ultras with flags and flares photo from Small location map of Dortmund from, ‘Dortmund‘.

Photo and Image credits for the other clubs on the chart page -
Bayern Munich/Allianz Arena – Photo of Bayern fans with banners from Getty Images via, here. Close-up photo of exterior lighted panels of Alianz Arena by Marco Döhr at Exterior photo of Allianz Arena from [free architecture guide], here.

FC Schalke 04/Veltins Arena – Photo of Schalke fans with banners at Veltins-Arena from thread, here. Interior photo of Veltins-arena from, here. Aerial photo of Veltins-Arena from official site of the facility,

Borussia Mönchengladbach/Borussia-Park – Mönchengladbach fans with flags photo from Exterior photo by T vanDam at Aerial image of Borussia-Park from’s Eye satellite view.

Stutthart/Mercedes-Benz Arena – Photo of Stuttgart fans with flags and banners by via Interior panoramic image by Markus Ungar Aerial image from’s Eye satellite view.

Hannover/AWD_Arena – Photo of Hannover fans with scarves by Maabpaa at, here. Photo of interior of AWD-Arena by hack man at, here.Aerial photo of AWD-Arena from this site:

Thanks to
Attendance data from
Base map for Bundesliga location-map from; thanks to NordNoedWest for drawing that map.

July 5, 2012

France: Ligue 1- Top of the Table chart, featuring 2011-12 champions Montpellier HSC / Plus 2012-13 Ligue 1 Location-map, with 2011-12 attendance data.

Filed under: Football Stadia,France — admin @ 10:45 pm

Ligue 1, clubs playing in Europe for 2012-13, featuring French champions Montpellier HSC

Note: to see my latest map-&-post of Ligue Un, click on the following: category: France.

Note: this post has 3 gifs – one above (French clubs in Europe for 2012-13), one further down (Location map of 2012-13 Ligue 1, w/ attendance data), and one which is an enlarged section of the first gif, showing the championship-winning club (halfway down this post).

Clubs playing in Europe maps & charts…
Once again, I will be making posts like this for the 5 biggest leagues in Europe – the Premier League in England, La Liga in Spain, Serie A in Italy, Bundesliga in Germany, and Ligue Un in France.

There are a few changes to this year’s charts…
First of all, I got rid of showing the full league table {‘2011–12 Ligue 1/ League table‘. I still have the clubs listed in order of the final table, and I indicate which clubs qualified for UEFA competitions in Europe for 2012-13. The 3 or 4 much-coveted Champions League spots are shown in bands of blue-violet, and the 3 or 4 not-as-much-coveted Europa League spots are shown in bands of pale yellow-orange.

The main change is that I gave a lot more space to the champions, at the top of the chart page. So here is the format…
Going from top left to right… A photo or two of the championship-winning team’s celebration (or title-winning-goal, or civic celebration). Then the championship-winning manager is shown (with his age and place of birth, the clubs he played for and the clubs he managed, and his honors listed). Then the top 4 or 5 or 6 goals and assists leaders on the team are shown (with info on: players’ home-nation’s flag; the players’ age, birth-location, goals and assists [domestic league games] that season, and international caps & goals). Then there are 5 or 6 photos of the club’s stadium and of their fans in the stadium; along with illustrations of the club’s 2011-12 kits. I might be able to squeeze in a general-interest-photo of the champions’ home-city (like here, with the photo of the 18th century aqueduct in Montpellier). Then the championship-winning club’s thumbnail info is listed (including attendance data, major domestic titles, and total seasons in first division). Finally, the championship-winning club’s crest is shown alongside the coat of arms of their home-city, with metro-population listed. I added a small location-map to show where Montpellier is located in the south of France, but I will only do that with championship-winning-clubs who come from locations that many people could not pinpoint off the top of their heads, like Dortmund in Germany.]

Underneath the championship-winning club’s section of the chart, there are all the other clubs from that country that have qualified for Europe – with 3 photos of the club’s stadium and their fans; illustrations of the club’s 2011-12 kits; and each club’s thumbnail info including attendance data, major domestic titles and total seasons in first division. Explanations for how each non-championship-winning club qualified for Europe are shown at the far right-hand side of the chart.""

    Montpellier HSC – champions of France

Shock-winners Montpellier HSC won their first national title ever. It was so surprising because most everyone thought that the heavily-backed Paris Saint-Germain (aka the Manchester City of France) would run away with it, after their spending spree last summer (PSG finished in 2nd place). But Montpellier, owned since 1974 by the Falstaffian figure of Louis Nicollin, and managed by the calm and understated René Girard, surprised everyone and came out on top.
From, by Matt Spiro, from 22 May 2012, ‘How Montpellier beat PSG to win the French title‘.

Montpellier, as Sport Olympiques Montpellérains, were a founding member of the French first division in 1932-33 {‘1932–33 French Division‘ (}. Olympique Montpellérains played 11 seasons in the French First Division, their last in 1962-63. Monrpellier then endured a real fallow period, when, in 1969, for financial reasons, the club was forced to renounce their professional status and play in the 3rd division. In 1974, entrepreneur Louis Nicollin (present age, 68) began his association with the club, becoming club president (a title he still holds). In and around the Montpellier area, Nicollin has had his hand in rugby teams, handball teams, basketball teams, and in football (he has made his money in the waste disposal industry). The club merged with the-then-30-year-old Nicollin’s AS Paillade in 1974, and 2 years later became known as Montpellier Paillade Sport Club (from 1976 to 1989). Montpellier got back to the first division in 1981, but only for one season (1981-82). Six years later, Montpellier were back in the top flight, winning promtion in 1987. That spell lasted from 1987-88 to 1999-2000 (13 seasons), and was when Nicollin was a bit of a big spender (for that era, anyway). All told, and counting this season [2012-13], Montpellier has been in the French first division for 32 of the 76 seasons (the French first division has existed from 1932-33 to 1938-39; and from 1945-46 to 2012-13), with Olympique Montpelliérains having been in the 1st division for 11 seasons, and present-day Montpellier SC/Montpellier Hérault SC having been in the 1st division for 21 seasons {if you want a headache, see this list, ‘France – All-Time Table (since 1932/33)‘ (}.

Montpellier’s current spell in Ligue 1 has only been since 2009-10, so that just emphasizes how out-of-the-blue their championship run was in 2012. It is pretty rare these days in a Western European football league for a club to win a title in just their third season back in the first division. By way of example, it took Juventus 5 seasons to win the Serie A title after getting promoted back to the top tier in Italy. Montpellier does have a couple other major titles, having won the Coupe de France twice – once in it’s early days in 1929 (as Olympique Montpelliérains), and also in 1990, which was during the same season that the local council of Hérault began subsidizing the club, and the club changed it’s name to their present name, Montpellier Hérault Sports Club. That 1989-90 Montpellier squad was pretty loaded with talent, featuring Laurent Blanc (251 app./76 goals), Eric Cantona (33 app./10 goals), and Carlos Valderrama (77 app./7 goals). Cameroonian legend Roger Milla also played for Montpellier (from 1986-89, with 95 app./37 goals).

Montpellier is the 15th largest city in France {‘Metropolitan Area (France)‘ (}. Montpellier is in southern France in the region of Languedoc-Rousillon, about 127 km. (78 miles) west of Marseille, and about 160 km. (100 miles) from the Spanish border. The metropolitan area population of Montpellier is around 510,000 {2006 figure). Montpellier Hérault Sports Club come from the west-central/south-west part of France that is rugby country, and Montpellier HSC’s small fan base reflects this. The club drew 17,492 per game last season (9th-highest in France), which was Montpellier’s second-highest average attendance ever (their highest was around 500 more per game, three years ago (17,981 per game) in 2009-10, the season the club returned to the top flight after a 5 years in Ligue 2). Montpellier play in a stadium that is frankly too large for them, but this is a legacy of the 1998 FIFA Word Cup in France, when the city of Montpellier’s Stade de la Mosson was chosen as one of the host-country’s venues, and was expanded to it’s current ~32,000 capacity. So, despite being saddled with a stadium short on atmosphere (because the club could barely fill it halfway), and despite a budget that was among the smallest in the league (the 13th lowest at the equivalent of 29 million pounds), Montpellier still came out on top. Montpellier’s total budget was less than what sheik-money-mad PSG spent on just one player transfer (Javier Pastore, for 39 million Euros [~27 million pounds] from Palermo). Besides their manager Girard, who spent 7 years coaching within the France national team set-up, and is a Languedoc native, the 2 main reasons Montpellier HSC won the title were Olivier Giroud and Younès Belhanda. Joint-top-scorer Oliver Giroud, age 26, who tied with PSG’s Nene for the most goals in the league, scored 21 goals and tallied 9 assists {‘French Ligue 1 Stats: Top Goal Scorers – 2011-12‘ ( Former-defender-turned-midfielder Younès Belhanda, age 23, scored 12 league goals and tallied 4 assists, and ran the midfield. Besides players who came up through the Montpellier youth set-up like Younès Behanda, MF Remy Cabella and the 20-year-old MF Benjamin Stambouli, an assemblage of journeymen helped complete the side. The best example of this was the 30-year-old Nigerian striker John Utaka, who returned to France after a frustrating stint at Portmouth. It was Utaka’s brace that clinched it for Montpellier, as they defeated the already-relegated Auxerre 1-2 on the final day of the 2011-12 Ligue 1 season (which finished 41 minutes over time due to Auxerre fans’ misbehavior). Then thousands of folks back in the Languedoc partied all night in the Montpellier city center to await the Monday victory celebration there.

Sadly for MHSC fans, financial realities have dictated that a certain portion of this league-winning squad will be shipped off, and Olivier Giroud has already been transferred to Arsenal FC. More transfers will probably take place, and a main target is the Montpellier capatain, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (en.wikipedia page, here). Yanga-Mbiwa is another ex-Montpellier youth player. So, while Montpellier must sell to remain afloat, there will most likely be more home-grown talent to come.

    2012-13 Ligue 1 – Location-map with 2011-12 attendance data

Location-map/attendance data credits -
Base map of France by Eric Gaba (aka Sting), ‘File:France location map-Regions and departements.svg‘ ( Attendance data from Stadium capacities from (at each club’s page, under ‘Stade’).

Photo and image credits for chart page -
Montpellier -
Moments after clinching the title, winning away to Auxerre 1-2, unattributed photo at
Title celebration in Montpellier city center (where giant television screens had been set up to watch the final match at Auxerre), photo by Pascal Guyot/AFP via
Manager – Rene Girard, Getty Images via
Players (left to right)-
Olivier Giroud,
Younès Belhanda,
Souleymane Camara,
John Utaka,
Champion de France banner from Montpellier official site at
2011-12 kits from
Photo of Aqueduct St. Clemente in Montpellier by Salvatore Freni at
Stade de la Mosson -
Exterior photo from Adventures in Montpellier (
Large interior photo from Ligue 1 teams.
Panoramic photo of interior of Stade de la Mosson from
Montpellier fans with ‘Saison Historique’ banner from
Larger aerial photo of Stade de la Mosson from
Montpellier crests through the years, collated by unnamed contributor at
Montpeier official club names through the years from
Location-map for Montpellier, base map by M-le-mot-dir after Eric Gaba (aka Sting) at

Paris Saint-Germain – Photo of PSG ultras Boulogne Boys by ngari.norway at, here. Exterior photo of Parc des Princes by at, here. Aerial photo of Parc des Princes from, here.

Lille – Image of architects’ rendering of Grande Stade Lille Métropole from losc.ft. Photo of Grande Stade Lille Métropole under construction [interior photo from June, 2012] from [Grand Stade Lille Métropole (Officiel)]. Grande Stade Lille Métropole under construction [photo from June, 2012],

Lyon – Photo of Lyon ultras at Stade Gerland from Lyon v. Schalke UEFA CL match [14 Sept. 2010] by S. Guiochon/Le Progres via, here. Photo of the interior of Stade de Gerland by Kostas Xenos at Aerial image of Stade de Gerland from’s Eye satellite view, here.

Bordeaux – Photo of Bordeaux Ultramarines in the Virage Sud from Interior photo of Stade Chalban-Delmas from Aerial photo of Stade Chalban-Delmas by What’s-up at

Marseille – Photo of interior of Stade Vélodrome at dusk by Scarf at Exterior photo of Stade Vélodrome at night from, here. Aerial image of Stade Vélodrome from, here.

I used the following list for total seasons/consecutive seasons spent in Ligue 1 for each club, ‘Ligue 1/Members for 2012-13‘ (en.wikipedia).

Thanks to World Soccer magazine, and their comprehensive article on Montpellier HSC in the June 2012 issue, written by Howard Johnson –

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