billsportsmaps.com

June 14, 2021

France national team, 2020 UEFA Euro [June 2021]: Squad, with projected starting lineup and 15 substitutions (26 player-profiles).

Filed under: France — admin @ 7:38 am

By Bill Turianski on the 14th of June 2021; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-France National Football team/Current squad (en.wikipedia.org).
-France Euro 2020 squad: Full 26-man squad revealed – and includes shock inclusion of Karim Benzema (fourfourtwo.com, from 18 May 20201).
-Tensions between Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappé at France on the eve of Euro 2020 (weaintgotnohistory.sbnation.com, from 11 June 2021).
-France vs Germany: Benzema and Griezmann get green light (en.as.com, from 13 June 2021).




    Below: France national team, 2020 UEFA Euro (June 2021) – Squad, with projected starting lineup and 15 substitutions (all 26 players)


[Note: you can click on the image below to view in a separate, scrollable screen.]
france_national-team_uefa-euro-2020-june2021_projected-lineup_with-15-substitutions_26-player-profiles_m_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
France 2021 jersey, from uksoccershop.com. France 2021 away jersey badge, from fanatics-intl.com. Blank map of France, from demis.nl at File:France with Corsica2 (demis).png (commons.wikimedia.org).





Photo credits for players & coach…
France players celebrating the winning goal by Antoine Griezmann versus Bosnia (FIFA WC qualifiers on 31 March 2021 in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina). From left: Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Raphaël Varane, Kylian Mbappé, Adrien Rabiot, Lucas Hernández – photo by Franck Fife/Getty Images via sportskeeda.com.
Coach…Didier Deschamps, photo by Frank Fife via lexpress.fr/actualite/sport. France jersey badge, photo from soccer.com/shop.
Goalkeeper… Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), photo by NurPhoto via Getty Images via hitc.com.
Defenders…
-Benjamin Pavard (RB/CB/LB) (Bayern Munich), photo by A. Hassenstein/Getty Images for FC Bayern via bavarianfootballworks.com.
-Raphaël Varane (CB) (Real Madrid), photo by Getty Images via uk.newschant.com.
-Presnel Kimpembe (CB/LB) (PSG), photo unattributed at archyde.com.
-Lucas Hernández (LB/CB) (Bayern Munich), photo by A. Hassenstein/Getty Images for FC Bayern via bavarianfootballworks.com.
Midfielders…
-Paul Pogba (CMF/AMF/DMF) (Manchester United), photo unattributed at sportskeeda.com.
-N’Golo Kanté (CMF/DMF) (Chelsea), photo by Getty Images via thes*n.co.uk/sport.
-Adrien Rabiot (CMF/DMF) (Juventus), photo by Icon Sport via dailymercato.com.
Forwards…
-Karim Benzema (CF/LW/RW) (Real Madrid), photo unattributed at m.imdb.com.
-Antoine Griezmann (CF/LW/RW) (Barcelona), photo by David Ramos/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
-Kylian Mbappé (CF/LW/RW(PSG), photo by Getty Images via independent.co.uk/sport.
Other player-options (Goalkeepers & Central Defenders)…
-Steve Mandanda (GK) (Marseille), photo by Icon Sport via butfootballclub.fr.
-Mike Maignan (GK) (Lille), photo unattributed at 90min.com.
-Jules Koundé (CB) (Sevilla), photo unattributed at football-espana.net.
-Clément Lenglet (CB) (Barcelona), photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images via everythingbarca.com.
Other player-options (Defenders)…
-Léo Dubois (RB/RMF/LB) (Lyon), photo unattributed at madeingones.com
-Kurt Zouma (CB/RB) (Chelsea), photo unattributed at acehfootball.net.
-Moussa Sissoko (CMF/DMF/RMF) (Tottenham), photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images via tbrfootball.com.
-Lucas Digne (LB) (Everton), photo by Emma Simpson/Everton FC via Getty Images via tbrfootball.com.
Other player-options (Midfielders & Wingers)…
-Corentin Tolisso (CMF/DMF/AMF) (Bayern Munich), photo by fcbayern.com.
-Marcus Thuram (LW/CF/RW) (Borussia Mönchengladbach), photo by Christian Verheyen/Borussia Moenchengladbach via Getty Images via cartilagefreecaptain.sbnation.com.
-Thomas Lemar (AMF/ LW/RW) (Atlético Madrid), photo unattributed at futballnews.com.
Other player-options (Forwards & Wingers)…
-Ousmane Dembélé (RW/LW/CF) (Barcelona), photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images via rousingthekop.com.
-Olivier Giroud (CF) (Chelsea), photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images via theguardian.com/football.
-Wissam Ben Yedder (CF) (Monaco), photo from ligue1.com.
-Kingsley Coman (LW/RW/CF) (Bayern Munich), photo unattributed at strettynews.com.

-Thanks to transfermkt.com, for player-position info.


February 9, 2021

France: 2020-21 Ligue 1 – Location-map, with 2 charts: Seasons-in-1st-Division (current clubs) & All-time French titles list.

Filed under: France — admin @ 9:12 pm

france_ligue-1_2020-21_map_w-2-charts_seasons-in-1st-div_all-time-french-pro-titles_post_d_.gif
France: 2020-21 Ligue 1 – Location-map, with 2 charts: Seasons-in-1st-Division (current clubs) & All-time French professional titles list




By Bill Turianski on the 9th of February 2021; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-2020–21 Ligue 1 (en.wikipedia.org).
-Ligue 1 – Summary: matches, table, players, etc. (soccerway.com).
-Get French Football…your home of French football in English (getfootballnewsfrance.com).
-Football en France: Histoire, stats et classement sur la Ligue 1 (pari-et-gagne.com). [Recommended.]

The map shows the twenty clubs in the current season of the French Ligue 1 [2020-21].
The map features the locations and crests of the 20 current Ligue Un clubs, along with the 10 largest French cities, and the 13 Regions of Metropolitan France (aka European France). {Largest French cities’ metropolitan area populations from 2016 census, here}. The major French rivers are also shown {see further below, at the foot of this post, for more on that}.

Plus, there are two charts on the right-hand side of the map page….
One chart shows Seasons-in-1st-Division [current clubs]. (2020-21 is the 83rd season of Ligue 1.) Marseille has spent the longest in the French top flight, with 71 seasons. Second-most seasons in the French top flight goes to two clubs – Saint-Étienne, and Bordeaux – both with 68 seasons. Also shown on the chart are the consecutive seasons each club has currently spent in the top tier. Reigning champions PSG are the current longest-serving member of Ligue 1, with 47 straight seasons; second-longest top-flight tenure belongs to Lyon, with 32 straight seasons.

The second chart is the All-time French titles list. Saint-Étienne have won the most French titles: 10. But Saint-Étienne’s last title came 40 seasons ago, in 1981. Two clubs have the second-most titles – Marseille, and PSG – with 9. Marseille last won it in 2010. Paris Saint-Germain, as mentioned, are the reigning champions, and are by far the most wealthy club in the country, to the point of making a mockery of any notion of a balanced competition. (PSG is owned by a subsidiary of the slave-owning Gulf state Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.) And PSG have been champions for 7 of the last 8 seasons, and for the last 3 straight seasons.

But PSG might not win the title this season.
Because both Lille and Lyon sit above PSG in the table, currently [9 February 2020]. So the neutral fan is left with the appealing prospect of an actual title race in France right now. Lille has won 6 straight, and seized first place on the last day of January, when PSG stumbled against relegation-threatened Lorient. Meanwhile, Lyon has been at or near the top all season, and beat PSG away, in mid-December. Here are some crucial title-race fixtures…Sunday the 21st of March: Lyon v PSG. Saturday the 3rd of April: PSG v Lille. Saturday the 24th of April: Lyon v Lille.

Here is a recent article on current league-leaders Lille, from the Guardian/football site…Lille were Ligue 1 title contenders. Now they look like the favourites (by Adam White and Eric Devin on 4 Feb 2021 at theguardian.com/football).




Major Rivers in France
Since I could not find a suitable blank map of France which featured major rivers, I drew in the rivers on the map here myself, using a variety of sources. I took extra care in plotting the rivers through the two largest French cities of Paris and Lyon. The 10 longest rivers in France are shown, and are listed at the foot of the map. Due to conflicting interpretations of river-lengths, I could not find a definitive list of the longest rivers in France online, except for the Google-search result of that {here/see the 10 images across the top of the search-result}. I then confirmed the numbers, using both Wikipedia and the online Encyclopædia Britannica, and a few other sources. Below, I have reproduced the text at the foot of the map…

Longest Rivers in France
1. Rhine (1,230 km/760 mi): rises in the Swiss Alps in eastern Switzerland. Flows through Switzerland, Leichtenstein, Austria, Germany, France & Netherlands. Empties into the North Sea, near Rotterdam, Netherlands.

2. Loire (1,006 km/629 mi): rises in the SE Massif Centrale. Longest river wholly in France. It flows north to Orléans, then swings west. Empties into the Bay of Biscay (Atlantic Ocean), near Nantes.

3. Meuse (925 km/575 mi): flows through NE France, Belgium & Netherlands. Drains into the North Sea via the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta in southern Netherlands.

4. Rhône (813 km/575 mi): rises in the Rhône Glacier in the southern Swiss Alps. Flows through Switzerland & SE France, passing through Lyon. Empties into the Mediterranean Sea near Marseille.

5. Seine (775 km/482 mi): rises at Source-Seine, 30 km (19 mi) NW of Dijon. Flows generally north-west, passing through the capital, Paris. Empties into the English Channel at Le Havre.

6. Moselle (545 km/339 mi): a left-bank tributary of the Rhine that flows through NE France, Luxembourg and western Germany. It joins the Rhine at Koblenz, Germany.

7. Garrone (529 km/329 mi): rises in the Spanish Pyrenees. Flows through northern Spain and SW France, passing through Toulouse. Empties into the Gironde estuary at Bordeaux.

8. Marne (514 km/319 mi): a right-bank tributary of the Seine. It runs north, and then bends west, and joins the Seine 6 km (4 mi) S of central Paris, at Charenton-le-Pont.

9. Lot (485 km/301 mi): a right-bank tributary of the Garonne that rises in the southern Massif Centrale. It joins the Garonne 95 km (59 mi) SE of Bordeaux, at Aiguillon.

10. Dordogne (483 km/300 mi): rises on the flanks of the Puy de Sancy (the highest point in the the Massif Centrale). Flows west to join the Gironde estuary just north of Bordeaux.



___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of France by Superbenjamin at File:France location map-Regions and departements-2016.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
-Seasons-in-1st-division data, from pari-et-gagne.com/[Bilan historique Ligue 1].
-Longest rivers in France, from worldatlas.com/[longest-rivers-in-france].
-Largest French cities (2016 census figures of metropolitan-areas), from insee.fr via en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_area_(France)#List_of_France’s_aires_urbaines_(metropolitan_areas).
-2020–21 Ligue 1 (en.wikipedia.org and fr.wikipedia.org).

February 22, 2019

All-time Ligue Un (France/1st division): List of all clubs with at least one season in the French 1st division (81 seasons/since 1932-33/75 clubs); with French titles listed.

Filed under: >Football: All-time 1st Div,France — admin @ 9:31 am

france_1st-division-ligue-1_81-seasons_chart-of-all-time-most-seasons-in-french-1st-div_by-club_w-seasons_consec_titles_colours-and-crest_post_i_.gif
All-time Ligue Un (France/1st division): List of all clubs with at least one season in the French 1st division (81 seasons/since 1932-33/ 74 clubs); with French titles listed




By Bill Turianski on 22 February 2019; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Sources…
Seasons in French 1st Division:
-Historical Review Ligue 1 (pari-et-gagne.com/[Bilan historique Ligue 1].
-Total Seasons Ligue 1 (ligue1.com/bilanClubs).
-France – Final Placings [all-time 1st division, 1932/33 to 2012/13] (rsssf.com).
-Classement du championnat de France de football toutes saisons confondues (fr.wikipedia.org).
-Ligue 1/Ewige Tabelle (de.wikipedia.org).
-Ligue 1/Members for 2018-19 (en.wikipedia.org).
French titles (Professional Era):
-List of French football champions/Performance by club in Professional era (en.wikipedia.org).

-Links to my other All-time 1st division charts [2018-19 season]
-England: All-time Football League/Premier League (since 1880-81).
-Italy: All-time Serie A (since 1929-30.
-Germany: All-time Bundesliga (since 1963-64).
-Spain: All-time Ligue 1 (since 1932-33).

    This chart is for All-time French 1st division: total seasons by club.

{Click on image at the top of this post.}
Going from left to right on the chart, here is what is listed on the chart…
1). Name of club.
2). Level (aka division) that the club is in, currently [2018-19].
3). Crest & colours [home colours from 2018-19].
4). Seasons in French 1st Division (Ligue 1): 81 seasons (1932-33 to 1938-39; 1945-46 to 2018-19).
5). Consecutive seasons in the 1st division [current/2018-19] – OR – Last season that the club was previously in the 1st division.
6). Ligue 1 clubs for 2018-19 are shown with crest and small home kit illustration [charcoal-grey column down the middle of the chart].
7). Full name of club.
8). French professional titles: Ligue 1 titles [80 seasons] (1933-2018).

The histories of many French 1st division clubs are rather convoluted, and it is disputed whether some clubs were re-formed with the original club’s history intact – or not. So the list here has 75 clubs, and not 77 clubs, because of Montpellier and Troyes. On the list here, Montpellier HSC’s league history (37 seasons in 1st division) includes the league history of SO Montpellier (1919-70/10 seasons in 1st division); and ESTAC Troyes’ league history (17 seasons in 1st division) includes the league history of AS Troyes (1900-67/3 seasons in 1st division). The sources I used that stick to this interpretation are this: {Historical Review Ligue 1 (pari-et-gagne.com)}, and this: {Ligue 1/Ewige Tabelle [Montpellier SO/HSC: #19/37 seasons; Troyes AS/ES: #33/17 seasons (de.wikipedia.org)]}. Worldfootball.net also considers Montpellier HSC as the same club as in the past {Montpellier HSC » Historical results}, ditto Troyes {ESTAC Troyes » Historical results}. You can find other examples, like this Danish site’s pages on Montpellier [est. 1919], and Troyes [est. 1900] {foot-dk}. French wikipedia (as well as German, English and Italian wikipedia) say Montpellier HSC was est. 1919, but the Spanish wikipedia disagrees, and says Montpellier HSC was est. 1974. French and English wikipedia say ESTAC Troyes was est. 1986, but German and Italian wikipedia both disagree, and say ESTAC Troyes was est. 1900. Soccerway.com says Montpellier HSC was established in 1974, and ESTAC Troyes was established in 1986. Rsssf.com says both Montpellier’s and Troyes’ 1st division clubs are not the same {rsssf.com/tablesf/[france]}.

To add to the confusion, en.wikipedia and fr.wikipedia both say that the present-day Montpellier HSC was founded in 1919, and were a founding member of the French 1st division in 1932 {see this: Montpellier Hérault Sport Club (fr.wikipedia.org)}. But when it comes to tabulating how many seasons Montpellier HSC has played in the 1st division, it is claimed that SO Montpellier’s 10 seasons in the 1st division don’t count towards Montpellier HSC’s total 1st division seasons. This site (thefinalball.com) does the same thing…go to the 1932-33 Ligue 1 page there, {here}, click on ‘Montpellier’ there, and you are re-directed to the Montpellier page which says ‘est. 1974′. That is a contradiction. You can’t have it both ways…if the current Montpellier is considered a founding member of Ligue 1, than it is the same club as the one that existed in 1932. Here is a screenshot that shows that en.wikipedia considers Montpellier HSC to be a founding member of Ligue 1 {ligue-1_founders_montpellier-hsc_listed-as-a-founding-club_.gif}, thus effectively admitting that Montpellier HSC, despite re-births and mergers throughout the years, is the same club as SO Montpellier. Ditto fr.wikipedia.org, which states, in the second sentence on the page of Montpellier HSC, ‘les Montpelliérains participent à la première édition du championnat national professionnel en 1932 en compagnie de dix-neuf autres clubs pionniers’.

If you are curious about other points of contention in Ligue 1 club league history, you can see what the web-master at Pari-et-Gagne.com has to say, at the foot of the Seasons in the French 1st Division list there {here: pari-et-gagne.com/bilan}. I agreed with all the points made there, except with respect to Lyon OU, who played one season of French 1st division football in 1945-46. Lyon OU still exists as a sports club, albeit as a 1st-division rugby union club. So how could the present-day Olympique Lyonnais [Lyon] inherit the Ligue 1 league history of Lyon OU, since Lyon OU still exists? They’re just playing with a different shaped ball now.
___
Thanks to all at the following links…
-Historical Review Ligue 1 (pari-et-gagne.com/[Bilan historique Ligue 1].
-Total Seasons Ligue 1 (ligue1.com/bilanClubs).
-France – Final Placings [all-time 1st division, 1932/33 to 2012/13] (rsssf.com).
-Classement du championnat de France de football toutes saisons confondues (fr.wikipedia.org).
-Ligue 1/Ewige Tabelle (de.wikipedia.org).
-Ligue 1/Members for 2018-19 (en.wikipedia.org).
French titles (Professional Era):
-List of French football champions/Performance by club in Professional era (en.wikipedia.org).
-Small kit illustrations of 2018-19 Ligue Un teams from each club’s page at en.wikipedia.org.

October 5, 2017

2017-18 Ligue 1 (France/1st division) location-map, with: 16/17 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed./+ the 3 promoted clubs (Strasbourg, Amiens, Troyes).

Filed under: France — admin @ 12:12 pm

france_2017-18_ligue-1_map_w-16-17-attendance_seasons-in-1st-div_titles-listed_post_c_.gif
2017-18 Ligue 1 (France/1st division) location-map, with: 16/17 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed



By Bill Turianski on 5 October 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-Teams, etc…2017-18 Ligue 1 (en.wikipedia.org).
-Fixtures, results, table, stats…Summary – Ligue 1 (us.soccerway.com).
-Ligue 1 official site (in English)…ligue1.com.

A brief re-cap of the 2016-17 Ligue 1…
16/17 Ligue1 champions…Monaco. AS Monaco, the club from the Principality of Monaco (population: 37,000), were French champions for the 9th time. Monaco beat out Paris Saint-Germain for the title, and that meant for the first time in 5 years, someone other than PSG were the French champions.

Teams that qualified for Europe
17/18 Champions League Group Stage: Monaco, PSG.
17/18 CL GS third qualifying round: Nice.
17/18 Europa League Group Stage: Lyon.
17/18 EL GS 3rd qualifying round: Marseille, Bordeaux.

Teams that were relegated to the 2nd division (Ligue 2)…Bastia, Nancy, Lorient.
Teams that were promoted from the 2nd division to the Premier League…. Strasbourg, Amiens, Troyes.

    Promoted to Ligue 1 for 2017-18: Strasbourg, Amiens, Troyes.

The final match-day of the 2016-17 Ligue 2 saw 6 teams with a shot at winning promotion. Strasbourg, Amiens, and Troyes won promotion that day, while Lens, Brest, and Nîmes just missed out. Strasbourg returns to the French 1st division for the first time since 2007-08 (9 seasons ago). Amiens makes their first-division debut in 2017-18. The third promotion place was decided on the new Relegation Play-off, which saw 18th-place-Ligue-1-finishers Lorient face 3rd-place-Ligue-2-finishers Troyes. Troyes won 2-1 aggregate. So Troyes, a classic yo-yo club, bounce straight back to Ligue 1.
Below are profiles of the 3 promoted clubs: Strasbourg, Amiens, and Troyes…

    • Strasbourg

Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace. (Est. 1906, as Fußball Club Neudorf. “When Alsace was returned to France in 1919, the club changed its name from “1. FC Neudorf” to the current “Racing club de Strasbourg” in imitation of Pierre de Coubertin’s Racing Club de France, a clear gesture of francophilia.”…{excerpt from RC Strasbourg Alsace (en.wikipedia.org)}. (The Alsace part of their name was added in 2012.)
City-population of Strasbourg: around 276,000/ 7-largest city in France {see this} {2012 census}; metro-area population: around 773,000/ 9th-largest urban area in France {see this} {2013 estimate}. Strasbourg is, by road, 3 km (1.5 miles) from the German border, and Strasbourg is, by road, 150 km (93 mi) W of Stuttagrt, Germany. Strasbourg is, by road, 492 km (306 mi) E of Paris.

Colours: Blue-with-White. Nickname: Le Racing.

Major titles:
1 French title (1979).
3 Coupe de France titles (1951, 1966, 2001).
Seasons in the 1st division: counting 2017-18, Strasbourg have spent 57 seasons in the French 1st division. Strasbourg were previously in Ligue 1 for a one season spell in 2007-08. Then, after going into financial liquidation, the club was relegated to the fourth tier of French football following the 2010–11 Championnat National season, and then demoted another step to the regional fifth tier. Strasbourg have won 4 promotions in 6 years since then. The club is something of an under-achiever. This can be seen in the fact that despite being from the 7th-largest city in France, and despite having won one French title (in 1979) and 3 Coupe de France titles (last in 2001), and despite having played in 71 percent of all French top-flight seasons (57 out of 80 Ligue 1 seasons),…“the club has never really managed to establish itself as one of France’s leading clubs, experiencing relegation at least once a decade since the early 1950s.”…{excerpt from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RC_Strasbourg_Alsace}.

Manager of RC Strasbourg: Thierry Laurey (age 55), born in Troyes, France. A few years ago, Thierry Laury led Corsican minnows Gazélec Ajaccio to back-to-back promotions – from the amateur 3rd division to Ligue 1. Gazélec became one of the smallest-ever clubs to play in the French top flight. In Ligue 1 in 2015-16, tiny Gazélec Ajaccio finished in 19th place (4 points from safety) in their first-ever season in the French top flight, then were relegated back to the second division. Laurey parted ways with Gazélec upon the cub’s relegation back to the 2nd tier. Then he joined the just-promoted RC Strasbourg that same summer of 2016, and led that 2nd-tier side to its second-straight promotion, as Strasbourg won the 16/17 Ligue 2. Strasbourg ended up finishing the 2016-17 Ligue 2 season with a ten-match undefeated run, winning their last 3, and edging Amiens by a point. (Both Strasbourg and Amiens have now both won back-to-back promotions.)

Upon taking over at Strasbourg, Thierry Laurey had brought over one of his forwards at Gazélec, the Morocco international Khalid Boutaïb, and Boutaïb was the second-highest scorer in Ligue 2 last season (with 20 goals; only Troyes’ FW Adama Niane scored more in Ligue 2 last season). (Boutaïb has since moved on to Turkish Süper Lig club Yeni Malatyaspor.) Another stand-out player for Strasbourg in their promotion-campaign was MF/winger Dmitri Liénard, who had the second-best assists tally in Ligue 2 in 16/17, with 11 assists (as well as 4 goals). Liénard returns to anchor the Strasbourg offense in 17/18. Dmitri Liénard, who was born 95 miles down the road in Belfort, is a 29-year-old who had never played above the 3rd tier before last season. (See photo of both, below.)

So now RC Strasbourg, after liquidation and a punitive re-formation, have seen stints in the 5th tier (in 2011-12), and in the 4th tier (in 2012-13), and in the 3rd tier (from 2013 to 2016), and in the 2nd tier (2016-17), and re-joins the French first division after a 9-year absence. In the interim the re-formed club added the Alsace appelation to their official name (in 2012).

The city of Strasbourg is the 7th-largest in France (276 K city-population/773 K metro-population). When previously in the 1st division, and since 2003, RC Strasbourg had drawn between 14-and-19-K. Two seasons ago in the amateur 3rd division, RC Strasbourg drew an impressive 12.8 K. Last season [2016-17], Strasbourg drew 17.0 K in Ligue 2 (second-best crowds-size, behind only RC Lens). Currently [October 2017], Strasbourg are drawing a very solid 24.1 K (7th-best in Ligue 1), at their 29-K-capacity Stade de la Meinau. But Strasbourg are stuck in the relegation zone, in 19th place, with one win and 2 draws after 8 matches.

strasbourg_rc-strasbourg-2017-promoted_thierry-laurey_khalid-boutaib_dmitri-leinard_stade-de-la-meinau_i_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – 16/17 RC Strasbourg jersey, photo unattributed at twitter.com/uniform_11. Aeial shot of Strasbourg, photo from en.strasbourg.eu/gallery . Aerial shot of Strasbourg’s Stade de la Meinau, photo by Hervé Colson via skyscrapercity.com/[thread: Strasbourg]. Interior shot of stadium [full house], photo from rcstrasbourgalsace.fr. Shot of stands supporter-groups of RC Strasbourg, photo from rcstrasbourgalsace.fr. Thierry Laurey, photo by A.Réau/L’Equipe at equipe.fr. Leinard and Boutaib, photo by Jean-Marc Loos/MaxPPP at france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/grand-est. Shot of Strasbourg players celebrating after winning promotion [19 May 2017], photo by Partick Herzog/AFP via rtl.fr/sport/football/rc-strasbourg-le-retour-express-d-un-illustre-club-vers-la-ligue-1.

    • Amiens SC

Amiens Sporting Club. (Est. 1901.)
City-population of Amiens: around 132,000/ which makes Amiens around the ~28th-largest city in France {see this} {2012 census}; metro-area population: [no metro-populations measured/too small a city]. Amiens is the capital of the Somme department in Hauts-de-France. Amiens is by road, 159 km (97 miles) N of Paris. Amiens is, by road, 141 km (88 mi) SW of Lille.
Colours: White-with-Black trim. Nickname: Les Licornes (The Unicorns).
Major titles: (none).
Seasons in the 1st division: 2017-18 will be Amiens’ first season in the French 1st division. Amiens were in the amateur French 3rd division two years ago, and now Amiens have won back-to-back promotions. Amiens, whose nickname is Les Licornes (The Unicorns), play in an unusual stadium, the small, 12-K-capacity Stade de la Licorne, which features an outside wall/roof comprised of 4 walls of half-arced metal/glass/plexiglass. To gain promotion to the 1st division, Amiens won their last 6 matches last season. Amiens secured promotion to Ligue 1 on the final day of the 2016-17 Ligue 2 season, when 6 clubs had a shot at promotion. Playing away to Reims, Amiens clinched promotion with the last kick of the season. The goal was scored from a corner kick, with 2 Amiens players volleying – a kick-pass-volley across the mouth of the goal and then a carefully-placed header by DF Oualid El Hajjam to set up Emmanuel Bourgard, who collected the ball outside the right corner of the box (see photo below), and fired in the winner. With that goal, Amiens leap-frogged 4 teams to finish in 2nd place & automatic promotion. That’s how tight the French second division was last season. Here is an article on that, with video of the thrilling promotion-winning goal for Amiens {Watch: Amiens clinches promotion to Ligue 1 on last kick of the season (si.com/planet-futbol)}.

Manager of Amiens: Christophe Pélissier (age 54), born in Revel, SW France. Christophe Pélissier had gotten tiny Luzenac promoted from the 3rd division to Ligue 2 in 2013-14, but Luzenac was denied entry into the second tier because of an inadequate stadium. (Luzenac, a tiny club from the Pyrenees located very close to the Spanish and Andorran borders, are from a town [Luzenac] that has less than one thousand inhabitants.) Luzenac would have been the smallest-ever club to play in the French second division. So Christophe Pélissier moved on, and in the summer of 2015 he signed as manager of northern-France-based Amiens SC.

Going back 20 seasons, since 1997-98, Amiens have went down to the 3rd tier and back up to the 2nd tier 3 times, with 13 seasons since then in the 2nd division, and 7 seasons in the 3rd division. When Christophe Pélissier took over the reins at Amiens in the summer of 2015, the club had been about to start its fourth straight season in the 3rd division (Championnat National).

Christophe Pélissier has now led Amiens to consecutive promotions. Amiens were drawing in the 4-5-K-range in the Championnat National [3rd division] in the mid-2010s, but had actually drawn almost twice that when they were in the second division in 2011-12, when they drew 9.5 K but finished dead last and went straight back down to the amateur third division. When Christophe Pélissier took over at Amiens in 2015-16, Amiens drew 5.2 K and finished third, behind Strasbourg and Orléans. The following season [2016-17] Amiens finished in 2nd place behind Strasbourg, and they increased their crowds to 7.9 K.

This season in Ligue 1, after 3 home matches, Amiens are playing to 80-percent-capacity and drawing 9.8 K, which is only slightly more than what they were drawing 6 years ago, in 2011-12, when they were in the 2nd division. So their fairy-tale rise up the ladder has not really produced much more of a fanbase since then (only +0.3 K more attendance). And 8 games into the season, the Unicorns are having a tough time of it in the top flight, just a point above the relegation zone, with 2 wins and 5 losses in their first 7 matches. Plus there was the barrier collapse that injured over 20 visiting Lille fans on Sept. 30 (see following links) {Stand collapses as Lille fans celebrate their goal against Amiens. Match abandoned [30 Sept.2017]. (twitter.com/90thMin).} {Stadium barrier collapses injuring 20 fans in Ligue 1 clash between Amiens and Lille (telegraph.co.uk/football).}

amiens_promoted-2017_stade-de-la-licorne_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Amiens 17/18 jersey, photo unattributed at sportetstyle.fr. Amiens, shot from canal with cathedral in background, photo from somme-tourisme.com. 1st aerial shot of Stade de la Licorne, photo unattributed at stadiumdb.com. 2nd aerial shot of Stade de la Licorne, photo unattributed at 1001salles.com.
Photo and screenshot of Amiens’ promotion winning-goal & celebration, from beinsports.com/ph/ligue-1/video/strasbourg-and-amiens-win-promotion. Christophe Pélissier (Amiens manager) celebrates promotion at Reims, photo by Presse Sports via lequipe.fr/football.

    • Troyes AC

Espérance Sportive Troyes Aube Champagne [aka Troyes, aka ESTAC]. (Est. 1986.)
City-population of Troyes: around 60,000/ which means that, at the last census [2012], Troyes just missed out on being on the list of 75-largest cities in France {see this}.
Troyes is the capital of the department of Aube in north-central France, and is located on the Seine river, in the Champagne region. Troyes is, by road, 178 km (110 mi) SE of Paris.
Colours: Blue-with-White trim. Nickname: (none).
Major titles: (none).
Seasons in the 1st division: Counting 2017-18, Troyes has played 9 seasons of French 1st division, and were previously in Ligue 1 for a one-season spell in 2015-16. A previous club from Troyes (AS Troyes Savinienne) played 8 seasons of French top-flight football, mainly in the 1950s.
Manager of Troyes: Jean-Louis Garcia (age 55), born in Ollioules (near Toulon, in SE France).

Troyes is a small city of around 60,000 {2012 figure}, and is located in the Champagne region of northern France. Troyes is situated on the Seine, about 150 km (or 93 mi) ENE and upriver from Paris (as the crow flies). The town of Troyes has existed since the Roman era, and the old town boasts many extant half-timbered houses from the 16th Century (see photo of a nice cobble-stoned street in the old town in Troyes, below). The Troyes pro football club wears royal-blue, and bears the official and profoundly unwieldy name of Espérance Sportive Troyes Aube Champagne (ESTAC). But no English-speaking fans or media outlets that I have ever come across calls the club “Ess-tock”. And I really wonder whether any French football fans call them anything other than “Twah”. But the club sure expects people to call them ESTAC (“Ess-tock”), because their crest has that acronym spelled-out in large letters, and the club’s official website’s address is estac.fr.

The football club of Troyes had went under twice in the 20th Century. The first incarnation – named AS Troyes Savinienne – existed from 1900 to 1967, and played 8 seasons in the first division, mostly in the 1950s, and once made it to the final of the Coupe de France (in 1956, losing to Sedan-Ardennes). Then the second incarnation of Troyes were formed in 1970 (3 years after the first version were wound up), but Troyes Mark-2 – named Troyes Aube Football (TAF) – didn’t last the decade and went bankrupt in 1979. Then Troyes had no club to speak of for 7 years, until this present-day/third incarnation was established, in 1986. It then took Troyes/ESTAC 13 years to make it from the amateur divisions into the top flight – their first season in French football was in 1986-87, and then they won promotion to Ligue 1 for the first time in May 1999. Since 2003, Troyes have went down to the second tier and back up to Ligue Un 4 times – a true yo-yo club. (Troyes AC have been in the French 1st division for a 4-season spell from 1999-2003; then a 2 season spell from 2005-07; then a one-season spell in 2011-12, then a one-season spell in 20115-16, and now they are back in Ligue 1 for 2017-18.)

Troyes play in the 21.6-K-capacity Stade de l’Aube, which has been around for over 90 years, but, as you can see below, is pretty up-to-date. Troyes can draw around 11-to-14 K in the top flight, and around 7-to-10 K in the second tier. Last season, Troyes drew 7.2 K last season in Ligue 2. Troyes were powered by Ligue 2 leading scorer Adama Niane (see photo below). Niane is a 24-year-old Bamako, Mali-born Mali international. Adama Niane scored a league-best 23 goals in the 2016-17 Ligue 2, as Troyes finished in the 3rd, and then went on to win the last promotion spot via the new Relegation Play-off (see photo below). Adama Niane returns for Troyes in 2017-18. Another stand-out player in Troyes’ successful promotion campaign of 16/17 was 33-year-old MF Stéphane Darbion, who had 10 assists (as well as 5 goals), plus Darbion scored the promotion-clinching goal [in the 91st minute of the 1st leg of the Relegation Play-off v Lorient]. Darbion also returns for 2017-18. Currently (5 October 2015), after 4 home matches in the 2017-18 Ligue 1 season, Troyes are drawing a mediocre 10.9 K, but they are playing quite well – they just beat Saint-Étienne 2-1. After 8 matches, Troyes sit 11th, on 3 wins, 2 draws, and 3 losses.

troyes_promoted-2017_stade-del-l-aube_jean-louis-garcia_adama-niane_stephane-darbion_c_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – 17/18 Troyes jersey, photo unattributed at 4.bp.blogspot.com. Old village street in Troyes, photo by openroads.com, at flickr.com. Aerial shot of stadium and surrounding countryside outside of Troyes, photo unattributed at info-stades.fr [thread: Troyes, Stade de l'Aube]. Exterior of stadium at night, photo by Troyes aka ESTAC at estac.fr/Stade-de-l-Aube-theatre-d-une-passion. Interor of stadium, photo from [the now-defunct site] france-stades.com via thefootballstadiums.com. Jean-Louis Garcia, screenshot from sports.orange.fr/videos. Adama Niane, photo unattributed at mercato365.com. Stephane Darbion, photo unattributed at footmercato.net
___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of France, by Eric Gaba (aka Sting)/Otourly/NordNordWest, at File:France adm-2 location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
-Attendances, from E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
-2016-17 stadium capacities (for league matches), from Ligue 1/Stadia and locations (en.wikipedia.org).
-Coupe de France titles, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coupe_de_France#Performance_by_club.
-French 1st division titles, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligue_1#Performance_by_club.
-reddit.com/r/soccer/comments/72jfyk/current_situation_of_all_teams_relegated_from_the-top-5-European-leagues.
-Seasons in French 1st division…
sources:
1. I mainly referred to Official Ligue 1 site’s fantastic list {ligue1.com/ligue1/[Total Seasons]}. The only discrepency I could find on this list is that they combined both Troyes clubs’ 1st division spells (9 seasons in French 1st division for present-day Troyes club + 8 seasons in 1st division for original Troyes top-flight club, Union Sportive Troyenne [who played 8 seasons in the 1950s and early 1960s, but were dissolved in 1967].) The two entities are considered different clubs.
2. As of 4 Oct. 2017, the list on wikipedia’s Ligue 1 page is completely wrong {en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligue_1#Members_for_2017-18}…it was updated incorrectly and you can see that easily enough when you see there that they put Dijon’s seasons-in-1st-division (as of start of 17/18 season) as “1″, when it is quite obvious that should say “2″. And most other team’s seasons-in-1st-division numbers are also off by minus-1.
3. This other one at wikipedia is also riddled with inconsistencies {en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ligue_1_clubs}; they probably used that bogus list above as source.
4. RSSSF list, but updated only to 2012-13 {France – Final Placings/Chronological Development [1932/33-2012/13]}. Lyon’s seasons-in-1st-division number is off by one, but that’s the only (and very rare) error I could find. You just have to add by 5, or less-per-club, depending on the club, to arrive at 2017-18 seasons-in-1st-division numbers. In other words, too much trouble.

October 22, 2016

2016-17 Ligue 1 (France/1st division) location-map, with: 15/16 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed./ Plus the 3 promoted clubs (Nancy, Dijon, Metz).

Filed under: France — admin @ 8:07 pm

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2016-17 Ligue Un [1] (France/1st division) location-map, with: 15/16 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed



By Bill Turianski on 22 October 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-Teams, etc…2016-17 Ligue 1 (en.wikipedia.org).
-Fixtures, results, table, stats…Ligue 1 [summary] (soccerway.com).
-Ligue 1 official site (in English)…ligue1.com.

New Regions of France (effective 1 Jan 2016/final decree of names on 1 Oct 2016).
…Regions in France have been reduced from 27 regions to 18 regions…Regions of France [1982-2016] (en.wikipedia.org).

    The 3 promoted clubs in the 2016-17 Ligue Un (Nancy, Dijon, Metz)

Nancy won the 2015-16 Ligue 2. Dijon finished in 2nd place in the 15/16 Ligue 2. Metz finished in 3rd place in the 15/16 Ligue 2, bouncing straight back up to Ligue 1.

    • AS Nancy

(Est. 1967). City-population of Nancy: around 104,000/ 38th-largest city in France {see this}; metro-area population: around 434,000/ 20th-largest urban area in France {see this} {2012 estimates}. Nancy is, by road, 59 km (37 mi) S of Metz. Nancy is, by road, 160 km (99 mi) W of Strasbourg. Nancy is, by road, 385 km (239 mi) E of Paris.

Colours: Red-and White. Nicknames: ASNL, Les Chardons (The Thistles).

Manager: Pablo Correa (age 49), born in Montevideo, Uruguay. (See photo of Pablo Correa, and caption, further below.)

Major titles: 1 Coupe de France title (1978) (with Nancy winning 1-0 over Nice, the goal scored by Michel Platini in the 57th minute).
Seasons in the 1st division: counting 2016-17, Nancy have spent 30 seasons in the French 1st division. Their first season in the top flight was in 1970-71 (which was just 4 years after the club was formed, in 1967). The previous spell AS Nancy had in Ligue 1 was an eight-season spell from 2005-06 to 2012-13.

Thus far, up to 10 games (on 22 October), Nancy have had a horrible time of it back in Ligue 1, and have only won once, and sit in the relegation zone. Nancy are drawing pretty well, though, at 17.7 K per game. That is an increase of 2.6 K from last year. They are filling their stadium well, playing to 88.2 percent-capacity.

nancy_stade-marcel-picot_promoted2016_m-dalé_a-robic_y-hadji_p-correa_i.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Photo of 16/17 Nancy jersey unattributed at footballkitnews.com/jpg. Aerial photo of Foire de Nancy 2010 (2010 Fair of Nancy) -Cours Léopold, photo by François Bernardin at File:Foire-de-Nancy Cours-Léopold.JPG (commons.wikimedia.org). Skyline view of central Nancy, photo by Toltek at File:NancycentreEst.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org). Aerial shot of Stade Marcel Picot, photo by AS Nancy at asnl.net/stade_presentation. Shot of AS Nancy supporters with scarves held up, photo by Lolotho at File:Supporter asnl.jpg (commons.wikimedia.org). Photo of MauriFred Marvaux at gettyimages.in. Photo of Antony Robic celebrating with fans, photo unattributed at football365.fr.
Photo of coach Pablo Correa celebrating promotion (April 25 2016), photo by Jean-Christophe Verhaegen/AFP at zimbio.com. Photo of AS Nancy players and staff singing as they celebrate promotion (April 2016), photo by Jean-Christophe Verhaegen/AFP at zimbio.com. Promotion celebration in Nancy city centre, photo by Fans Of Nancy (@asnlfans) | Twitter.

    • Dijon

(Est. 1998). City-population of Dijon: around 152,000/ 17th-largest city in France {see this}; metro-area population: around 239,000 {2012 estimates}. Dijon is, by road, 263 km (163 mi) SE of Paris.

Colours: Red-and White-with-Black-trim. Nicknames: DFCO, Les Rouges.

Manager: Olivier Dall’Oglio (age 52), born in Alès, southern France.

Major titles: (none).
Seasons in the 1st division: counting 2016-17, Dijon have spent 2 seasons in the French 1st division. Their first season in the top flight was in 2012-13.

Dijon have been renovating their stadium, and due to the demolition and rebuilding of one of the stands at the Stade Gaston Gérard, capacity for 2016-17 has been reduced by about 5.3 K, to 10,578. Dijon began the 16/17 campaign poorly, but have recently improved their form and are unbeaten in 4 – with a win and then 2 draws, then a 1-0 win (v Lorient on 22 October), and Dijon have moved above the relegation zone. Dijon currently (Oct. 22 2016) are playing to a decent 82.9 percent-capacity after 5 home matches, at 8,846 per game at their (temporarily-reduced-capacity) stadium.

Here is a map-and-post that I made, from 2011, which features Dijon, when they had gained promotion to Ligue 1 for the first time; it has more information on Dijon’s ongoing stadium re-build…France: the 3 promoted clubs from Ligue 2 to Ligue 1, for the 2011-12 season (Évian TG, Ajaccio, Dijon).

dijon-fco_promoted2016_stade-gaston-gerard_o-dall-aglio_j-tavares_l-diony_e_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
16/17 Dijon jersey, photo by Dijon FCO at dfco.fr/shop. Aerial photo of Dijon city centre, photo unattributed at kukly-bratc.ru/[Djon France] k.e. Interior-photo of stadium, photo unattributed at essma.eu e. Shot of recently-built stand, photo unattributed at stadedijonfootball.t.s.f.unblog.fr. Olivier Dall’Oglio, photo unattributed at sofoot.com. Júlio Tavares, photo by dijon-sportnews.fr. Loïs Diony, photo by Emmanuel Lelaidier at francetvsport.fr/football/ligue-2. Tavares jumping in celebration, photo by Ligue 1 at ligue1.com/ligue1/article/dijon-secure-promotion.

    • Metz

(Est. 1967). City-population of Metz: around 119,000/ 30th-largest city in France {see this}; metro-area population: around 389,000 {2012 estimates}. Metz is, by road, 59 km (37 mi) N of Nancy. Metz is, by road, 167 km (104 mi) NW of Strasbourg. Metz is, by road, 331 km (206 mi) E of Paris.

Colours: Garnet-Red-and-White. Nicknames: Les Grenats (the Maroons), les Messins, les Graoullys (the Dragons).

Manager: Philippe Hinschberger (age 56), born in Algrange, Lorraine (which located is 18 miles south of Metz). (For more on Philipe Hinschberger, who played his entire 15-year career with FC Metz, see photos and captions further below.) Hinschberger got Metz promoted back to Ligue 1 by the narrowest of margins, finishing in 3rd, even on points AND even on goal difference with Le Havre, but with 2 more goals scored than Le Havre.

Major titles: 2 Coupe de France titles (1984 & 1988). In the 1984 Coupe de France Final, Metz beat Monaco 2-0 (aet), with goals by (current-Metz-coach) Philippe Hinschberger in the 104th minute, and by Slovenian-German FW Tony Kurbos in the 108th minute. Four years later, Metz won the Coupe de France title again, this time in a 5-4 penalty shootout following a 1-1 score with FC Sochaux-Montbéliard. Scottish FW Eric Black had scored the Metz goal in the 45th minute, nine minutes after a Sochaux goal in the 36th minute. After the scoreless added extra time, all 5 Metz players scored their penalties (Bernard Zénier, Philippe Hinschberger, Jean-Louis Zanon, Christian Bracconi, Sylvain Kastendeuch). Metz have never won the French title, but came agonizingly close in 1997-98, when they finished even on points with RC Lens, but lost out on winning the league on a goal difference of 5 (Lens had 68 points and a goal difference of +35; while Metz had 68 points and a goal difference of +30).

Seasons in the 1st division: counting 2016-17, Metz have spent 59 seasons in the French 1st division. Their first season in the top flight was in 1935-36 (which was the fourth season of the professional French first division [ie, Ligue 1).

Metz might have barely squeaked into the 1st division last season, but seem to be holding their own in Ligue 1 in 2016-17. They started out strong, although they have lost two in a row as of 22 October, and Metz sit right at mid-table on 4 wins, one draw, and 4 losses. As of that date, Metz are drawing OK, as they have seen a 3.4 K-increase from last season (to 16.7 K)...but they are playing to just a 65.1 percent-capacity. So perhaps Metz' stadium is a bit too big (their Stade Saint-Symphorien has a 26.6-K-capacity, and was at a 2-K-reduced 24.5-K-capacity last season in Ligue 2, and is currently at a slightly-reduced 25.6-K-capacity for their Ligue 1 games this season). {From the excellent Ligue 1 official site, here are current attendances and capacities.}

Metz is the 30th-largest city in France. Metz is capital of the department of Moselle, and capital and largest city in the historical province of Lorraine. Metz is located at the confluence of the Moselle and Seille Rivers. Metz is very nearby another promoted club from Lorraine - Nancy.

Timeline of Metz, from the 12th century to the present-day...
In 1189, the city of Metz rose to the status of a Free Imperial City in the Holy Roman Empire (from 1189-1552).
In 1552, following the Siege of Metz, Metz was ceded by the Holy Roman Empire, and became part of the Kingdom of France (from 1552-1871).
In 1871, after the Franco-Prussian War, Metz was re-gained by Germanic-speaking people: Metz became part of the German Empire (from 1871-1918).
In 1919: after the First World War, and following the Treaty of Versailles, Metz became part of France again (from 1919-1940).
In 1940: during WW II, (with the Annexation of the Moselle), Metz was again re-gained by Germany [well, maybe not Germany per se, but by the Nazis] [and Metz briefly became part of the Third Reich].
On 13 Dec. 1944: the Battle of Metz ended; the Germans [Nazis] were ousted. Metz was re-gained by France for the third time.

metz_promoted2016_h-diallo_c-bekamenga_y-nbokato_p-hinschberger_h_.gif"
Photo and Image credits above –
16/17 Metz jersey, photo unattributed at 4.bp.blogspot.com/[jpg]. Photo at twilight of confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers in Metz, photo unattributed at militaryingermany.com/discover-metz-france. Aerial shot of Stade Saint-Symphorien, photo by FC Metz at thinkfoot.fr/stade-football [metz]. Panoramic interior shot of Stade Saint-Symphorien, photo by Yann Dupré at elsass-groundhopping.over-blog.com/2016/05/stade-saint-symphorien-metz. Photo of Habib Diallo, photo by Michel Dell’Aiera via wort.lu/fr/sport. Photo of Christian Bekamenga, photo by Fred Marvaux at gettyimages.com. Photo of Yeni N’Bakoto by Fred Marvaux/Icon Sport via footballclubdemarseille.fr. Photo of 1982 Panini trading card of Philipe Hinschberger, photo from oldschoolpanini.com. Photo of Philipe Hinscberger at FC Metz promotion celebration (30 April 2016), photo by Le Républicain Lorrain via forum-fcmetz.com/[promotion-celebration FC Metz April 2016].

___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of France, by Eric Gaba (aka Sting)/Otourly/NordNordWest, at File:France adm-2 location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
-Attendances, from E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
-2015-16 stadium capacities (for league matches), from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015%E2%80%9316_Ligue_1#Stadia_and_locations.
-Coupe de France titles, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coupe_de_France#Performance_by_club.
-French 1st division titles, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligue_1#Performance_by_club.

October 10, 2015

France: 2015-16 Ligue 1 location-map, with: 14/15 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed./ Plus a few words on, and illustrations for, the 3 recently-promoted clubs in Ligue Un (Angers, Gazélec Ajaccio, Troyes). /Plus a look at the new municipal stadium built by the city of Bordeaux, for FC Girondins de Bordeaux & the 2016 Euros [to be hosted by France].

Filed under: France — admin @ 1:18 pm

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France: 2015-16 Ligue Un location-map, with: 14/15 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed




Links…
-Teams, etc…2015–16 Ligue 1 (en.wikipedia.org).
-Ligue Un official site (in English)…ligue1.com.
-Table, fixtures, results, stats, etc…Summary – Ligue 1 – France(soccerway.com/national/france/ligue-1).

    France: 2015-16 Ligue Un location-map, with: 14/15 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed

By Bill Turianski on 10 October 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

    The 3 promoted clubs in the 2015-16 Ligue Un…Angers, Gazélec Ajaccio, Troyes…

Angers SCO, and their ground, Stade Jean-Bouin
angers_stade-jean-bouin_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Angers 15/16 jersey, photo unattributed at footballfashion.org. City of Angers city upon the Maine (fleuve), panoramic photo by tango7174 at File:Angers collage.jpg (en.wikipedia.org). Aerial view of stadium [view to the south], image from a screenshot of satellite view at bing.com/maps. Interior shot of stadium with nearly-full-capacity-crowd (from 22 May 2015), photo by Thierry Bonnet/Ville d’Angers at . Exterior view of stadium (looking in), at twilight, photo by M. Mouchoir at File:Stade Jean Bouin Angers 2.JPG (commons.wikimedia.org).

Angers (prounounced ‘Ahn-zhay’), is a city in western France and is the historic capital of Anjou. Angers has a city-population of around 147,000 {2009 figure}. Angers SCO wear black-and-white-stripes. They play in a 17.8-K-capacity stadium and have spent 24 seasons total (counting 2015-16) in the French 1st division. But Angers SCO had not been in Ligue 1 for over two decades. Angers had previously been in the top flight in 1993-94, when they finished last and went straight back down, drawing just 4.8 K per game. Granted, Ligue 1′s average attendance back then (10.0 K cumulative average for Ligue 1 in 1993-94) was less than half of what it is now, twenty-two years later (22.2 K cumulative average for Ligue 1 in 2014-15). That rather long spell without top flight football in the area has made it the case that Angers’ fanbase never really grew that much. Of course, it didn’t help that between 1994 and 2007 Angers had suffered 3 separate spells in the 3rd division. Once they got back into the second tier in May 2007, the side began drawing in the 6-K-to-8.6-K range in Ligue 2 (for the last 8 seasons). Currently, Angers are averaging a decent 12.4 K, and are playing rather well – they sit second on 18 points from 9 matches, after beating Marseille away then beating Bastia at home, before the international break started in the third week of October 2015. Angers might not be able to keep up that pace, but they are looking to be positioned well to avoid the drop.

Gazélec Ajaccio, and their ground, Stade Ange Casanova
gazelac-ajaccio_stade-ange-casonova_d.gif
Photo credits above – Jersey, photo unattributed at footyheadlines.com. Shot of Ajaccio old quarter and harbor, photo by Aude Balloide at aude.balloide-photo.com. Aerial shot of stadium, photo by Steafa at File:Ange-Casanova 2011.jpeg. Photo of primitive terrace behind one of the goals at the stadium, & shot of main stand, both photos unattributed at info-stades.fr/forum [thread: Ajaccio stadiums].

The city of Ajaccio has a population of around 65,000 {2010 figure}. Gazélec Ajaccio, who wear bright-brick-red/orange-&-dark-blue, are the second-biggest club in the Corsican capital (after current-2nd-tier club AJ Ajaccio), and are the third-biggest club on the island of Corsica. (The biggest Corsican club being, of course, current-1st-division club SC Bastia, who hail from Corsica’s second city, Bastia.) 2015-16 is Gazélec Ajaccio’s top flight debut. (Note: I could not find recent post-stadium-renovation photos of Gazélac’s Stade Ange Casanova, but now, wrt to the concrete-step-terraced-goal-stand [seen in the lower-right-hand-photo above]…that goal-stand now has a full set of hard-plastic seats bolted to the terrace-steps there. The whole stadium also got a stucco re-plastering and a new coat of white emulsion, and the tiny ground now has a 4.2-K-capacity.) In France, maybe 2 or 3 times a decade, a real minnow emerges from the lower leagues, often via back-to-back promotions (such as Gazélec Ajaccio just did, and such as Arles did in the 2008-to-2010-time-period). Then they go straight back down – such as Arles did in 2009-10, and such as Istres did in 2004-05. I hope this will not be the fate of Gazélec Ajaccio. But when you are talking about a club that had always drawn below 2.4 K for its entire lifetime (before top-flight-promotion), and a club who currently play in a stadium that only has a 4.2-K-capacity (for Ligue Un matches), well, you can see how the deck is stacked against them. And Gazélec Ajaccio are currently winless after 9 matches, and sit last in Ligue 1, on 3 points. {Update 7 weeks later, on 22 Nov. 2015: but then Gazélec Ajaccio won 4 in a row, beating Nice, Bordeaux, Reims away, and Bastia away in their derby. That fourth-straight win on 22 November, which moved Gazélec out of the relegation-zone to 16th place (and put Bastia into the drop-zone), featured an excellent 12-yard left-outside-foot flick/volley by Khalid Boutaib (see it here).}

Troyes (aka ESTAC), and their ground, Stade de l’Aube
troyes_aka-estac_stade-de-l-aube_c_.gif
Photo credits above – Shot of Troyes 2015-16 jersey, photo unattributed at footyheadlines.com. Aerial shot of stadium and surrounding countryside outside of Troyes, photo unattributed at info-stades.fr [thread: Troyes, Stade de l'Aube]. Old village street in Troyes, photo by openroads.com, at flickr.com. Exterior of stadium at night, photo by Troyes aka ESTAC at estac.fr/Stade-de-l-Aube-theatre-d-une-passion. Interor of stadium, photo from [the now-defunct site] france-stades.com via thefootballstadiums.com.

Troyes is a city of around 60,000 {2012 figure}, and is located in the Champagne region of northern France. Troyes is situated on the Seine, about 150 km (or 93 mi) ENE and upriver from Paris. The town of Troyes has existed since the Roman era, and the old town boasts many extant half-timbered houses from the 16th Century (see photo of a nice cobble-stoned street in the old town in Troyes, above). The Troyes pro football club wears light-royal-blue with gold and navy accents, and bears the official and profoundly unwieldy name of Espérance Sportive Troyes Aube Champagne (ESTAC). But no English-speaking fans or media outlets that I have ever come across calls the club “Ess-tock”. And I really wonder whether any French football fans call them anything other than “Twah”. But the club sure expects people to call them ESTAC (“Ess-tock”), because their crest has that acronym spelled-out in large letters, and the club’s official website’s address is estac.fr.

Troyes play in the 21.6-K-capacity Stade de l’Aube, which has been around for over 90 years, but, as you can see above, is pretty up-to-date. Troyes can draw around 11-to-14 K in the top flight, and around 8-to-10 K in the second tier. Currently (mid-October 2015), Troyes are drawing 11.7 K.

The football club of Troyes had went under twice in the 20th Century. The first incarnation – named AS Troyes Savinienne – existed from 1900 to 1967, and played 8 seasons in the first division, mostly in the 1950s, and once made it to the final of the Coupe de France (in 1956, losing to Sedan-Ardennes). Then the second incarnation of Troyes were formed in 1970 (3 years after the first version were wound up), but Troyes Mark-2 – named Troyes Aube Football (TAF) – didn’t last the decade and went bankrupt in 1979. Then Troyes had no club to speak of for 7 years, until this present-day/third incarnation was established, in 1986. It then took Troyes/ESTAC 13 years to make it from the amateur divisions into the top flight – their first season in French football was in 1986-87, and then they won promotion to Ligue 1 for the first time in May 1999. 2015-16 will be Troyes/ESTAC’s 8th season in the top flight, with their previous Ligue 1 appearance being in 2011-12 (and before that, Troyes had a 2-season spell in Ligue 1 from 2005-06-to-2006-07). In other words, Troyes is a yo-yo club, and, sure enough, they are right back in a relegation battle, sitting second-to-last after 9 matches, winless, on 4 points.

New stadium for FC Girondins de Bordeaux & for the 2016 Euros [to be hosted by France] – the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux
nouveau-stade-de-bordeaux_fc-girondins-bordeaux_may-2015_opening_f_.gif
Photo credits above -
Aerial photo of stadium in construction, photo unattributed at hotelgr.com. Interior of stadium on opening day with giant banner of Bordeaux supporter group les Ultramarines, photo by N. Tucat/AFP via rtl.fr/sport/football. Exterior view of stadium at evening, photo by/at sudouest.fr/2015/05/20/nouveau-stade-a-bordeaux-toutes-les-infos-pratiques-avant-le-premier-match-samedi. 2015-16 Bordeaux kits, photo [segment] by boutique.girondins.com. Bordeaux crest/Girondins banner from girondins.com/en/home-page.
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Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of France, by Eric Gaba (aka Sting), at File:France location map-Regions and departements-2015.svg.

-Attendances and Ligue 1 stadium-capacities, from the excellent Ligue 1 official site, ligue1.com.

-Gazélac Ajaccio 2013-14 attendance [3rd division], from E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
-2014-15 stadium capacities (for league matches) from ligue1.com; 2014-15 Ligue 1/Stadia and location (en.wikipedia.org).

August 2, 2014

France (including Monaco): 2014 football attendance map – with the 37 highest-drawing clubs in France [all French clubs drawing over 4 K per game] (from 2013-14 home league matches).

Filed under: European Leagues- -attendance maps,France — admin @ 7:08 pm

france_2014_highest-drawing-clubs_all-french-clubs-drawing-over-4k_37-clubs_post_c_.gif
France: 2014 football attendance map – with the 37 highest-drawing clubs in France [all French clubs drawing over 4 K per game]



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

This continues my new category of European football leagues attendance maps. This map for France (including Monaco) shows all football clubs in the French football leagues system which drew over 4,000 per game in the 2013-14 season (from home domestic league matches). The larger the club-crest is on the map, the higher the club’s attendance. The chart at the right-hand side of the map page shows 2013-14 average attendance, stadium capacity, and percent capacity. Also shown at the far right of the chart are: each club’s French titles (with year of last title), seasons spent in the French first division, and French Cup titles (with year of last title).

On the map, I have included the major rivers (fleuves) of France. Adding that detail just seemed like the French thing to do. Here is the page at the French Wikipedia where I got that info, ‘Liste des fleuves de France‘ (fr.wikipedia.org). There is a cool map there of the watersheds/drainage basins within France.

My attendance map for England (including some Welsh clubs) will be up next, in about 12 days.
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Thanks to Eric Gaba for the blank topographic/political map of France, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Blank_maps_of_France#mediaviewer/File:France_map_Lambert-93_topographic-blank.svg.

Thanks to European-football-statistics.co.uk, for French attendance figures, http://www.european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.

Thanks to the contributors at ‘Ligue 1‘, ‘Ligue 2‘, and ‘Championnat National‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

March 3, 2014

2014 FIFA World Cup teams: France (UEFA), prominent players in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying (theoretical best XI for France, with 4 other player-options listed).

Filed under: France — admin @ 1:07 pm




France national team. UEFA (Europe). Les Bleus (the Blues). Home jersey: blue (currently [2014], navy-blue); with white pants and red socks.
-France is in Group E (with Ecuador, Honduras, and Switzerland), ‘2014 FIFA World Cup Group E‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification: 2014 is France’s 15th qualification out of 20 tries {2014 is the 20th FIFA World Cup].
France has qualified for the World Cup in 1930, 1934, 1938, 1950 (but withdrew after qualifying), 1954, 1958, 1966, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014.
Previous WC finish: 2010, Group Stage (0-1-2).
Highest WC finish:
1998, Champions (6-1-0).

France coach, Didier Deschamps. Didier Deschamps.
France squad captain, Tottenham GK Hugo Lloris. Hugo Lloris.

The map on the chart below shows the 7 largest urban areas in France (in order of population size: Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Lille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Nice).
List of largest cities in France, ‘Metropolitan Area (France) [list of 15 largest metro areas in France]/France’s aires urbaines [urban areas]‘ (en.wikipedia.org).

Below: Theoretical Best XI for France (with 4 other player-options further below) -
[Note: players shown below reflect 2014 WC final roster selection, 'France national football team/current squad' (en.wikipedia.org).]
france_2014-fifa-world-cup_squad_best-xi_alternate-options_t.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
France 2014-15 home jersey badge, photo from footballkitnews.com/10903/new-france-world-cup-2014-kit-nike-french-home-jersey.
France 2014-15 home jersey, photo from footballshirtculture.com/14/15-kits/france-2014-nike-world-cup-home-football-shirt.
France/EU map, by NuclearVacuum at ‘File:EU-France.svg‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
France map by Demis.nl at ‘File:France with Corsica2 (demis).png‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Coach,
Didier Deschamps, photo by AP via espn.co.uk/football.
Goalkeeper,
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), photo unattributed at planetfootball360.com.
Defenders,
Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle), photo unattributed at therightwinger.co.za.
Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid), photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), photo from 1.skysports.com.
Patrice Evra (Manchester Utd), photo unattributed at fansshare.com.
Midfielders,
Paul Pogba (Juventus), photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Yohan Cabaye (PSG), photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Blaise Matuidi (PSG), photo from chronofoot.com.
Forwards,
Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille), photo by Claude Paris/AP via bigstory.ap.org.
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich), photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Other player-options,
Laurent Koscielny DF/CB (Arsenal), photo by Andrew Matthews/EMPICS Sport via london24.com/sport/arsenal.
Olivier Giroud FW (Arsenal), photo by Getty Images via telegraph.co.uk/sport.
Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad), photo unattributed, uploaded by Andeva at fmhvibe.co.uk/community/topic/12461-antoine-griezmann.
Loïc Rémy (QPR/Newcastle Utd), photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
___
Thanks to the contributors at ‘2014 FIFA World Cup qualification‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to the contributors at ‘France national football team‘ (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to http://www.transfermarkt.com/en/, for player-position details.
Thanks to Soccerway.com, for recent squad line-ups (with positions-on-the-field graphics), at int.soccerway.com/international/europe/wc-qualifying-europe/2014-brazil/1st-round/r15653/.

August 6, 2013

France: Ligue 1, 2013-14 location-map with 2012-13 attendance data / Plus all-time French pro titles list (1932-33 to 2012-13) / Plus photos of top scoring threats in 12/13 Ligue 1 / Plus, new Stadium for OGC Nice – Allianz Riviera, capacity 35,000.

Filed under: France — admin @ 12:25 am

2013-14_ligue-1_loction-map_attendance_post_d.gif
France: Ligue 1, 2013-14 location-map with 2012-13 attendance data


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

    Teams from France playing in Europe for 2013-14 (with 12/13 Ligue 1 finish noted).

#1 & #2 – Paris Saint-Germain & Olympique de Marseille qualified for the 2013–14 UEFA Champions League Group Stage as 2012-13 Ligue 1 champions (PSG) and as 2012-13 Ligue 1 runners-up (Marseille).
#3 – Olympique Lyonnais (aka Lyon) finished third in 12/13, and qualified for the 2013–14 UEFA Champions League Third qualifying round; Lyon play Swiss side Grasshoppers (on 30 July & 6 Aug.).
#4 – OGC Nice finished fourth in 12/13, and qualified for the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League Play-off round (seeding and team to play TBD).
#5 – AS Saint-Étienne finished fifth in 12/13, and qualified for the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League Third qualifying round; Saint-Étienne play Moldovan side FC Milsami (on 1 Aug. & 8 Aug.).
#6 – Lille LOSC finished sixth in 12/13, and did not qualify for Europe.
#7 – Girondins de Bordeaux, though finishing 7th in 12/13, qualified for the group stage of 2013–14 UEFA Europa League, as winner of the 2012–13 Coupe de France.

    All-time French pro titles list (1932-33 to 2012-13).

france_list-of-pro-titles_1933-2013_b_1.gif

Below -
Top 4 goal scorers in 2012-13 Ligue 1:
1. Zlatan Ibrahimović (PSG), 30 goals in 34 games (plus 7 assists made).
2. Darío Cvintanich (Nice), 19 goals in 29 games (plus 2 assists made).
2. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Saint-Étienne), 19 goals in 37 games (plus 8 assists made). Aubameyang was tranferred to Borussia Dortmund in July 2013.
4. Bafétimbi Gomis (Lyon), 16 goals in 37 games (plus 3 assists made). Bafétimbi Gomis is a possible transfer, to Newcastle United, in a proposed deal estimated to be worth £8.7m with bonuses {see this, ‘Newcastle agree deal to sign Lyon striker Bafétimbi Gomis‘ (theguardian.com/football)}.

Top 2 on the assists table in 2012-13 Ligue 1:
1. Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille), 12 assists in 37 games (plus 3 goals scored).
1. Dmitri Payet (Lille), 12 assists in 38 games (plus 12 goals scored). Payet was tranferred to Marseille in June 2013.

2012-13_ligue-1_top-4-scorers_top-2-of-assists-table_z-ibrahimovic_p-aubamayeng_d-cvintanich_b-gomis_d-payet_m-valbuena_n_.gif
Photo credits above -
Zlatan Ibrahimović (PSG), unattributed at
internalcannon.tumblr.com.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Saint-Étienne), Phillippe Vacher at leprogres.fr/sports.
Darío Cvitanich (OGC Nice), nicematin.com.
Bafétimbi Gomis (Lyon), unattributed at football365.com.
Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille), Panoramic via franceinfo.fr.
Dimitri Payet (Lille), unattributed at madeinfoot.com.

    New Stadium for OGC Nice – Allianz Riviera, capacity 35,000. Owner: city of Nice.

ogc-nice_allianz-riviera-stadium_sept2013_b.gif
Photo credits above -
Old stadium, photo by angellli at flicker.com and at commons.wikipedia.org.
New stadium under construction, http://www.info-stades.fr/forum/ligue1/nice-allianz-riviera-t6-4515.html.
New stadium, http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?p=105598349.

___

Thanks to ligue1.com, the Ligue 1 official site, for 2012-13 Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 attendance figures, stadium capacities, and percent-capacity figures, http://www.ligue1.com/ligue1/affluences/journee .

Thanks to Eric Gaba at commoms.wikipedia.irg for the blank map of France,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:France_location_map-Regions_and_departements.svg.

Thanks to this forum, http://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/archive/index.php/t-100815.html, for the Population Distribution map of France [which is from 2000 and originally appeared in a document published by Columbia University (no Internet source currently)], https://www.google.com/search.

August 9, 2012

France: the 3 promoted clubs from Ligue 2 to Ligue 1, for the 2012-13 season – SC Bastia, Stade de Reims, Troyes (aka ESTAC).

Filed under: France — admin @ 9:28 pm
    The 3 promoted clubs in the 2012-13 Ligue Un – SC Bastia, Stade de Reims, Troyes (aka ESTAC)…

promoted_france_may2012_segment_.gif
France: the 3 promoted clubs in Ligue 1



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

Troyes (aka ESTAC) returns to the French first division after a 6-year adsence. SC Bastia returns to the French first division after a 7-year absence. Stade de Reims returns to the French first division after a 33-year absence.

There are some similarities which 2 of the 3 share, but are at the end of the day these are three very different football clubs. Here is one similarity…2 of the clubs are from the same Region – Reims and Troyes are 63 km. (or 39 miles) apart and are both from Champagne-Ardenne (which is in northeast France just east of Paris). The other similarity between 2 of them is that both Reims and Bastia have played the same number of seasons in the French first division – 30 seasons [counting 2012-13]. But Bastia has spread that 30 years of top-flight-presence throughout the last 45 years ( with 2 spells – their first of 18 seasons, and their second spell of 11 seasons), while Reims has not been in the top flight since 1978-79 (33 years). Both Bastia and Reims have won major titles, but Bastia have just the 1981 Coup de France title to their name. On the other hand, Reims’ silverware cabinet is quite full (though rather dusty)…Reims have won 6 French titles (last in 1962) and 2 Coupe de France titles (last in 1958). Troyes have no major titles.

The city of Bastia has a population of around just 43,000 {2008 figures}, Bastia is the second-largest city on the Island of Corsica, but in spite of that, SC Bastia are Corsica’s largest club. The largest city on Corsica is Ajaccio, which has a population of around 65,000, and is home to SC Bastia’s biggest rival, AC Ajaccio. Ajaccio are also currently in Ligue 1 (they were promoted back in May 2011, and just survived their first season back in Ligue 1 by finishing in 16th place in 2011-12, 3 points clear of the drop). So the Corsica derby will be played twice this season as a top-flight-match for the first time since 2004-05. From en.wikipedia.org, ‘Derby Corse [Corsica derby]‘. 2012-13 will be only the 8th season that both Ajaccio and Bastia are in the first division at the same time.

2012-13 Ligue 1, Corsica derby matches:
Wed. 10 October 2012, Ajaccio v. Bastia.
Fri. 03 January 2013, Bastia v. Ajaccio.

Corsica has a population of around 302,000, and is about the size of Puerto Rico (or between the sizes of the states of Connecticut and Delaware) with an area of 8,680 km. squared (or 3,350 square miles). Bastia is on the northeast side of the island, at the base of the Cape of Corse. Ajaccio is further south, on the west side of the island.
.
corsica-flag_maure-head_ac-ajaccio_sc-bastia_i.gif
Image and photo credits above – corsicaholidaywizard.co.uk.
corsicaexperience.com/people/culture-history.
Eric Gaba at commons.wikimedia.org, segment of the base map of France (blank topographic map of France with regional boundaries), http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:France_map_Lambert-93_topographic_with_regions-blank.svg.

Note: this page on corsicaexperience.com is well done, and is a nice history lesson, and is recommended. It is where I got the larger block of text in the illustration above.

SC Bastia were formed in 1905, by a Swiss teacher named Hans Reusch (who taught German in a high school in Bastia). Bastia remained in the lower reaches of the French football pyramid for decades, and did not turn professional until 1965, upon winning promotion to the second division. From there, it only took 3 more seasons to finally reach the French Division 1, as Bastia won the 1967-68 French Division 2 by 6 points ahead of the also-promoted Nîmes Olympique, and 7 points ahead of third-place finisher Stade de Reims. In 1968-69, Bastia promptly made themselves at home in the top flight, finishing in 7th place. The following season, 1969-70, Bastia really caught a break, though. That’s because they finished second-from-last (in 17th place), but they were not relegated because the then-18-team French Division 1 was expanding to 20 teams, and only one club that season was relegated (FC Rouen). Bastia again finished in 17th place the next season (1970-71). Bastia then got some new talent on the squad, such as FW François Félix (who had 14 league goals that season, and 17 the following season), and not only did Bastia do well in the league, finishing in 9th place, but they went all the way to the Coupe de France final, were they just fell short of glory, losing 2-1 to Olympique de Marseille, before 44,000 at Parc des Princes in Paris.

For the rest of the 1970s, Bastia established themselves in the first division, finshing in the top half of the table more often than not, with high points of 3rd place in 1976-77 (with 21 goals by François Félix) and 5th place in 1978-79 (powered by Dutch striker Johnny Repp’s 18 goals – Repp was a Netherland international with 2 FIFA World Cup final apperances). That era’s Bastia squad was built around Corsica-born MF Claude Papi (Bastia, 1968-81, with 421 app./121 goals), who played his whole career for Bastia, but sadly died at only the age of 33 of an aneurysm (in 1983). It was with Papi as field general that Bastia had probably their greatest moment, when they made it all the way to the finals of the 1978-79 UEFA Cup. En route to the finals, Bastia took some pretty big scalps – Sporting Club [Lisbon], Newcastle United, and Torino FC. It was in Turin, in the 16-team 3rd Round of the 77/78 UEFA Cup, that the relatively small club that is SC Bastia achieved their zenith, as Bastia beat Torino 2-3 to win the aggregate by a score of 5-3. At that point in time, Torino were not the yo-yo club they are today – Torino were Italian champions 2 seasons previously (1975-76), and were undefeated at home for a two-season spell. The first leg in Bastia featured Claude Papi scoring on a mazy run with a give-and-go. The second leg in Turin featured a sublime, low, 20-yard volley from Algerian-born Bastia FW Jean-François Larios, plus two nice finishes from Moroccan-born Bastia FW Abdelkrim Merry (aka ‘Krimau’) (the last goal coming off an assist from Papi from the Bastia penalty circle, where Papi slotted to Krimau at the center circle).
Here are youtube.com videos which feature all those goals…
Claude Papi [UEFA Cup-1977/1978 SC Bastia 2-1 Torino FC, 23 Nov. 1977]‘ (1:07 video uploaded by obpjg at youtube.com)
UEFA Cup-1977/1978 Torino FC – SC Bastia 2-3 [2 Dec. 1977]‘ (3:52 video uploaded by eurocups dofootball at youtube.com).

Facing Dutch side PSV [Eindhoven] in the finals, the high-scoring Bastia squad might have won the 1978 UEFA Cup had it not been for a torrential pre-game downpour on Stade Armand Cesari, which made their field almost unplayable (the match should have been postponed), and nullified Bastia’s slick passing game – and the first leg finished scoreless. In the second leg in Eindhoven, PSV dismantled Bastia 3-0.
sc-bastia_claude-papi_.gif
Photo credits above – corsicaexperience.com/people/culture-history/. sc-bastia6.footblog.fr/864747/Papi-Bastia-a-la-vie-a-la-mort.

But 3 years later, Bastia were able to finally claim a major title, when they won the 1981 Coup de France title by beating AS Saint-Étienne 2-1. Bastia’s goals were scored by Louis Marcialis and Cameroonian legend Roger Milla (Bastia, 1983-85, with 113 app./35 goals). Clade Papi was unable to play due to injury, and retired shortly after. One side-note, in the Saint-Étienne squad that day was none other than current UEFA president Michel Platini (also playing for ASSÉ was former Bastia FW Johnny Repp).

Bastia’s great run, coming as it did from a town of only 40,000 or so, was bound to run short at some time, and after an 18-season spell in the first division, Bastia were relegated in 1985-86, when they finished in last place with only 5 wins and 20 points. The club remained in the second division for 8 seasons, and this time period was marked by one of the biggest tragedies in french football history. On 5 May 1992, the ‘Armand Cesari Stadium disaster‘ occurred when a hastily-built temporary stand at Bastia’s stadium collapsed, killing 18 and injuring over 2,300. The stand had been built to host the huge crowd expected for the semifinal match between Bastia and Olympique de Marseille.

Bastia won promotion back to the first division in 1994, managed by former Bastia midfielder and current [2012] Rennes manager Frédéric Antonetti, who is northern Corsica-born. The high points of this previous 11-season spell in the top flight (1994-95 to 2004-05) was a 7th place finish in 1996-97 which qualified them for the 97/98 UEFA Cup. Bastia also finished in 9th place in 1997-98. Antonetti left after the 2000-01 season to manage Saint-Étienne, and Bastia have never been in the top half of the table since. During the early 2000s, Bastia achieved their highest average attendances, in the 7,000-range in 2001-02 and 2003-04 [throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Bastia's highest average gates were in the 5,000-range]. Basta were relegated in May, 2004-05 finishing in 19th place.

Bastia played 6 seasons in Ligue 2 from 2005-06 to 2009-10, finishing in the top half of the table the first 5 years (but never truly threatening for promotion). Then the bottom fell out in 2010-11, and Bastia were relegated to the third division, a level the club had not played in in 46 years (not since 1965). In fact, Bastia were initially also administratively relegated a further level (to the 4th division) for financial reasons (a 1.2 million Euro debt), but were reprieved of that in the off-season. Bastia, with the squad full of many young players, then won the [third division] 2010-11 Championnat National by 13 points ahead of Amiens, going undefeated at home. Back in Ligue 2 for 2011-12, under manager Frederic Haentz, Bastia were again undefeated at home, and a promotion-clinching 3-0 win over Metz with 3 games to spare saw a pitch invasion at the Stade Armand Cesari. SC Bastia averaged 9,906 per game last season, which, despite being in the second division, was Bastia’s highest average attendance ever. That was the result of the buzz created by Bastia’s back-to-back promotion campaigns, as well as the buzz created by Bastia finally getting stadium improvements (which you can see on the map page). So expectations are high in the north half of Corsica, and the whole island is anticipating the return of the Corsica derby within a top-flight context.

Here is the French wikipedia page of Bastia manager Frédéric Hantz.

Reims is located 129 km./ 80 miles east-northeast of Paris. Reims has a population of around 188,000, and is approximately the 12th-largest city in France {see this, mongabay.com//France}. Reims is effectively the capital of Champagne {see this ‘Champagne (historical province)‘ (en.wikipedia.org)}. Speaking the obvious, the Champagne region is known for it’s fine wines and champagnes, and Reims is one of the the centers of champagne production.

Stade de Reims was founded in 1911, as Société Sportive du Parc Pommery, being the football branch of the sports club of the House of Pommery & Greno, a large winery in Reims. Its players (all with amateur status) were not only recruited from the staff of the vineyard and winery, but also from the other trades associated with the wine-making industry such as coopers and carters. The team wore kits that resembled the colors of a champagne bottle, with yellow-orange (ie, gold) jerseys and dark green pants. The club changed it’s name to Stade de Reims in 1931. Professional status was instituted in France in 1932, but Reims resisted shedding their amateur status for 3 years before succumbing to the inevitable and turning pro in 1935. The 1931 name-change brought about a change in kit colors, to orange jerseys (with a black chevron across the chest) and black pants, but the champagne-bottle-theme was retained in their new crest, a football with a champagne bottle on top, depicted in stain-glass form, in the colors of green, pale gold, red, and white. Stade de Reims crest from 1931 is a work of art in my opinion (see it below, and also see it in the photo of Reims’ 1950 jersey [which I found on the German Wikipedia page on Stade de Reims]).
stade-de-reims_kits_crests_e.gif
Photo credits above – footballfashion.org. Wahrerwattwurm at de.wikipedia.org.

In 1938, Stade de Reims merged with a local club, Club du Reims. The Stade de Reims name was maintained, but the club adopted the colors of Club du Reims, which were basically Arsenal’s colors – red and white, with a red jersey that has all-white sleeves. This has been Reims’ style of uniform ever since (although they have won black pants, like in the 1956 European Cup fimal).

Reims won promotion to the French first division for the first time in 1946. That time period saw the arrival of two players who would become central to Reims’ subsequent success – defender Robert Jonquet (Reims, 1945-60) and defender Roger Marche (Reims, 1944-54). In 1948-49, in just their third season in the first division, Reims won their first French title, pipping Lille by a single point. At this point in time, Reims’ midfielder Michel Leblond began his 13-year tenure with the club. The next season, Reims won the Coupe de France, defeating Racing Paris 2-1 in the final. Reims won it’s second national title in 1953, when they were managed by longtime Reims midfielder Albert Batteaux (Reims, 1937-50). Batteaux would manage Reims for 13 seasons (1950-63), and lead the club to 5 French titles (in 1953, 1955, 1958, 1960, and 1962), as well as the 1958 Coupe de France title (defeating Nîmes Olympigue 3-1 in the final). Batteaux also led Reims to two European Cup final appearances. Reims were runners-up to Real Madrid both times, losing in agonizing fashion by a score of 4 to 3 in the first-ever European Cup final in 1956 before 38,000 in Paris {see this, ‘1956 European Cup Final‘ (en.wikipedia.org)}, then losing again 3 years later in 1959 to the Albert Di Stéfano-captained Real Madrid by a score of 2-0 in front of 72,000 in Stuttgart, Germany. The Reims of the late 1950s featured 4 French internationals – Just Fontaine, Jean Vincent, Roger Piantoni, and Dominique Colonna. The Marrakech, Moroccan-born Just Fontaine had the astounding goals-to-game ratio of 93% with Reims, making 131 appearances and scoring 122 goals (1956 to 1962). The year after their 1962 French championship, Reims finished second to AS Monaco, and their veteran midfielder Leblond moved on to RC Strasbourg. The following season, Reims finished in 17th place, and were relegated (there were 4 relegated clubs per year in France, back in the early part of the 1960s). It took Reims 3 seasons in the second division to win promotion back to the First Division, but when they did, they went straight back down, finishing in 19th place in 1966-67. It took Reims 3 years again to get out of the second division, and this time, when they returned in 1970-71, Reims lasted 9 seasons, with a high point of 1974-75, when they finished in 5th place, behind Nantes (4th), Nice (3rd), Sochaux (2nd), and St. Étienne (champions).

Since then, for Stade de Reims, it was over three decades of being stuck in the football wilderness of France’s lower divisions. In 1991, Reims was administratively relegated to Division 3, after the club failed to find a buyer to help alleviate the club’s debt, which was around ₣50 million. Reims were liquidated in May, 1992. Reims was reborn in July 1992 under the name Stade de Reims Champagne. The club began play in the Division d’Honneur (4th division/amateur) and spent two seasons there before earning promotion to the Championnat National (3rd division), but at the end of the 1990s, Reims were stuck back in the forth division. The club changed its name back to Stade de Reims in 1999. In 2002, Reims finally got out of the third division. But then they were relegated right back to the third tier the next season. Reims rebounded back to the second division in 2004, yet for 5 seasons they failed to finish in the top half of Ligue 2. In 2008-09, Reims were relegated out of the 2nd division for the third time in less than a decade. Ex-Reims defender Hubert Fournier {his French wikipedia page, here} began as assistant coach in the summer of 2009, and after earning his coaching badges, Fournier took over as manager of Reims in June 2010. Meanwhile, Reims went straight back up to the second division once again in May, 2010. In 2010-11 in Ligue 2, Reims finished a decent 10th place, and 2011-12, Reims won promotion – finally – back to the first division, by finishing in 2nd place in Ligue 2, six points behind 2011-12 Ligue 2 champions SC Bastia, and 6 points clear of 4th place.

Now Reims have won two promotions in 3 years, and as fortune and good timing would have it, the club finds themselves very well set-up, with a totally renovated stadium, the Stade Auguste Delaune, which seats 21,800 and which re-opened in 2008. The City of Reims is the owner of the stadium. Stade de Reims drew 12,851 per game last season, and will probably draw from 18K to 20K per game in 2012-13, as long as they can consolidate and avoid an immediate drop back to the second division.

Espérance Sportive Troyes Aube Champagne is a club based in Troyes. The city of Troyes has a population of around 61,000. The club is most commonly referred to as Troyes, while Troyes AC is also used, and the ESTAC acronym is also used (but thankfully not so much, though, seeing as it just seems so odd to utter the word ‘Estack’). Troyes AC were founded in 1986. It is the third professional club from Troyes, after ASTS (1900-1965) and TAF (1970-79). Neither of the first two incarnations of the Troyes pro football club was in the French first division.

Counting 2012-13, Troyes AC has spent 7 seasons in Ligue 1, in 3 different spells. The first spell lasted from 1999-2000 to 2002-03 (4 seasons), and saw Troyes impressively finish in 7th place twice (2000-01 and 2001-02). Troyes collected a few scalps in Europe then, beating Newcastle United in the Intertoto Cup in 01/02, and Villarreal CF in the UEFA Cup in 02/03. Their European adventures probably contributed to their 18th place finish and relegation in 2003. Alain Perrin was manager of Troyes for a decade, from 1993 to 2002, and under him Troyes first established themselves in the French scene, while playing some attractive football to boot (Perrin then went on to manage Marseille, Portsmouth, Sochaux, Lyon, and Saint-Étienne, before he went over to Qatar for irrelevancy and fat paychecks, managing the club Al-Kor, and now currently coaching the Qatar national team).

Troyes’ next spell in the top flight was a 2-season stint from 2004-05 to 2005-06. Now, after five seasons in Ligue 2, Troyes are back in Ligue Un, after finishing in 3rd place in the 2011-12 Ligue 2, where they ended up 5 points ahead of fourth-place finishers Sedan. and won 4 of their last 5 matches. Their manager is Jean-Marc Furlan {his French wikipedia page here}.

Troyes play at the 21,684-capacity Stade de l’Aube, which was opened in 1924, was renovated in 1956, and was totally renovated in 2004. Troyes averaged 10,785 per game last season. When they first made it to the first division, in the early 2000s, Troyes were averaging in the 14,000 per game range. I am gussing they’ll average around 17K or 18K per game this season.

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Photo credits on map page -
Troyes (aka ESTAC)/ Stade de l’Aube – Exterior photo of Stade de l’Aube at night by grondhopper.blogspot.com/2007_10_01_archive.html. Aerial image is a screenshot from bing.com/map/Bird’s Eye satellite view (view to the East). Interior photo of Main Stand [unattributed] from france.stades.free.fr. Interior photo during night-time match [2007] by grondhopper.blogspot.com/2007_10_01_archive.html. Photo of Troyes supporter-group Magic Troyes 1997 [unattributed] from Troyes official site, at estac.fr/newsite/communaute/clubs-de-supporters/magic-troyes-1997.htm.

Reims/ Stade Auguste Delaune – Photo from re-constuction of Stade Auguste Delaune (circa 2007) from stades.ch via france.stades.free.fr. Exterior photo of the renovated Stade August Delaune by Ludovic Péron at fr.wikipedia.org. Aerial photo of the renovated Stade Auguste Delaune uploaded by parcdesprinces at skyscrapercity.com/thread, STADIUM AERIALS (three-quarters of the way down the page). Interior photo of the renovated Stade Auguste Delaune Wahrerwattwurm at en.wikipedsia.org. Interior photo of the renovated Stade Auguste Delaune with crowd at night uploaded by parcdesprincers at skyscrapercity.com/ Thread: FRANCE – Stadium and Arena Development News (one-quarter of the way down the page).Reims’ supporters pitch invasion: photo from stands by Stidpmi at fr.wikipedia.org. Reims’ supporters pitch invasion: screenshot of video uploaded by ProdKenny at youtube.com via wn.com.

SC Bastia/ Stade Armand Cesari – Photo of since-demolished old South Stand [unattributed] from france.stades.free.fr. Aerial photo [circa 2007] by Marc Anto at panoramio.com. Photo of new South Stand under construction [March 2012] from RCLD at info-stades.fr/forum/ligue1/bastia-stade-armand-cesari-. Interior photo of Stade Armand Cesari, (with completed South Stand at the left), from May 2012, by tolenga dany at flickr.com. Photo of Bastia fans with scrves and banners in the stands with Bastia players in an on-field huddle (circa 2010-11 season) [unattributed] from frenchfootballweekly.com.

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Thanks to E-F-S site for attendances, http://www.european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
Thanks to the contributors to the pages at en. and fr. wikipedia.org, ‘2012–13 Ligue 1‘.
Thanks to Eric Gaba at commons.wikimedia.org, for the base map of France (blank topographic map of France with regional boundaries), http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:France_map_Lambert-93_topographic_with_regions-blank.svg.

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