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June 8, 2008

UEFA Euro 2008: France- Squad Map.

Filed under: France,UEFA Euro 2008 — admin @ 3:14 pm

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Monday, 9th June, the French National Team will open their Euro 2008 campaign against dark-horse team Romania.  These teams are in the “Group of Death” (which also includes current World Cup Champions Italy, and the Netherlands).

{Click here, for an article from the UEFA site.}

The map also shows the 10 largest cities in France (all with over 200,000 population), plus Lille, which has a large metro-area population {click here, for the full list of largest French cities (of over 100,000 population), from the Mongabay site}.

Thanks to the UEFA site, for the French National Team kits {click here, for the Teams page}.

February 29, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to http://www.colours-of-football.com/,  for the kits.

September 3, 2007

France Ligue 1 Attendance Map, 2006-07 season.

Filed under: France — admin @ 10:37 am

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After years of drawing maps of sports leagues, I decided I wanted to better represent how “big” each team was.  By “big,” I mean successful and popular.  These two usually go hand in hand.  An ideal way of measuring this would be some complicated system tabulating championships,  cup wins,  years spent in the first division,  attendance figures, and merchandise sales.  But that would be a ridiculously vast undertaking.  To cut to the chase, I came up with this kind of map.

I decided to simply use average attendance figures to determine the pixel size of each team’s logo.  I think this system works well in visually establishing which teams are big, which are also-rans, and which are minnows.

Here, one can see the predominance of Olympique de Marseille, Paris Saint-Germain, and Olympique Lyonnais.  Also, one is able to see which smaller clubs are nearby the big clubs, while, at a glance, understanding their importance (or lack thereof). 

Another feature is that 2nd division clubs with solid followings are not ignored, as they so often are by the media.  One can see how two clubs, SM Caen and RC Strasbourg, drew better than 30% of the 1st division.  Incidentally, they both were promoted at the end of the season.

Of course there are anomalies, such as in the case of Lille LOSC.  Lille are awaiting finalization of plans for a new stadium, and are playing currently in a small, inadequate stadium with a capacity of around 18,000.  Nevertheless, they finished in 2nd place two seasons ago, and have played well in the Champions League for two straight seasons.  So by the dictates of my system, their logo is rather small sized, and does not reflect their recent success.  This will change when their ~33,000 seat stadium is completed.  It is targeted for a 2010 completion, but no one is holding their breath.

On the other hand,  Stade Rennais (aka Rennes) averages 25,000 per game, but has little silverware in the trophy case (last trophy: French Cup in 1971).  So on the map, their logo is rather large, but their accomplishments are  small.  This can be  explained by the fact that, as the prominent team of Brittany, they are assured of solid support, regardless of success.  The ultimate example of this is northeast England’s Newcastle United, the poster boys for popular futility.  Year in, year out, this club draws near or above 50,000 per game, but has not won anything meaningful since 1955.

In other words, my Attendance Maps don’t necessarily measure accomplishment, but they do measure the ability to sell tickets.  And nine times out of ten, success at the turnstile means success on the pitch.

August 26, 2007

French Ligue 1, 2004-05 through 2007-08 seasons.

Filed under: France,Hand Drawn Maps — admin @ 1:57 pm

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This map was drawn in the summer of 2004. 

It’s been updated by including the six clubs who have also been in the league since then.

Three clubs were relegated, then promoted again, in this 3-year period:  FC Metz,  RC Strasbourg, and SM Caen. 

In England, these types of teams are called yo-yo clubs.  West Bromwich Albion and Sunderland AFC are classic   examples of this; a few years ago, Bolton Wanderers and Manchester City FC also had this unwanted distinction.

I did a search, and it looks like the French also use the term…albeit as “yoyo.”

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