French Football Leagues and Competitions

In France, there are 3 main leagues with the 3rd being mostly semi-professional football. Below that, there are multiple non-professional leagues that are split depending on region. Every single club in France has one goal; win the Ligue 1. Even clubs in the lowest divisions aim to make their way up the football pyramid to get to Ligue 1. 

France Ligue 1, known as the Ligue 1 UberEats for sponsorship reasons, has been widely considered one of the top 5 leagues in the world, despite being in and out of the official league world rankings. France is home to many top teams such as PSG, Marseille, Lyon and many more. 

Ligue 1 was one of the most competitive leagues in the world until PSG’s financial takeover which has seen them become the most dominant team in France and one of the best teams in the world. 

French National Team

The French national team has been an incredible national team with some amazing players. They have achieved success relatively recently but are now considered one of the best national teams currently sitting second in the UEFA national rankings. 

France has no distinct style of play unlike England, Italy and Spain. France has had for many years a core of athletically and technically gifted players that they build their style of play around. 

France went a long time without winning any major honours before winning the European Championship in 1984, they have since won it one more time in 2000. They won their first World Cup in 1998 where they hosted the competition.They have since won the competition in 2018 and finished runners-up in 2022. They were also able to win the Nations League in 2021 making them alongside Spain the only teams to win all 3 major competitions. 

During France’s time playing international football, they have had many legends, including Laurent Blanc, Didier Deschamps, Marcel Desailly, Lillian Thuram and Zinedine Zidane. France have had a group of incredibly talented players who many argue underachieved with the quality. 

Today, France are one of the best national teams in the world, and have performed very well in recent tournaments and have a very talented squad. As previously mentioned they won the World Cup in 2018 and finished runners up in 2022 while winning the Nations League in 2021. There team features players such as Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud who is there top goalscorer with 54 goals, Hugo Lloris who holds the record with most caps with 145, Paul Pogba, Kante and Kylian Mbappe who at 24 is only 15 goals away from breaking Giroud’s record and 76 caps away from breaking Lloris’ record. 

French Ligue 1

The French Ligue 1 has been around for 93 years with it being formed in 1930, however, it has only been officially considered Ligue 1 for the last 21 years with it being rebranded in 2002. From 2023 onwards there will only be 18 teams in the league as opposed to the typical 20. 2 teams are eligible for relegation to Ligue 2 and there are 2 Champions League spots available. 

Ligue 1 used to be the most competitive league with different teams entering phases of dominance regularly and the title being won by different teams each season. This was until the turn of the 21st century from 2001-2008 Lyon won the title 7 times in a row. The title was then won by a number of different teams before PSG established dominance. Since 2012 PSG have won 9 out of the last 11 seasons with only Monaco and Lille being able to break their streak. Although previous teams have had spells of dominance this PSG side doesn’t look to be getting any weaker and with such a large budget and world class players they look to be set to dominate for the foreseeable future. 

Ever since their recent dominance PSG have been able to blast ahead and break the record for the team with the most number of Ligue 1 trophies. In second is Saint-Etienne with 10 followed by Marseille with 9. Monaco and Nantes both have 8, Lyon have 7 and Bordeau and Reims both have 6. This shows how competitive the league once was with so many teams having won the league. Outside of Ligue 1, Marseille are the only French team to have won the Champions League. 

French Ligue 2 

Founded in 1933, Ligue 2 is the second highest division in France, and despite not being a very well known league, there are still some quality players and teams in this league. 2 teams are awarded automatic promotion to Ligue 1 while the winner of a play-off decides who gets the 3rd spot in Ligue 1. 4th and 5th place in Ligue 2 play a game to decide who versus 3rd place. The winner of this fixture versus 18th place from Ligue 1. If the Ligue 2 team wins they will be promoted, if not they will be in Ligu 2 for an additional season. 

Coupe De France

The Coupe De France is a domestic knockout competition that is over 100 years old. This competition allows teams from every step of French football. Teams from lower division play and every round teams from a higher division are entered. At the start of the Round of 64, Ligue 1 teams are introduced. PSG have won the most Coupe De France’s with 14 trophies to date. 

Trophee Des Champions

The Trophee Des Champions is an annual competition held between the Winners of the Ligue 1 and Coupe De France. PSG have won this trophy the most with 11 Trophee Des Champions.