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A Quick Overview of Soccer in France

For those unfamiliar, this will serve as a quick breakdown of the layout and structure of club football (soccer) in France.

The top tier of French football is called Ligue 1 (20 teams). The divisions below Ligue 1 begin with Ligue 2 (20 teams). Ligue 1 features Paris Saint-Germain, one of the world’s biggest and most supported clubs. The league currently has a television contract with BEIN Sports for viewers in the United States. Seasons typically begin in August and end in May with each team playing each other twice (once each on each other’s home pitch) for a total of 38 games for each team. At the end of each season, the bottom two or three teams are relegated down to Ligue 2, while two or three other teams are promoted up from Ligue 2 for the following season.

Major Tournaments/Matches:

Coupe de la Ligue (French League Cup): Knockout cup competition only open to professional French clubs from the top three football divisions. In ’17-’18, 42 teams competed. Matches are played periodically throughout the Ligue 1 season. The cup winner claims a berth in the Europa League competition for the following season.

Coupe de France (French Cup): All French club teams from all divisions are invited to participate in this cup tournament. In ’17-’18, 8,506 teams competed in the Coupe de France. Matches are played periodically throughout the season intertwining with the Ligue 1 schedule. The winner of the cup gets a berth in the following season’s Europa League competition as well as a spot in the Trophee des Champions match.

Trophee des Champions (French Supercup): single match contest played at a neutral location in August between the winners of Ligue 1 and the Coupe de France from the previous season.

Notes from 2017-2018 season:
Ligue 1 Champion – Paris Saint-Germain
Coupe de France (French Cup) Champion – Paris Saint-Germain
Coupe de la Ligue (French League Cup) Champion – Paris Saint-Germain
Trophee des Champions (French Supercup) Winner – Paris Saint-Germain
Ligue 1 Promoted teams – Nimes, Reims
Ligue 1 Relegated teams – Metz, Troyes
Champions League ’18-’19 Qualifiers – Paris Saint-Germain, Monaco, Olympique Lyonnais
Europa League ’18-’19 Qualifiers – Marseille, Rennes, Bordeaux

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Ligue 1 Final Table 2017-2018


The 2018-2019 Ligue 1 season will kick off on August 10, 2018.  Here are some preseason odds to win the league:

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