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Ligue 1

The top division in France is known by all as Ligue 1. Due to a sponsorship deal, the league currently goes by the official name Ligue 1 Uber Eats. And let us tell you, that’s an appropriate name given how tasty the football is in France. 

While most people know about Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), the supremely wealthy club that has dominated Ligue 1 for most of the last decade, this is a league boasting rich traditions and plenty of history. Beyond the Parisian giants, iconic sides include Monaco and Marseille from the south, Nantes and Lyon further north, and clubs that continually punch above their weight such as 2020-21 champions Lille.

In typical gallic flair, Ligue 1 matches in France are always met with passion and fierce loyalty. This makes sure that any matchday is an unforgettable experience, filled with noise and plenty of colour. 

They say that “je ne sais quoi” means a quality that cannot easily be described, although at Zenseats, we’re fascinated by the wonderful quality of French football and the atmospheric stadium venues. And for this reason, we’re just as passionate about helping you find the best Ligue 1 match ticket options.

History & Origin of Ligue 1

Many of the most famous clubs in France can trace their origins to the amateur era. This dates back to 1893 when the first national championships began. Considering how powerful the country has become on the international stage, the professional era didn’t start until 1930, when members of French Football Federation (FFF) voted unanimously in favour of creating a fully professionalised league system.

Originally known as the National, the first season for Ligue 1 started in 1932-33. It was won by Olympique Lillois, a team which later merged with SC Fives in 1944 to form Lille OSC. They also became the first club to win this new league competition, once play resumed following the Second World War, landing the 1945-46 championship. 

Prominent clubs in the first several decades included famed sides like Marseille and Bordeaux, while Nice and Reims were powerful teams in the 1950s. In fact, Reims have cemented their name in European football folklore, having competed in the first European Cup final in 1956. This was hosted at the Parc des Princes in Paris and won by the legendary Real Madrid. In the 1960s, Nantes and Saint-Étienne were the dominant forces in French football, all before Paris Saint-Germain had even been founded in 1970. 

Although PSG would have to wait until the 1985-86 campaign for their first Ligue 1 title, competition was always fierce in French football. Up until their most recent dominant spell, the balance of power typically shifted between Bordeaux and Marseille, Monaco and Lyon. These days, PSG and Marseille are often regarded as the ‘Big Two’ in France, mostly by virtue of having won most league championships during the professional era. 


French Flair of Ligue 1

Back in the 1990s, a wonderful advertisement appeared on hoardings around Manchester. It boldly declared that 1966 was a great year for English football, as that was the year Eric Cantona was born. Although it was a tongue in cheek reference to the Manchester United star, France has established a reputation as one of the most prolific talent hotbeds in Europe. 
When we think about some of the greatest players ever to grace world football, many of them are French. This is especially true for those who earned fame and admiration for the flair and creativity they contributed to the beautiful game. These include the likes of Zinedine Zidane, who made his name at Cannes and Bordeaux in Ligue 1, before moving on to Juventus in Serie A then Real Madrid in LaLiga. 
Economically, it’s always been hard for many French sides to retain their best players. When considering the likes of Thierry Henry after he burst on the scene at Monaco, or Frank Ribéry emerging at Metz and then Marseille before his move to Bayern Munich. Such talents are worth their weight in gold, and that’s why Ligue 1 is the jewel in the eye of both scouts and fans, as it almost seems like there’s an endless production line of talents. 
Exciting football played with flair and panache is the hallmark of Ligue 1 - it’s what football fans want more than anything. And this tradition continues with the likes of Kylian Mbappé at PSG and Youssof Fofana with Monaco. 

Amazing French Atmosphere

Each country in Europe has their own different football culture. While the tifo tradition of huge banners and flags may be associated with the Italians and Serie A, the French are among the most creative. Ligue 1 features lots of intriguing regional and competitive historic rivalries, and fans don’t need any excuse to show their colours. 
Teams that are famed for the sheer size of their tifos in France, such as Marseille and PSG. This is mostly because they have massive stands within huge stadiums, making it possible to unfurl enormous and intricately detailed fan-made displays. But supporters at clubs also produce visually spectacular tifos, including the likes of Lyon and Lens, with banners that cover an entire stand ahead of kick-off. 
Don’t be surprised to see thousands of supporters congregating en masse outside venues in France, given that welcoming the team bus with bright flares and loud chants is commonplace here. That vocal support always continues inside the stadiums too. From the whistles and boos directed at rivals to songs and cheers of encouragement for the local team, Ligue 1 games are always a vibrant affair.
Some of the biggest venues include the 67,000 Vélodrome home of Marseille and the 59,000 seater Parc Olympique Lyonnais, along with Stade Pierre Mauroy of Lille. One of the most iconic is Parc des Princes, which is quite an appropriate name for the football royalty that often plays for Paris Saint-Germain. 
Ready to immerse yourself in the electrifying atmosphere of French football? With Zenseats, you can secure your perfect Ligue 1 matchday experience. Don't miss out on the action and find your tickets today.

Ligue 1 Winners

Team

No. titles

Year(s) of title

Paris Saint-Germain

10

1985–86, 1993–94, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2019–20, 2021–22, 2022–23

Saint-Étienne

11

1956–57, 1963–64, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1980–81

Marseille

9

1936–37, 1947–48, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1988–89, 1989–90, 1990–91, 1991–92, 2009–10

Monaco

8

1960–61, 1962–63, 1977–78, 1981–82, 1987–88, 1996–97, 1999–2000, 2016–17

Nantes

8

1964–65, 1965–66, 1972–73, 1976–77, 1979–80, 1982–83, 1994–95, 2000–01

Lyon

7

2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2007–08

Bordeaux

6

1949–50, 1983–84, 1984–85, 1986–87, 1998–99, 2008–09

Reims

6

1948–49, 1952–53, 1954–55, 1957–58, 1959–60, 1961–62

Lille

5

1932-33, 1945–46, 1953–54, 2010–11, 2020–21

Nice

4

1950–51, 1951–52, 1955–56, 1958–59

Sochaux

2

1934–35, 1937–38

Sète

2

1933–34, 1938–39

Lens

1

1997–98

RC Paris

1

1935–36

Strasbourg

1

1978–79

Roubaix-Tourcoing

1

1946–47

Auxerre

1

1995–96

Montpellier

1

2011–12


Ligue 1 Records

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