French football : French League One 2013/2014 season preview
PSG champions after 19-year drought
Paris Saint-Germain clinched their first French league title since 1994 with two rounds left last season. The French champions can thank Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who became the first player to reach the 30-goal milestone since Jean-Pierre Papin in 1989/90 for Marseille. The Swedish striker finished 11 goals ahead of his closest competitor in the scoring charts, thanks to seven doubles and one hat-trick. This is PSG's first title under Qatar Sports Investments, which took control of the club in the summer of 2011 and spent over �250m on transfers to strengthen the squad.
- Champions: Paris Saint-Germain (Champions League group stage)
- Runners-up: Marseille (Champions League group stage)
- Third place: Lyon (UEFA Champions League QR3)
- Fourth place: Nice (Europa League play-off)
- Fifth place and League Cup winners: Saint-Etienne (Europa League group stage)
- Cup winners: Bordeaux (Europa League QR3)
- Relegated: Brest, Troyes, Nancy-Lorraine
- Promoted: Monaco, Guingamp, Nantes.
Marseille's second-place finish in Ligue 1 last term secured them a place in the group stage for the upcoming UEFA Champions League campaign. Lille play in the UEFA Champions League 3rd qualifying round after finishing third in Ligue 1 last term. Fifth placed Saint-Etienne ended a lengthy drought by winning the League Cup and enter the UEFA Europa League in the group stage. Fourth-placed Nice will start in the UEFA Europa League play-off round, while Cup winners Bordeaux secured a berth in the third qualifying round. At the bottom, Brest, Troyes and Nancy-Lorraine were relegated to the French second division, while Monaco, Guingamp and Nantes were promoted to Ligue 1.
Blanc takes over as PSG coach
Laurent Blanc has been appointed as the new coach of Paris Saint-Germain following Carlo Ancelotti's departure for Real Madrid. Blanc stepped down from his position as France manager after their disappointing quarter-final exit at EURO 2012. The 47-year-old also coached Bordeaux to the French title in 2009, ending Lyon's long spell of dominance, and also won the League Cup that season. After reportedly trying to lure the likes of Fabio Capello, Andre Villas-Boas, Rafael Benitez and other high-profile managers, PSG finally opted to give Blanc a chance. Although Blanc has been given a two-year contract, the second year of it is reportedly an optional year as the club's hierarchy keep an eye on the situation at English side Arsenal, where Arsene Wenger has one season left to run on his contract. Wenger has long been a favorite of PSG's cash-rich owners, Qatar Sports Investments.
Cavani joins PSG in record French transfer
Paris Saint-Germain paid up Edinson Cavani's �64m release clause to buy last season's Serie A top scorer out of his contract with Napoli. The deal makes Cavani the fourth most expensive player in history, behind Cristiano Ronaldo, who moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009 for �94m, Zinedine Zidane and Kaka. The 26-year-old Uruguay striker scored 104 goals in 138 appearances in all competitions during his three-season spell at Napoli. PSG also signed Brazilian center-half Marquinhos, 19, from Roma and reports estimated the transfer at �32m. Lille defender Lucas Digne also joined the French champions for a fee reported to be around �15m. The left-back, 19, was part of the triumphant France side that beat Uruguay in the final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in June. With PSG investing heavily again this summer, new coach Blanc will have to deal with Qatar Sports Investments' high expectations.
This page is introduction to the 2013/2014 French League 1 season. Latest news, statistics, results and predictions you can find on our main Euro Football > France page.
Monaco, who are bankrolled by Russian billionaire owner Dmitry Rybolovlev, have also spent well over �100m in an attempt to secure the clubs future in Ligue 1. The newly promoted side have strengthened their squad for the new season with the signing of Radamel Falcao from Atletico Madrid for a reported �45m. The Colombian striker, 27, has penned a five-year contract. Falcao, Atletico's record �40m acquisition, from Porto in 2011, has scored 52 league goals in the past two seasons. Porto duo Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez also arrived at Monaco on five-year deals for a combined fee of around �70m. Eric Abidal, Jeremy Toulalan and Ricardo Carvalho are other big names to their list of summer recruits.
New coaches for Lille, Montpellier, Rennes, Ajaccio
Lille have appointed former Marseille manager Rene Girard as their new coach. The 59-year-old, who left Montpellier at the end of last season after leading them to the Ligue 1 title the previous year, takes over from Rudi Garcia following his move to Roma. "Since I got the reins in 2002, Lille have only had two coaches," said president Michel Seydoux. "I'm convinced Rene Girard will ensure a bright future for the club, with the same dedication and success as his two predecessors." Girard has reportedly signed a three-year contract. Meanwhile, Jean Fernandez takes over as Montpellier. The 58-year-old has been without a job since parting company with Nancy in January. Fernandez previously coached Auxerre, Marseille, Sochaux and Metz.
Former Juventus and Italy striker Fabrizio Ravanelli is the new coach of Ajaccio. The 44-year-old Ravanelli was previously the director of Juventus' youth team and also coached the reserve side. Ravanelli replaces Albert Emon, who kept Ajaccio in the first division last season as the Corsican club finished 17th. Philippe Montanier has been confirmed as the manager of Rennes on the same day his departure from Real Sociedad was announced. The Frenchman, 48, replaces Frederic Antonetti, who steped down as Rennes coach at the end of last season.
|1||Paris SG||83||46||25-8-5 (38)|
|5||St. Etienne||63||28||16-15-7 (38)|
French football league standings for season 2011/2012.
Returning Monaco threaten PSG monopoly
According to the online bookmakers Paris Saint-Germain are heavy favourites to win their second championship in a row. Monaco look set to launch a strong challenge for the Ligue 1 title this campaign. Recently promoted from Ligue 2, Monaco cannot yet offer UEFA Champions League football, but they can offer players the chance to live in a tax haven and keep all their earnings. By way of comparison, where PSG reportedly have to fork out in the region of �30m per year to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Monaco could give the Swede the same take-home salary for an outlay of just �9m.
However, a decision taken in March by the French Football League means Monaco will be subject to the same tax laws as all other clubs as of June 2014. Monaco ave even threatened to break away and apply to join Serie A and the French Football Federation have started to mediate, all too aware that the loss of Monaco would essentially mean their top division is a PSG procession. Meanwhile, French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici says that dialogue is required to ensure that a change to Monaco's privileged financial position goes smoothly, while also promising to meet the league over concerns about a 75% tax for millionaires. A proposed tax of 75% for individuals earning over �1m per year, to be paid by employers, has met with fierce resistance from the French Football League.
The preseason odds for the outright winner of the 2013/14 French football league
French Cup (Coupe de France) finals in last five years
2013 Bordeaux - Evian 3:2
2012 Lyon - Quevilly 1:0
2011 Lille - Paris Saint-Germain 1:0
2010 Paris Saint-Germain - Monaco 1:0
2009 Guingamp - -Rennes 2:1
League Cup (Coupe de Ligue) finals in last five years
2013 Saint-Etienne - Rennes 1:0
2012 Marseille - Lyon 1:0 (after extra time)
2011 Marseille - Montpellier 1:0
2010 Marseille - Bordeaux 3:1
2009 Bordeaux - Vannes 4:0
(transfer market value in m€)
Goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa (6); Defense: Ronald Zubar (2), Cedric Hengbart (0.5), Laurent Bonnart (0.5); Midfield: Benoit Pedretti (2), Ricardo Faty (2), Sigamary Diarra (1.8), Benjamin Andre (1.8), Mehdi Mostefa (1.5); Forward: Dennis Oliech (2), Chahir Belghazouani (1.5).
Goalkeeper Mickael Landreau (2); Defense: Julian Palmieri (1.5), Fethi Harek (1), Gilles Cioni (1); Midfield: Wahbi Khazri (4), Yannick Cahuzac (1.5), Florian Raspentino (1.5), Sambou Yatabare (1.3), Romaric (1); Forward: Claudiu Keseru (2), Gianni Bruno (1.5).
Goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso (7); Defense: Lamine Sane (5.5), Mariano (5), Marc Planus (2.5); Midfield: Ludovic Obraniak (5.5), Jaroslav Plasil (4), Gregory Sertic (2.5), Nicolas Maurice-Belay (2.5), Landry N'Guemo (2); Forward: Henri Saivet (3.5), Cheick Diabate (3).
Goalkeeper Bertrand Laquait (0.5); Defense: Brice Dja Djedje (3.5), Daniel Wass (3), Cedric Mongongu (1.5), Cedric Cambon (1); Midfield: Mohammed Rabiu (2), Djakaridja Kone (1.5), Nicolas Benezet (1.5), Eric Tie Bi (1); Forward: Saber Khelifa (3.5), Kevin Berigaud (2).
Goalkeeper Mamadou Samassa (1.5); Defense: Jeremy Sorbon (1), Reynald Lemaitre (0.8), Jonathan Martins Pereira (0.8), Gregory Cerdan (0.6); Midfield: Younousse Sankhare (2), Christophe Kerbrat (1), Claudio Beauvue (1), Steeven Langil (1); Forward: Mustapha Yatabare (1.5), Christophe Mandanne (0.8).
Goalkeeper Steeve Elana (2.5); Defense: Simon Kjaer (4), Marko Basa (4), Franck Beria (3.5); Midfield: Marvin Martin (9), Rio Mavuba (7.5), Florian Thauvin (6), Idrissa Gueye (4); Forward: Salomon Kalou (7.5), Nolan Roux (5.5), Ryan Mendes (3).
Goalkeeper Fabien Audard (1); Defense: Bruno Ecuele Manga (5), Lamine Kone (2.5), Wesley Lautoa (2.5), Gregory Bourillon (2); Midfield: Alain Traore (6), Maxime Barthelme (3), Yann Jouffre (2.5); Forward: Jeremie Aliadiere (3.5), Kevin Monnet-Paquet (3), Vincent Aboubakar (2).
Goalkeeper Anthony Lopes (1); Defense: Samuel Umtiti (8), Milan Bisevac (6), Miguel Lopes (5); Midfield: Maxime Gonalons (12), Clement Grenier (8), Yoann Gourcuff (7), Gueida Fofana (4.5); Forward: Bafetimbi Gomis (12), Alexandre Lacazette (8.5), Lisandro Lopez (8.5).
Goalkeeper Steve Mandanda (17); Defense: Nicolas Nkoulou (13), Lucas Mendes (4), Benjamin Mendy (4); Midfield: Mathieu Valbuena (15), Dimitri Payet (15), Morgan Amalfitano (4.5), Alaixys Romao (4); Forward: Andre Ayew (14), Andre-Pierre Gignac (8.5), Jordan Ayew (5).
Goalkeeper Danijel Subasic (2.5); Defense: Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (4.5), Gary Kagelmacher (3), Fabinho (2.5); Midfield: James Rodriguez (32), Joao Moutinho (30), Jeremy Toulalan (12), Lucas Ocampos (9); Forward: Falcao (60), Valere Germain (5), Ibrahima Toure (4).
Goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren (4.5); Defense: Daniel Congre (3.5), Garry Bocaly (3.5), Abdelhamid El Kaoutari (2.5), Remy Cabella (8), Benjamin Stambouli (3), Jamel Saihi (2.5); Forward: Anthony Mounier (4), Souleymane Camara (3.5), Djamel Bakar (2.5), Gaetan Charbonnier (2).
Goalkeeper Remy Riou (1.5); Defense: Papy Djilobodji (2), Gabriel Cichero (1), Issa Cissokho (1); Midfield: Jordan Veretout (3), Lucas Deaux (1), Vincent Bessat (1); Forward: Filip Djordjevic (2.5), Ismael Bangoura (1.8), Serge Gakpe (1.3), Fernando Aristeguieta (1).
Goalkeeper David Ospina (5); Defense: Nemanja Pejcinovic (3), Timothee Kolodziejczak (3), Romain Genevois (1.8); Midfield: Didier Digard (4.5), Nampalys Mendy (4), Valentin Eysseric (3), Kevin Anin (2.5), Jeremy Pied (2.5); Forward: Dario Cvitanich (4.5), Eric Bautheac (4).
Goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu (18); Defense: Thiago Silva (40), Marquinhos (25), Mamadou Sakho (15); Midfield: Lucas (35), Javier Pastore (27), Blaise Matuidi (18), Marco Verratti (15); Forward: Edinson Cavani (60), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (30), Ezequiel Lavezzi (26).
Goalkeeper Kossi Agassa (1); Defense: Anthony Weber (1.5), Aissa Mandi (1.5), Christopher Glombard (1.5); Midfield: Grzegorz Krychowiak (3), Antoine Devaux (2.5), Diego (2), Bocundji Ca (1.5), Odair Fortes (1.5); Forward: Gaetan Courtet (1.8), Eliran Atar (1.5).
Goalkeeper Benoit Costil (7.5); Defense: Jean-Armel Kana-Biyik (7.5), Kevin Theophile-Catherine (5), Romain Danze (3.5); Midfield: Romain Alessandrini (7.5), Julien Feret (5), Jean II Makoun (4.5), Vincent Pajot (3); Forward: Jonathan Pitroipa (6), Mevlut Erding (6), Nelson Oliveira (3).
Goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier (9); Defense: Kurt Zouma (7), Loic Perrin (5), Faouzi Ghoulam (3.5); Midfield: Josuha Guilavogui (6.5), Franck Tabanou (6), Jeremy Clement (5.5), Fabien Lemoine (5), Benjamin Corgnet (5); Forward: Max Gradel (4), Brandao (1.3).
Goalkeeper Simon Pouplin (2); Defense: Sebastien Corchia (4), Mathieu Peybernes (2), Jerome Roussillon (2), Carlao (1.8), Julien Faussurier (1.5); Midfield: Ryad Boudebouz (4.5), Thierry Doubai (2.5), Vincent Nogueira (2); Forward: Sloan Privat (2.5), Cedric Bakambu (2.5).
Goalkeeper Ali Ahamada (3.5); Defense: Aymen Abdennour (6), Serge Aurier (6), Cheikh M'Bengue (4), Pavle Ninkov (2); Midfield: Etienne Capoue (13), Etienne Didot (3), Oscar Trejo (2), Adrien Regattin (2); Forward: Wissam Ben Yedder (5.5), Eden Ben Basat (2.5).
Goalkeeper Nicolas Penneteau (2); Defense: Gaetan Bong (2.5), Benjamin Angoua (2), Lindsay Rose (2), Loris Nery (1.8); Midfield: Maor Melikson (2), Mathieu Dossevi (2), Aurelian Chitu (1.5); Forward: Anthony Le Tallec (2.5), Opa Nguette (1.8), Jean-Christophe Bahebeck (1.5).