Ligue 1Ligue 1, the pinnacle of French club-level football, was formed in 1932 when sixteen clubs split from the French Football Federation following a dispute over the selection of national players for the national Olympic squad. The league runs from August to May each year with each team playing each other home and away in a format of 38 matches. Each season culminates in a championship playoff that is contested between the top three clubs in the table at that stage. The league is home to such famous French clubs as Paris Saint Germain, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, Saint-Étienne, Monaco, and Nice. These have been historically dominant sides that have remained at the top of the table despite the influx of international players that are becoming ever more prominent in Ligue 1. Many of the game’s biggest stars have featured in the French top-flight, beginning with current leaders Paris Saint Germain’s South American quartet of Neymar, Edinson Cavani, Angel Di Maria and Thiago Silva. Though it has not achieved the same global reach as other European leagues, Ligue 1 remains highly popular in the country with stadiums often full and viewing figures increasing year upon year. Historically, Paris Saint Germain have been the most successful team in the league with the side winning the title on seven occasions, followed by Marseille in second with nine championships, while Monaco have won the title 8 times. The league offers a variety of rewards for teams beyond the traditional league success, with the French Cup, League Cup, Champions League and Europa League spots all up for grabs. The number of teams relegated to Ligue 2 is determined by a playoff between the team in the 18th spot and the team in third place in Ligue 2. A similar style system is implemented for promotion to the top league. For fans of French football, Ligue 1 is a must-see, as it offers a fantastic combination of top-class football and some of the world’s top players. The league continues to set the standard for French football with a range of thrilling match-ups and storylines that leave even the most ardent fan thirsty for more.
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