The French Ligue 1, formerly called National and thereafter Division 1, was founded in 1932. Nowadays twenty teams play in France’s highest division with Montpellier being the current 2011 – 2012 champion. After completion of a season the three clubs with the least points are relegated to Ligue 2, whereas the top three plays in the Champions League, of whom two are immediately placed in the group phase.
Top clubs in the Ligue 1 are generally Paris Saint Germain who have never relegated so far, Marseille and Lyon. Latter was quite dominating in the 00’s winning seven times in a row, but don’t have as much success anymore. This does not automatically mean that either Marseille or Lyon wins championship after championship, because in recent times Montpellier, Lille and Bordeaux all won national titles. Record holder is Saint-Etienne with 10 titles. This is rather low for any European country and indicates that French football teams are almost of equal quality. This makes up for very exciting matches end season endings.
Now that the 2012 2013 season is almost finished, it's time to face the facts. Currently PSG who have very rich owners, are placed in the top position being some 7 points ahead of Olympique Marseille. Lyon is only fourth, with being Saint-Etienne third.
This year a lot of money was invested in PSG who now have both Ibrahimovic and Beckham playing for them. They are atop of the Ligue 1 and were only eliminated in the Champions League by FC Barcelona. PSG will probably be the new French champion, thus playing in the Champions League of 2013 2014. Meanwhile Marseille need to hold their second place for which they have a 4 point gap with Saint-Etienne and Olympique Lyon.
Looking at the bottom of the standings of the French Ligue 1, we see Troyes in last place, four points behind Stade Brestois 29. The number 18 of the Ligue 1 is Nancy. These have to put their upmost effort on the field in order to avoid relegation to Ligue 2.
It seems that AS Monaco will be back in the Ligue 1 in the 2013 2014 season, just like former champion FC Nantes. Auxerre who also played in the European competitions in the past have to stay in Ligue 2 though.
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