French Ligue 1

Ligue 1 has been the name of the top division in French football league since 2002, before that it was called Division 1. The league in its original form was first inaugurated in 1932, two years after professionalism in French football became legal.

History and facts

The first season (at this certain season the league was called National) included 20 teams, the same number of teams that are included in Ligue 1 today.

The winner has since 2007 received the “Hexagoal” trophy designed by Pablo Reinoso. It has replaced the old trophy, called “le Trophée de Ligue 1”, designed by d'Andrée Putman.

The 20 clubs play against each other in home and away games, resulting in 38 for each team during a season. For a win, three points is collected, for a draw, one point. Most points (96) during a season was collected by Paris Saint-Germain in the 2015-2016 season.

League system

Ligue 1 is the top tier of the French football league system, one level above the current Ligue 2. The third to fifth level are called Championnat National (in English: French National Championship). An overview of the current league system in France is presented in the table below.

Table 1. French football tiers
Club Tier
Ligue 1 1
Ligue 2 2
Championnat National 3
Championnat National 2 4
Championnat National 3 5

Below the fifth level follows a structure of several local regional leagues.



Teams with most titles

Statistics of all French clubs that have won the Ligue 1 more than once, concerning the period 1932-2019 (the league was not active 1939-1945 due to the WWII).

Table 2. Clubs and French champion titles
Club Titles
Saint-Étienne 10
Olympique de Marseille 9
Nantes 8
Monaco 8
Paris Saint-Germain 8
Olympique Lyonnais 7
Bordeaux 6
Reims 6
Nice 4
Lille 3
Sochaux 2
Séte 2

In the 1992-1993 season no title was awarded. Marseilles won but got their title revoked due to a bribery scandal. If the amateur era (1893-1929) is included, Marseille would still have one extra title.

The last time AS Saint-Étienne won was in 1981. Since the French first division changed name to Ligue 1, Olympique Lyonnais, has collected the most titles.


Top goalscorers

The league's all-time leading goalscorer is the Argentinian Delio Onnis that played in Monaco, Reims, Tours, Toulon between 1971 ands 1986. He did 299 goals in 449 apperances.

Other notabale goalscorers in the league's history are Bernard Lacombe, France Hervé Revelli, France Roger Courtois, France Thadée Cisowski and France Roger Piantoni. They all did over 200 goals each.

Famous players

Some of the most famous players that have participated in the Ligue 1 are:

By Oscar Anderson