Olympique Marseille

  1. All Eyes on Ligue 1 as France Win the World Cup 2018

    World Cup fever swept the nation over the past few months, and now the tournament has finished the spectators’ attentions are waiting for the next big thing. After France achieved the 1st place trophy in Russia, the interest in watching Ligue 1 clubs compete has greatly increased.

    Due to this curiosity when it comes to the French club teams, we thought we would put together this article to discuss all things French football. From the upcoming players to how the make-up of the French soccer leagues is, you will find this all out below.

    About Ligue 1 and its Influence

    Ligue 1 is the top tier league for French club teams with the Ligue 2 and Champtionnat National beneath it. Therefore, the highest scoring sides are seen in the top division compared to those of smaller lesser skilled ones.

    How the transition between these three work, is that at the end of a tournament, the bottom three teams are relegated to the league beneath it and the top 3 teams from lower leagues are promoted. And when the winners of Ligue 1 are established, these then go onto the UEFA Championships. However, due to this they often find lower level teams coasting for an easier ride by being moved to a lesser league. And there are also playoffs called Coupe de France which is a separate tournament.

    Entering the World Cup the French national side had a relatively young side with their youngest being the renowned Mbappe at 19 years old. This representation of youth players will have a fantastic influence on fans back in France who aspire to become professional top league players. As this choice of squad shows younger players that there is a great opportunity out there to progress through the rankings, this would increase their strive to progress in the football world.

    Notable Ligue 1 Players in the French National Squad

    The squad used to take on the World Cup in Russia was an excellent mixture of speed and defence, and this i

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  2. Luiz Gustavo: Vital to Olympique Marseille and their 2017/18 Success

    27th October 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
    Heading into Olympique de Marseille's monumental Le Classique clash with PSG at the Orange Velodrome last Sunday, Luiz Gustavo was always going to be a key figure as Marseille searched for their first win over their rivals in almost six years.

    While the €7 million summer signing from Wolfsburg has had some disciplinary issues so far, which has seen him receive one red card and six yellow cards in all competitions, and suffered the odd poor game, his impact has been largely positive since his arrival. Adding experience, class and a strong determination, the 30-year-old's given the side some much needed leadership, fight and quality in the centre of the park.

    This was certainly the case in Rudi Garcia's men's excellent showing vs. PSG in their enthralling 2-2 draw, a game they were minutes away from winning but for Edinson Cavani's late leveller, as Gustavo produced an all encompassing performance in central midfield.

    Although his sensational first half strike was the highlight of his display, the way he dictated the tempo of his team's attacking moves, defended diligently, plus used his physicality and athleticism, were further positives to de drawn.

    Stopping the wildly talented PSG attackers and midfielders, that featured the likes of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Cavani, Marco Verratti and Adrien Rabiot, is never an easy task, but Gustavo played his part in doing everything he could to limit their impact.

    Predominantly charged with marking Verratti on the defensive end, the 2013 Champions League winner with Bayern Munich performed his duties with tenacity, determination and grit. With the Italian regularly dropping deep into PSG's right half space to connect play, Gustavo would press him vigorously so he couldn't quickly turn and use his individual quality to p

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  3. Dimitri Payet is Showing Sublime Form at Olympique Marseille

    17th March 2017. By Edward Stratmann.
    When speaking in an interview with L'Equipe, Dimitri Payet made it abundantly clear how happy he was to leave West Ham in January to rejoin his former club, Marseille.

    Following a sensational debut season in the Premier League, where he notched an impressive nine goals and 12 assists, a disgruntled Payet bemoaned the Hammers' lack of ambition this term, though, even claiming he was bored by Slaven Bilic's style of play. "I didn't want to play the role of also-rans in the Premier League any more," he divulged.

    "I didn't like the way we approached matches, the defensive system put in place. With a 5-4-1 in front of our penalty area, I could have all the freedom in the world, but it made it difficult to express myself. You could say I was bored, yes. I went through matches without enjoying it.

    "The choice was quickly made. If I had waited six months, I would have wasted six months."

    Although Marseille are going through somewhat of a rebuilding phase as they hope to return to their rightful place in the upper echelons of French football, the chance to return to OM, where he's previously played some of his best football, and to work under Rudi Garcia, was an opportunity he couldn't resist.

    Playing under Garcia, who prefers technical, slick passing football was undoubtedly a key determining factor for the enigmatic 29-year-old, knowing Garcia's style and the freedom he'd be afforded would be perfect for him.

    Despite his side's inconsistent results, Payet's made a solid impact since arriving, producing some customary moments of magic and promising early signs, while adding two goals and two assists in his six starts. At the weekend in the Olympians' 3-0 dismantling of Angers, Payet built on his strong start, putting in an excellent attacking display that was littered with dynamism

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  4. Ben Arfa: The Fairy-tale Comeback

    1st May 2016. By Ryan Baldi.
    There has been a breakout star in French football this season, making waves with Nice. An exciting winger capable of dribbling past several opponents in a single move, and with a wand of a left foot able to bend the ball into the top corner from almost any angle.

    This exciting new star is not some teenage sensation. He is not a newcomer to Ligue 1, imbued with the confident swagger of youth. He is 29-year-old former Newcastle United player Hatem Ben Arfa.

    Ben Arfa has been in outstanding form this season. His 17 league goals from 31 games has elevated Nice to fourth position in Ligue 1, just two points behind second-placed Lyon and genuine contenders for Champions League qualification.

    The former Olympique Lyonnais player has regularly produced individual trickery and showboating skills that have been shared around the world in the form of GIFs on twitter or YouTube highlight videos. But in addition to the eye-catching flair moves, Ben Arfa has also been incredibly effective, having garnered five assists, five man of the match awards and an average rating of 7.56, per WhoScored.com's metrics.

    Ben Arfa's arsenal of breath-taking skills and finishing prowess was evidenced perfectly by the hat-trick he recently plundered in a home match against Rennes.

    With Paris St. Germain the runaway champions of Ligue 1, the rest of the top half remains incredibly competitive as it stands at the time of writing, just seven points separate second and seventh-place. Rennes are one of the teams rivalling Nice for the coveted Champions League and Europa League qualifying spots, so their April encounter at the Allianz Riviera had plenty riding on it.

    A close match was anticipated, but Ben Arfa had other ideas, leading his side to a resounding 3-0 victory having scored all three goals. The first, a confident, left-footed penalty fired into the bottom corner, followed by a tidy right-footed finish from

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  5. Paris Saint Germain Excel as Ligue 1 Heads to Winter Break

    Can anyone keep Paris Saint Germain from winning a fourth consecutive Ligue 1 title in 2016? With competition in the French top-flight officially on hold until January 8th, it certainly doesn't seem like it. In just 19 games, the Parisians have managed to put 19 points between themselves and their nearest competitors. With a record of 16 wins, three draws, and zero losses, they are not only the single undefeated football club on the table, but the only team to have fewer than three losses so far this season. PSG have also won seven more games than any other soccer squad in the division-a remarkable feat that almost makes their 2015 2016 Ligue 1 title seem like a foregone conclusion.

    The Hunt for an Undefeated Season

    Paris Saint Germain, of course, have been no strangers to success, as of late. Since the 2012 2013 season, they've managed three Ligue 1 titles, one Coupe de France, two Coupe de la Ligue trophies, and three wins in the Trophee des Champions. If there's one thing that PSG haven't accomplished in their newly-minted golden age, though (other than a Champions League title, which is also a possibility for 2016), it's an undefeated Ligue 1 season.

    Indeed, in 2012/13, Paris Saint Germain won their first title since 1994, but lost five games to get there. The two seasons since have seen PSG picking up three losses apiece out of their 38-game campaigns. Could they be on their way toward an undefeated season in 2015/16?

    A near-perfect record seems possible for the Parisians right now. In their previous three seasons, PSG had lost at least one game by the end of December. This year, they head to winter break undefeated. They've also scored 20 more goals than any other football club in the league this season (led by the 15-goal performance of the great Zlatan Ibrahimovic) and have only conceded nine goals (thanks to goalkeeper Kevin Trapp and his ten clean sheets).

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  6. Paris Saint Germain Continue Undefeated Streak in Ligue 1 2015 - 16 Week 15

    Following Ligue 1 2015 - 16 week 15 three-time consecutive champions Paris Saint Germain still have yet to drop a game. The reigning title holders won once again on Saturday, beating Troyes in a 4-1 home match. It's the ninth league victory in a row for the Parisians, who showed signs of weakness in mid-September when they drew two matches in a row, but who have been borderline flawless ever since. PSG have only conceded five goals in those nine matches (while scoring 27) and only allowed Troyes to net a point in the closing minutes of Saturday's match.

    The nine-game winning streak has made the wearers of the PSG home shirt 2015/16 more or less untouchable on this season's Ligue 1 standings table. With 41 points and a goal difference of +29, the Parisians lead by a landslide over current second-placers Caen. Following their own 4-1 victory over the weekend-against Bordeaux-Caen have the second-best win percentage in the league, with nine wins from their first 15 games. Still, Caen's point total of 28 and goal difference of +3 leave the soccer squad almost impossibly far behind Paris Saint Germain.

    An Interesting Table

    Still, despite the fact that Caen are probably, at best, competing for second place in the 2015 2016 Ligue 1, the fact that the football club are so near the top of the table is surprising and impressive nonetheless. PSG Home Shirt 2015 - 2016Last season, Caen won just 12 games total throughout the entire 38-match Ligue 1 season. They finished the year in an unglamorous 13th place.

    Caen's success isn't the only interesting characteristic of the current Ligue 1 table. Other than PSG, the top of the league standings

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  7. The Round of 16 Takes Form with Week Five of the UEFA Champions League

    Week five of the UEFA Champions League 2015/16 began to bring the next phase of the competition into clear focus, as 10 of the round of 16 slots are now confirmed. Week six of the group stage, which the UEFA has scheduled for December 8th and 9th, will see several on-the-fringe clubs battling for last-minute advancement. For the most part, though, the big title contenders have already secured their round of 16 spots.

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    The First Qualifiers

    When we last checked in with the Champions League, following week four of competition in early November, three teams-Real Madrid, Manchester City, and Zenit St. Petersburg-had already guaranteed themselves advancement into the next round. Zenit St. Petersburg continues to carry the torch as the only team in this year's Champions League to have won all of their group stage matches. They beat Valencia 2-0 this week to fortify their status as one of the best football teams in the tournament.

    Real Madrid, meanwhile, also kept an undefeated streak alive, topping Shakhtar Donetsk 4-3. Remarkably, the Vikings were up 4-0 with just 20 minutes left in the match but allowed Shakhtar to score three goals in the space of 11 minutes to end the match. The game was the second Real Madrid Home Shirt 2015 - 2016consecutive poor showing by Real Madrid, who lost big to FC Barcelona last weekend in the La Liga. The Shakhtar Donetsk game did see Cristiano Ronaldo netting two goals, though, making

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  8. Olympique Marseille Hit Rock Bottom in the 2015 - 2016 Ligue 1

    Being an Olympique Marseille fan hasn't exactly been easy over the past few years. From 2004 through to 2011, the football club was one of France's finest, notching top-five finish after top-five finish. In 2010, they won the Ligue 1 title; in both 2009 and 2011, they finished as the runners-up. Since then, though, Olympique Marseille have been inconsistent, to say the least. In 2011 2012, they dropped to 10th place on the Ligue 1 table; in 2012 2013, they jumped back up to second place; and in 2013 2014, they fell out of the top five once again. And now it seems that in 2015 - 2015 Olympique Marseille hit rock bottom.

    Last season, it looked as if the Olympians might win another title. For 14 weeks in the middle of the season, they were in first place in the league in terms of point totals. But when they only won eight games in the second half of the season, Marseille fell from first place to fourth.

    A Rough Start

    That fall has carried over into the 2015 2016 Ligue 1 campaign, it seems. 10 games into the new season, Olympique Marseille are languishing in the lower half of the Ligue 1 table. They're stuck back in 16th place, just a few slots-and a few losses-shy of the relegation danger zone.

    Indeed, of their first 10 games, the Olympians have only two. They hammered Troyes, a team recently promoted from Ligue 2, in an August 23rd home fixture. Ironically, the match and its 6-0 score is still the biggest win of the 2015 2016 Ligue 1 season. Marseille's only other win, a 4-1 against Bastia, came two weeks later.

    Those high-scoring wins illustrate the contradictory nature of Marseille's season so far. On one hand, they've shown that they can formulate dangerous attacks and win games. Their best attacker, Michy Batshuayi, is tied with Nice's Hatem Ben Arfa as Ligue 1's leading goalscorer. Both
    players have tallied seven goals-more than Paris Saint

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  9. Olympique Marseille Ligue 1 History: Why Are They Struggling to Win Another Title?

    Olympique Marseille Away Jersey 2014 - 2015For a significant span of the 2014 2015 football season, Olympique Marseille was leading the way in France's Ligue 1. They ascended to the top spot just six weeks into the campaign, winning 3-0 against Rennes to take the lead. That was the end of September, and the Olympians wouldn't be displaced from the frontrunner position until January. It was a stunning run that had many fans of the club-as well as speculators in the wider football world-wondering if 2014 2015 could be the season to break Marseille's unlucky streak. But it was not to be and PSG ultimately took the title. We look back on the Olympique Marseille Ligue 1 history, and question why they are struggling to win another trophy.

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    The 2009 2010 Ligue 1

    Coming into this season, the wearers of the Olympique Marseille away jersey 2014 2015 hadn't won a Ligue 1 title since 2009 2010. In fact, the Olympians have been wildly inconsistent in the five years that have now elapsed since that last trophy season. In 2011 and 2013, they finished as runners-up, but in 2012, they dropped to 10th place, and a year ago, they finished all the way back at sixth.

    Olympique Marseille remains the second most successful team in the history of French top flight football, with nine titles to their name. (Saint-Etienne lead, with 10.) However, since the turn of the century, the Olympians have only been victorious in Ligue 1 on one occasion, and that was in 2010.

    The 2009 2010 season was a miraculously exciting one for fans in the Olympique Marseille soccer jersey. With the previous year's champions, Bordeaux, slipping all the way to sixth place on the league standings table, the competition for the top slot was wide open, and the Olympians

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  10. Who Will Win the Battle for the Ligue 1 Title 2014 - 2015?

    The battle for the Ligue 1 title 2014 - 2015 is the most hotly contested of European football leagues. In most of the professional football divisions across Europe, the top-flight champions are already decided and the final few games of the season are little more than a formality. Chelsea clinched the 2014 2015 English Premier League title a week ago, Juventus have won their fourth consecutive trophy in the Italian Serie A, and Bayern Munich are guaranteed to walk away with the top slot in the German top-flight for the 25th time in history. In France's Ligue 1, though, the battle is still alive-at least until this weekend, when Paris Saint Germain are expected to solidify their third national soccer championship in a row!

    The Current 2014 2015 Ligue 1 Standings

    Right now, the standings in France's top-flight football division are as follows: PSG is in the lead, with 77 points and a score of +45 in the goal difference column; Olympique Lyonnais are in second, with 71 points and a GD of +38; the wearers of the AS Monaco home shirt 2014 2015 are in third, with 65 points and +22 goal difference; and Olympique Marseille and Saint-Etienne are waiting in the wings, holding down the fourth and fifth-place slots with 63 points.

    Mathematically, Lyon could still surpass Paris Saint Germain on the table, which is why fans in the PSG shirt aren't yet celebrating a national championship. For that to happen, the Parisians would have to lose their last two matches of the season (against Montpellier and Reims) and Lyon would have to win theirs (against Bordeaux and Rennes). That would tie the two soccer teams at 71 points on the league standings table, though Lyon would also have to make up a seven-goal deficit in terms of goal difference, to truly have a chance

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