For more than a decade Ligue 1 has been widely regarded as the ‘Farmer’s League’ because of the supposed low level of competition and not so well known players in the league. A farmer’s league is a footballing term that indicates that there are only a couple of teams battling for the title and the other teams are not strong enough to come close to the top of the table, well FootTheBall is about to break this long-standing stereotype.
“Ligue 1 is a farmers league” 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩
— LOSC EN (@LOSC_EN) October 12, 2021
Here’s why Ligue 1 is no longer just a Framer’s League and has grown into a tough competition over the last few years.
LILLE BREAKING PSG’S MONOPOLY
PSG are considered to be the best club from France considering the sheer pedigree of the players in their ranks. Neymar, Mbappe, Di Maria are a few of the star-studded lineup of PSG which makes the other teams look weaker but the real fans who watch Ligue 1 religiously, know how good the other teams are.
— LOSC EN (@LOSC_EN) May 24, 2021
The high competitiveness in the league came to light last season when PSG’s decade long League title run was broken by the mighty Lille side. It was a long and close title run between PSG, Lille, Monaco and Lyon and the contest went into the final matchday when Lille won the game and lifted the trophy being 1 point ahead of PSG. Probably one of the most exciting and entertaining finishes to a league in the history of football, it would be a crime to call it a farmer’s league after last season.
STRONG PRESENCE IN EUROPE
In the 2019/20 Champions League season, two out of the four finalists were from Ligue 1. Where PSG was expected to do well by everyone, Lyon were the dark horses of the tournament who beat Juventus and Manchester City to face Bayern Munich in the semi-finals and although they lost, the strength of Ligue 1 first came to light at the global stage at that moment.
◾ Finished 7th in Ligue 1
◾ Knocked out Juventus
◾ Upset Manchester City
What a run for Lyon 🤩 pic.twitter.com/Cqi8km0h6f
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 15, 2020
AS Monaco too reached the semi-final in 2017 after beating Manchester City and Dortmund in spectacular fashion. Marseille were the runners up in the Europa League in 2018. Most people don’t like to admit it but Ligue 1 has actually made a mark in Europe as well and in due time will get their hands on silverware.
CONSTANT FLOW OF TALENT OUT OF LIGUE 1
Ligue 1 has produced some serious talent over the years and we are not just talking about global superstars like Mbappe and Verratti. Camavinga from Rennes was pursued by many top clubs in Europe and eventually was bought by the mighty Real Madrid this summer. Nicolas Pepe a couple of seasons ago made history by moving from Lyon to Arsenal for a club-record transfer fee.
Yacine Adli from Bordeaux was also bought by AC Milan as a long term project this summer Aurelien Tchouameni too was on top of many European clubs’ wishlists. Players like Ryan Cherki, Adil Aouchiche and many more showed exponential growth last season and are bound to have their breakout season in the next couple of years.
Even players who aren’t French originally have been brought in and grown by Ligue 1 clubs and are now global superstars. Jonathan David, the young Canadian came out of nowhere and Lille in their turtle run and has continued his momentum this season as well. Kasper Dolberg of OGC Nice too made headlines in the Euros this year and is leading the club positively this season.
FRANCE’S INTERNATIONAL DOMINANCE
France’s performance internationally has also had a great impact in their domestic league. France didn’t make it to the 1994 World Cup and since then they have done everything in their power to improve the footballing scene in their country. They created better academies, improved their scouting system and infrastructure of the clubs and by 2016, they managed to host the Euros and even reached the finals of the tournament.
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 15, 2018
In 2018 they became world champions and although their performance in the Euros this year was disappointing, they recently managed to reach the final of the second edition of the Nations League. With their dominance at the world stage, more people have started watching and appreciating Ligue 1 and with the recent addition of Lionel Messi, their following is going to increase more eventually and they will soon not be regarded as the farmer’s league by the masses.