Football is the number one sport in France, followed by millions of people. The country has thousands of teams, some founded as early as the 19th century. French clubs have also performed well in European competitions. This article lists the biggest football clubs in France and their achievements.
France has several professional leagues, including the top tier, Ligue 1 Uber Eats, which hosts the best football clubs in France. It ranks among the top five European domestic competitions, alongside the English Premier League in England, Germany's Bundesliga, Spain's La Liga, and the Serie A in Italy.
List of football clubs in France
Paris Saint‑Germain, Lyon, and Marseille are famous football clubs in France. Many legendary footballers have played for the teams. However, the country has several other sides that have wildly succeeded in their history.
How many football clubs are in France?
According to statistics, the country has more than 15,000 clubs. The best teams play in the top tier and are considered wealthy and successful. Top Ligue 1 Uber Eats clubs have attracted wealthy investors and tapped into talented footballers from different countries. Looking at the football clubs in France map, the teams have spread throughout.
List of football clubs in France by major honours won
Our France football clubs ranking features the best among all football clubs in France. The list has teams which play in the Ligue 1 Uber Eats and have won numerous titles.
Brest got formed through a merger of five local teams. It began in the amateur ranks and rose to the third tier by 1958 and the second by 1970. The club later reached the top division in 1979. However, Brest has never won any championship in its history.
- Founded: 1950
- Nickname: Les Pirates
- City: Brest
- Stadium: Stade Francis-Le Blé
- Capacity: 15,097
The club played in the third and second divisions before climbing to the top-tier league in the 2012/2013 season. However, it struggles in the relegation zone in the 2022/2023 League 1 season. Troyes' most outstanding achievement was winning the Intertoto Cup title in 2001.
- Founded: 1986
- Nickname: ESTAC
- City: Troyes
- Stadium: Stade de l'Aube
- Capacity: 20,400
Montpellier shocked the world in the 2011/2012 season when they lifted the League 1 trophy. It also has two Coupe de France titles and reached several other finals.
- Founded: 1974
- Nickname: La Paillade
- City: Montpellier
- Stadium: Stade de la Mosson
- Capacity: 32, 939
17. Clermont Foot 63
After spending time in the lower divisions, the team got promoted to the top flight in the 2021/22 season. Clermont Foot 63 has never won any major titles. The club is known as the first professional side to appoint a female coach to the men's team in the country.
- Founded: 1984
- Nickname: Les Lanciers (The Lancers)
- City: Clermont-Ferrand
- Stadium: Stade Gabriel-Montpied
- Capacity: 13,000
Lorient is among the League 1 French football clubs that have never won the top division title. Its most memorable trophy is the Coupe de France it won in 2002.
- Founded: 1926
- Nickname: Les Merlus (The Merlucciidaes)
- City: Lorient
- Stadium: Stade du Moustoir
- Capacity: 18,110
15. Stade Rennais (Rennes)
Rennes first competed in the top tier in 1932/1933 and won four titles in their first decade. It got founded by students living in Brittany. The club lost 2-0 to Red Star in their first Cup de France final. They finished third in League 1 in the 2019/2020 season.
- Founded: 1901
- Nickname: Les Rennais (The Rennais)
- City: Rennes
- Stadium: Roazhon Park
- Capacity: 29,778
14. Toulouse FC
Known as the Tefece, Toulouse is among France's most famous football clubs. In 2008, they qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time after winning the Coupe de France. The team has produced prominent players like Wissam Ben Yedder, Moussa Sissoko, and Daniel Congre.
- Founded: 1970
- Nickname: Le Téfécé Les Violets Le Tef Les Pitchouns
- City: Toulouse
- Stadium: Stadium de Toulouse
- Capacity: 33,150
13. RC Strasbourg
Strasbourg got formed through a merger of several teams. It has three Coupe de France titles, four Coupe de la Ligue and one league title. They are among the regulars in the top flight.
- Founded: 1906
- Nickname: Le Racing Le RCS Les Bleu et Blanc (The Blue-and-Whites)
- City: Strasbourg
- Stadium: Stade de la Meinau Strasbourg
- Capacity: 26,109
12. RC Lens
The club got founded in 1906 as Racing Club Lensois. In the mid-19th century, Lens became a coal-mining centre and attracted coal-mining soccer players from across Europe. They earned a promotion to the top flight twice and won it once (1997/1998). RC Lens has also won one French League Cup and two Intertoto Cups.
- Founded: 1906
- Nickname: Les Sang et Or (The Blood and Gold)
- City: Lens
- Stadium: Estadio Bollaert-Delelis
- Capacity: 38,223
11. OGC Nice
Olympique Gymnaste Club Nice was one of the original twenty French top-tier members when the league got founded in 1932. The team has won four League 1 titles and three Coupe de France trophies. OGC Nice remains one of the best clubs in the country despite their 60-year title drought.
- Founded: 1904
- Nickname: Les Aiglons (The Eaglets), Le Gym (The Gym)
- City: Nice
- Stadium: Stade Municipal du Ray (1927-2013), Allianz Riviera (2013-date)
- Capacity: Allianz Riviera (over 35,000)
10. Stade de Reims
The club dominated in the 1950s and early 1960s, winning six Ligue 1 championships, two Coupe de France crowns, and five Trophee des Champions. Stade de Reims later descended to League 2 but returned in 2018.
- Founded: 1931
- Nickname: Les rouges et Blancs (The Red and Whites)
- City: Reims
- Stadium: Stade Auguste Delaune
- Capacity: 21,127
9. LOSC Lille
Lille got formed through a merger of two teams. The club has won four Ligue 1 titles in its history, including in the 2020/2021 season. It also has six Coupe de France titles and the 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup.
- Founded: 1944
- Nickname: Les Dogues (The Mastiffs)
- City: Lille
- Stadium: Decathlon Arena - Stade Pierre Mauroy
- Capacity: 50,000
8. FC Nantes
Nantes has been in the top flight for nearly a decade despite inconsistencies in performance. The club won some trophies in the 1990s and 2000s, including eight League 1 titles. Nantes' last league crown came in 2001. They also have three Coupe de France trophies and three Trophee des Champions.
- Founded: 1943
- Nickname: Les Canaris (The Canaries)
- City: Nantes
- Stadium: Beaujoire Stadium
- Capacity: 35,322
7. AJ Auxerre
Auxerre dominated France's Catholic league in the 1900s and 1910s, earning a promotion to the top flight in 1980. The club won four Coupe de France titles between 1994 and 2005 and one Ligue 1 title (1996). In 2012, they got relegated to League 2 and spent ten years before climbing back.
- Founded: 1905
- Nickname: Les diplomates (The Diplomats)
- City: Auxerre
- Stadium: Stade Abbe Deschamps
- Capacity: 18,451
6. Girondins Bordeaux
Few clubs in the country have won more silverware than Bordeaux. They have six top-flight titles, with the last coming in 2009. The club also has four Coupe de France trophies, three Trophee des Champions and one UEFA Intertoto Cup. It is among the oldest football clubs in France and the oldest on our list.
- Founded: 1881
- Nickname: Les Girondins (The Girondins)
- City: Bordeaux
- Stadium: Matmut Atlantique
- Capacity: 42,115
5. AS Saint-Étienne
Saint-Etienne was a dominant force in the 1960s and 1970s. The club won eight Ligue 1 trophies between 1964 and 1976. Les Verts have won ten League 1 titles and six Coupe de France championships. Saint-Étienne, Olympique Marseille, and Paris Saint-Germain are the most successful clubs in the top-tier competition.
- Founded: 1919
- Nickname: Les Verts (The Greens)
- City: Saint-Étienne
- Stadium: Stade Geoffroy-Guichard
- Capacity: 41,965
4. AS Monaco
The club rose to power in the 1960s through the 1990s before suffering hard financial times in the mid-2000s. Fortunately, a financial takeover by a wealthy Russian oligarch helped the club regain its form. Monaco has eight Ligue 1 titles and five Coupe de France trophies. In 2004, they reached the Champions League final but lost to Porto.
- Founded: 1924
- Nickname: Les Rouges et Blancs (The Red and Whites)
- City: Monaco
- Stadium: Louis II Stadium
- Capacity: 18,523
3. Olympique Lyonnais
Famously known as Lyon, the club got founded in 1950, but its roots date back to 1899. They have seven top-flight trophies, having won the first in 2002. Lyon also has five Coupe de France titles and has twice reached the Champions League semifinals in the past 12 years.
In 1997, Lyon clinched the Intertoto Cup. They are the third-most supported club in France after Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique Marseille.
- Founded: 1950
- Nickname: Les Gones (The Kids)
- City: Lyon
- Stadium: Groupama Stadium
- Capacity: 59,186
2. Olympique Marseille
Marseille is the only French outfit to win the Champions League (formerly the European Cup) after defeating AC Milan 1-0 in the 1993 final. Marseille also has 10 Ligue 1 crowns and ten Coupe de France titles.
Despite their massive success, the club has yet to win a major trophy since their last league title in 2010. It is one of the richest football clubs in France. It is also the most famous club in the country.
- Founded: 1899
- Nickname: Les Olympiens (The Olympians)
- City: Marseille
- Stadium: Orange Vélodrome
- Capacity: 67,000
1. Paris Saint-Germain
Paris Saint-Germain is among the most popular football teams in Paris. They are also the richest club in France and among the wealthiest globally. The Parisians have recently dominated the league by winning seven of their nine league titles in the past nine years.
In 2011, Qatar's government purchased PSG. Since then, they have assembled a squad of stars like Sergio Ramos, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi.
- Founded: 1970
- Nickname: Les Parisiens (The Parisians)
- City: Paris
- Stadium: Le Parc des Princes
- Capacity: 48, 583
Football clubs in France continue to perform well in Europe and attract wealthy billionaires to invest in their soccer. Other top stars who have played for clubs in the country include Ronaldinho, Zinedine Zidane, Michel Platini, Laurent Blanc, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Juninho, and Edison Cavani.
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