Ligue 2

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Ligue 2
Trophée de la Ligue 2.JPGTemplate: Infobox football competition / maintenance / logo format
Full name Domino's Ligue 2
abbreviation L2
First edition 1933/34
hierarchy 2nd league
Teams 20th
master Stade Reims
Current season 2019/20
Ligue 1 (I)
National 1 (III)

The Ligue 2 , shortly L2 or D2, the second division of French football . It has existed as a professional league since the 1933/34 season, was an "open league" from 1970 to 1993, in which amateur teams were also allowed to participate, and was called Division 2 until 2002 . From 2016 to 2020 Domino's Pizza is the name sponsor, the official name, albeit rarely used by the media and viewers, is Domino's Ligue 2 . From 2020/21 the tire manufacturer Balkrishna Industries, or BKT for short, will take over this sponsorship.

Up to and including the 2019/20 season, teams from 160 clubs belonged to the league, including Le Havre AC (43), Racing Besançon (42, including 41 seasons from 1945/46 in uninterrupted succession), AS for the longest for at least forty years each Cannes (41) and - not to be confused with Avenir Sportif Béziers , which is second-rate for one season in the 21st century - AS Béziers (40). (Status: including the 2019/20 season)


Each club plays a home and an away game against every other team in the league. The three-point rule also applies here ; in the event of a tie, the better goal difference decides ; if this is also the same, the greater number of hits. In earlier decades there were varying numbers of promotion and relegation places; sometimes there was also a combination of fixed relegation places (e.g. the first two) and elimination games ( barrages ) between the next-placed teams in D2 against the third (and fourth) last team in D1. From 1997 to 2016, the three best clubs in a season were promoted to Ligue 1 and the three worst were relegated to National (D3) . For the first time after the end of the 2016/17 season there are only two direct promotion places, while the third, fourth and fifth placed team initially play the team, which is then allowed to contest two barrages against the D1 third from bottom. For relegation and promotion between the second and third league, however, the L2-18. contests two encounters against the D3 third, on the outcome of which his relegation depends.

The main match day is Friday evening; a supposedly attractive encounter will not take place until Monday evening, according to the wishes of the pay TV channels. In the national cup , the second division clubs have to  intervene in the 7th round - that is, before the start of the actual main competition ("Compétition propre") .

Clubs in the current season

In the season 2019/20 the Erstligaabsteiger complement SM Caen and Guingamp , the panel of Ligue 2. From the third division are Rodez AF , the FC Chambly and the Le Mans FC , which in third place in the Barrages against Gazélec Ajaccio had prevailed , added. Only four of the twenty participating teams have never been in the first division: in addition to the promoted teams from Rodez and Chambly , these are US Orléans and Clermont Foot .

After playing almost two thirds of the games (25th matchday), FC Lorient leads the table ahead of Herbstmeister Racing Lens . Lens is by far the “spectator croesus” of Ligue 2; the Stade Bollaert-Delelis is filled with an average of around 25,000 paying visitors. The main pursuers of the top duo are AC Ajaccio , Clermont and ES Troyes AC . At the bottom of the table, Orléans, at the bottom of the table, is already relatively clear behind its competitors Le Mans, Chamois Niort , Paris FC and La Bérichonne Châteauroux, who are also at risk of relegation

Foreign players

Even in the second division, France is a magnet for foreign footballers. In the 2010/11 season, more than a third of the players in the 20 clubs had no French nationality; however, those who come from one of the EEA countries , areas associated with the EU as well as France's overseas possessions or regions are not subject to the foreigner restrictions of the relevant association.

The lion's share of the 158 “football immigrants” came from north-western (87 players) and central or eastern (32) Africa; Algeria (16), Senegal (15), Cameroon (12), Mali (11), Morocco and Ivory Coast (10 each) made up the largest groups. A total of 24 players came from other European countries (including five Serbs and three each from Croatians, Portuguese and Belgians). Ten Americans (including six Brazilians) and five Asians completed this list.


Ligue 2 has changed its face more often than the top division. There are several reasons for this: until at least the 1980s , football in France was by no means so deeply rooted in audience favor and media interest that there would have been a sustainable financial basis for many more than about two dozen clubs, especially the fact that France was extensive and not as densely populated as Germany is, leads to increased driving distances and travel costs and also enables local derbies that are less crowded.

The widespread discrepancy between relatively high costs and low income meant that the D2 was not organized on one, but on multiple tracks for longer periods of time:

  • two groups (north and south) 1933/34, 1945/46, 1972–1993
  • three groups (north, center and south) 1970–1972
  • four groups (north, east, south and west) 1937/38 with a subsequent “championship round” ( phase finale ) of the four best-placed teams

From 1970 to 1992, Division 2 was an "open" league in which both amateur and professional clubs were allowed to compete; before 1970 and again from 1992 it is a pure professional league.

In season 1948/49 played for short-term retreat AS Angoulême way, the 1. FC Saarbrücken as FC Sarrebruck in D2 - very successful, but only out of competition: why the official final table shows this season and only 19 participants (with Racing Lens and Girondins-AS du Port Bordeaux in first and second place). If the 38 matches between the Saarlanders had been rated, the two promoted teams would have been called Sarrebruck and Bordeaux. (For the political and historical background to this interlude see here .)

The founding associations in 1933

Like the clubs of the top division that started a year earlier, the 23 founding clubs of Division 2 - if they still exist - rightly count themselves among the pioneers of professional football in France. In the northern group, these were Amiens AC , RC Calais , Le Havre AC , FC Metz *, FC Mulhouse *, RC Roubaix , FC Rouen , US Saint-Servan-Saint-Malo , Racing Strasbourg , US Tourcoing , US Valenciennes and Paris Red Star Olympique * and the Club Français *. In the southern group, Olympique Alès *, SO Béziers , FC Hyères *, FC Lyon , AS Monaco , AS Saint-Étienne and from Bordeaux the Club Deportivo Español and SC de la Bastidienne played ; these two merged after the end of the first season to FC Hispano-Bastidienne Bordeaux .

The US Suisse from Paris and the FC Arménienne from Lyon were also admitted in 1933/34 ; US Suisse withdrew during the season, while Lyon withdrew before the start of the season.

The six clubs marked with an * were in the previous year among the founding members of Division 1 from which they were relegated.

Master, promoted and relegated

Most frequently, Le Havre AC and AS Nancy won the second division title (five titles each), followed by Racing Lens, OGC Nice, Lille OSC (four each) and SO / HSC Montpellier, OU / Olympique Lyon, FC Toulouse, AS Saint- Étienne, FC Metz and Racing Strasbourg (three each).

season Promoted to the highest league (D2 champions first named) Relegated to the third highest league
1933/34 Red Star Olympique , Olympique Alès ,
Racing Strasbourg , FC Mulhouse
FC Hyères , SO Béziers , AS Monaco , FC Lyon , Club Français , US Saint-Servan-Saint-Malo (all voluntary) ,
US Suisse Paris , FAC Nice (withdrawal during the current season)
1934/35 CS Metz , US Valenciennes US Tourcoing , FC Hispano-Bastidienne Bordeaux (both voluntary)
1935/36 FC Rouen , RC Roubaix SC Nîmes , AS Villeurbanne (both voluntary)
1936/37 RC Lens , US Valenciennes no relegation
1937/38 Le Havre AC , AS Saint-Etienne RC Calais
1938/39 Red Star Olympique , Stade Rennes UC no relegation
1939-1945 no official championship operation
1945/46 Nancy FC , SO Montpellier , Stade Français , Toulouse FC FC Grenoble , SC Vichy (both voluntary) , FC Mulhouse , ESA Brive
1946/47 FC Sochaux , Olympique Alès Stade Clermont (voluntary) , SC Toulon , USA Perpignan , Olympique Antibes-Juan-les-Pins
1947/48 OGC Nice , SR Colmar AS des Charentes Angoulême (voluntary) , AS Avignon
1948/49 RC Lens , Girondins-AS du Port SA Douai (voluntary)
1949/50 Olympique Nîmes , Le Havre AC no relegation; Olympique Lyon takes over from Lyon Olympique Universitaire
1950/51 Olympique Lyon , FC Metz GSC Marseille 2 (withdrawal during the first half of the season)
1951/52 Stade Français , SO Montpellier Amiens AC , US Le Mans (both voluntary)
1952/53 FC Toulouse , AS Monaco , Racing Strasbourg no relegation
1953/54 Olympique Lyon , AS Troyes-Savinienne , Racing Paris no relegation
1954/55 UA Sedan-Torcy no relegation
1955/56 Stade Rennes UC , Angers SCO , US Valenciennes no relegation
1956/57 Olympique Alès , AS Béziers , Lille OSC no relegation
1957/58 FC Nancy , Stade Rennes , Limoges FC , Racing Strasbourg no relegation
1958/59 Le Havre AC , Stade Français , SC Toulon , Girondins Bordeaux FC Perpignan (voluntary)
1959/60 FC Grenoble , FC Nancy , FC Rouen , AS Troyes-Savinienne FC Sète (voluntary) , Red Star Olympique (forced relegation)
1960/61 SO Montpellier , FC Metz , FC Sochaux , Racing Strasbourg Olympique Alès (voluntary)
1961/62 Grenoble FC , US Valenciennes , Girondins Bordeaux ,
Olympique Marseille
no relegation
1962/63 AS Saint-Etienne , FC Nantes CA Paris , CO Roubaix-Tourcoing ,

AS Troyes-Savinienne (all voluntary)

1963/64 Lille OSC , Sochaux FC , Toulon SC Le Havre AC , FC Nancy (both voluntary)
1964/65 OGC Nice , Red Star Olympique , AS Cannes no relegation
1965/66 Stade Reims , Olympique Marseille US Forbach , US Marignane (both voluntary) ,

Racing Paris (due to merger with first division club UA Sedan-Torcy)

1966/67 AC Ajaccio , FC Metz , AS Aix AS Cherbourg (voluntary) ,

Red Star Olympique (due to merger with first division club Toulouse FC)

1967/68 SEC Bastia , Olympique Nîmes Stade Paris (optional)
1968/69 Angers SCO , AS Angoulême AS Béziers , EAC Chaumont , RC Lens ,
Lille OSC , SO Montpellier (all voluntary)
1969/70 OGC Nice , AS Nancy , Stade Reims no relegation; the D2 was divided into three groups
1970/71 Lille OSC , Paris Saint-Germain , AS Monaco SO Merlebach , Le Havre AC , FC Grenoble , Olympique Alès
1971/72 CS Sedan , US Valenciennes , Racing-Pierrots Strasbourg US Quevilly , AC Mouzon , AC Évreux , AS Creil , ES La Rochelle , RC Joinville , Stade Quimper , AS Béziers , Montpellier Littoral SC , AS Aix , FC Martigues , GFCO Ajaccio (due to the merging of the three to two D2 groups)
1972/73 RC Lens , Troyes AF , AS Monaco SM Caen , Amiens SC , FC Limoges , ESCN La Ciotat , CS Louhans-Cuiseaux , US Montélimar
1973/74 Lille OSC , Red Star FC , Paris Saint-Germain AC Ajaccio (voluntary) , Stade Poitiers PEP , US Le Mans , ES La Rochelle , JGA Nevers , AC Arles , CS Vittel
1974/75 AS Nancy , US Valenciennes , Olympique Avignon AC Cambrai , Stade Quimper , CA Mantes , FC Bourges , AAJ Blois
1975/76 Angers SCO , Stade Rennes , Stade Lavallois SR Saint-Dié (voluntary) , CS Sedan-Mouzon , SO Cholet , USM Malakoff , FC Mulhouse , EDS Montluçon , JGA Nevers
1976/77 Racing Strasbourg , AS Monaco , FC Rouen FC Bourges , US Tavaux-Damparis , FC Sète , FC Lorient , Amiens SC , SC Hazebrouck
1977/78 Lille OSC , Angers SCO , Paris FC Red Star (dissolution / re-establishment) , SR Haguenau , Entente Fontainebleau-Nemours , AS Poissy , US Nœux-les-Mines , SM Caen
1978/79 Stade Brestois SA Épinal , Troyes AF , AC Arles , US Boulogne , US Melun , Amiens SC
1979/80 AJ Auxerre , Tours FC Amicale Lucé , EAC Chaumont , FC Mulhouse , SC Toulon , Olympique Alès
1980/81 Stade Brest , Montpellier-La Paillade US Tavaux-Damparis , Olympique Avignon , AS Corbeil-Essonnes , FC Thionville , UES Montmorillon , SM Caen
1981/82 Toulouse FC , FC Rouen , FC Mulhouse Paris FC (dissolution / re-establishment) , SR Saint-Dié , GFCO Ajaccio , AAJ Blois , Calais RUFC , EDS Montluçon , Stade Quimper
1982/83 Rennes Stadium , Toulon SC , Olympique Nîmes US Nœux-les-Mines , ES Viry-Châtillon , AS Corbeil-Essonnes ,
FC Fontainebleau-Bagneaux , CS Blénod-Pont-à-Mousson
1983/84 Tours FC , Olympique Marseille , Racing Paris AS Libourne , FC La Roche-sur-Yon , AS Angoulême , FC Villefranche , Entente Montceau-les-Mines , FC Roubaix
1984/85 Le Havre AC , OGC Nice , Stade Rennes Amiens SC , LB Châteauroux , CS Louhans-Cuiseaux , AEPB La Roche-sur-Yon , FC Valence
1985/86 Racing Paris , AS Saint-Etienne RCFC Besançon (dissolution / re-establishment) , EAC Chaumont , FCAS Grenoble , FC Lorient , FC Rouen , CS Sedan-Mouzon
1986/87 Montpellier-La Paillade , Chamois Niortais , AS Cannes Amiens SC , AS Red Star , FC Bourges , AS Béziers
1987/88 Racing Strasbourg , FC Sochaux , SM Caen GFCO Ajaccio , FC Tours , SO Châtellerault , CO Saint-Dizier , Entente Melun-Fontainebleau , FC Lorient
1988/89 Olympique Lyon , Mulhouse FC , Brest Armorique AC Le Touquet , Le Mans UC 72 , FC Sète , Stade Rodez , FC Clermont-Ferrand , CO Le Puy
1989/90 AS Nancy , Rennes Stadium FC Grenoble , FC Montceau , FC Lorient , SC Abbeville , Stade Quimper
1990/91 Le Havre AC , Olympique Nîmes Olympique Avignon , EAC Chaumont , CF Dijon , Stade Reims , Chamois Niortais , US Créteil
1991/92 Girondins Bordeaux , US Valenciennes , Racing Strasbourg Brest Armorique (withdrawal due to bankruptcy) , US Orléans , AS Saint-Seurin , FC Grenoble , Olympique Saint-Quentin
1992/93 FC Martigues , Angers SCO , AS Cannes CS Louhans-Cuiseaux , GFCO Ajaccio , Stade Rodez , FC Perpignan , SA Épinal , FC Annecy , US Créteil , Amiens SC , EA Guingamp , LB Châteauroux , Tours FC , La Roche VF , RC Ancenis , FC Lorient (due to the merger of the two D2 groups)
1993/94 OGC Nice , Stade Rennes , SC Bastia FC Rouen , US Valenciennes , FC Bourges , FC Istres
1994/95 EA Guingamp , FC Gueugnon Stade Saint-Brieuc , AS Beauvais , CS Sedan , Olympique Nîmes
1995/96 SM Caen , Olympique Marseille , AS Nancy Stade Poitiers , USL Dunkerque , Angers SCO , Olympique Alès
1996/97 LB Châteauroux , Toulouse FC SA Épinal , Stade Saint-Brieuc
1997/98 AS Nancy , FC Lorient , FC Sochaux CS Louhans-Cuiseaux , SC Toulon , FC Martigues , FC Mulhouse
1998/99 AS Saint-Étienne , CS Sedan , ATAC Troyes AS Red Star , AS Beauvais
1999/00 Lille OSC , EA Guingamp , Toulouse FC Amiens SC , ASOA Valence , CS Louhans-Cuiseaux
2000/01 FC Sochaux , FC Lorient , Montpellier HSC FC Martigues , AS Cannes , Angers SCO
2001/02 AC Ajaccio , Racing Strasbourg , OGC Nice , AC Le Havre Olympique Nîmes , FC Martigues
2002/03 Toulouse FC , Le Mans UC , Metz FC AS Beauvais , ES Wasquehal , Stade Reims
2003/04 AS Saint-Etienne , SM Caen , FC Istres ASOA Valence , RC Besançon , FC Rouen
2004/05 AS Nancy , Le Mans UC , ES Troyes AC Angers SCO , Chamois Niortais
2005/06 Valenciennes FC , Sedan CS , Lorient FC Clermont Foot , Stade Laval , FC Sète
2006/07 FC Metz , SM Caen , Racing Strasbourg US Créteil , FC Istres , Tours FC
2007/08 Le Havre AC , Nantes FC , Grenoble Foot Chamois Niort , FC Libourne-Saint-Seurin , FC Gueugnon
2008/09 RC Lens , Montpellier HSC , Boulogne US SC Amiens , ES Troyes AC , Stade Reims
2009/10 SM Caen , Stade Brest , AC Arles-Avignon EA Guingamp , Racing Strasbourg , SC Bastia
2010/11 FC Évian Thonon Gaillard , AC Ajaccio , FCO Dijon OC Vannes , Olympique Nîmes , Grenoble Foot
2011/12 SC Bastia , Stade Reims , ES Troyes AC FC Metz , US Boulogne , SC Amiens
2012/13 AS Monaco , EA Guingamp , FC Nantes Le Mans FC , CS Sedan , Gazélec FC Ajaccio
2013/14 FC Metz , RC Lens , SM Caen LB Châteauroux , FC Istres , CA Bastia
2014/15 ES Troyes AC , Gazélec FC Ajaccio , SCO Angers US Orléans , LB Châteauroux , AC Arles-Avignon
2015/16 AS Nancy , FCO Dijon , FC Metz FC Évian Thonon Gaillard , US Creteil , Paris FC
2016/17 Racing Strasbourg , SC Amiens , ES Troyes AC Red Star Paris , Stade Laval
2017/18 Stade Reims , Olympique Nîmes US Quevilly , Tours FC , FC Bourg-Péronnas
2018/19 FC Metz , Stade Brest Gazélec FC Ajaccio , Avenir Sportif Béziers , Red Star FC
2019/20 FC Lorient , RC Lens Le Mans FC , US Orléans

Former players who shaped the league

At the beginning of 2016, the editors of France Football published a list of 50 players who have shaped the second division since 1933. It was explicitly decided not to include the greats of French football who had played in D2 at the beginning or at the end of their careers - and often for a short time - such as Raymond Kopa (1949–1951 and 1964–1966), Michel Platini (1974 / 75) or Jean-Pierre Papin (1984/85 and 1998); other national players, however, are definitely included.
As an exception, the magazine put three members of a family together in third place because the father René and his two sons had "dominated the league for a long period of three decades".

The top 20 on this list are:

  1. Jean-Pierre Orts , four times league shooter king between 1988 and 1993
  2. Christian Dalger
  3. René , Pierre and Gérard Pleimelding
  4. Benjamin Nivet
  5. Maxime Bossis
  6. Jean Nicolas
  7. GhanaGhana Abedi Pelé
  8. Thierry Moreau
  9. NetherlandsNetherlands Petrus van Rhijn
  10. Gérard Grizzetti , record scorer in a single season (55 goals in 1968/69 )
  1. Christophe Revault
  2. Robert Blanc
  3. Jean-Marc Ferreri
  4. NetherlandsNetherlands Ruud Krol
  5. André Strappe
  6. Didier Monczuk
  7. Yugoslavia Socialist Federal RepublicYugoslavia Ivica Osim
  8. Sabri Lamouchi
  9. Patrick Martet
  10. Léonard Woodpecker


  • Olaf Wuttke: Substructure in France. 20 clubs in Ligue 1 - and hundreds who want to go there too. , in: Zeitspiel (magazine for contemporary football history), issue 16, October 2019, ISSN 2365-3175, pp. 60–61


  1. France Football of September 21, 2010, pp. 42/43
  2. The D2 started in two groups (North with 13, South with 8 clubs); a final of the group winners for the championship was not played.
  3. The 25 clubs of the D2 played this season in four groups with a subsequent championship (16) or relegation round (9 clubs)
  4. The D2 played in two groups during the first post-war season
  5. The table runner-up Red Star Olympique was denied promotion due to fraud
  6. D2 champion FC Gueugnon waived promotion because the association did not want him to play in the D1 under amateur conditions
  7. The federation refused the D2 champion Olympique Marseille, who was punished with relegation at the beginning of the season, the immediate promotion ("bribery affair OM-VA" in the 1992/93 season )
  8. Shortly before the start of the 2005/06 season, the promoted ASOA Valence was revoked the professional license, so that relegated Clermont Foot was allowed to stay in Ligue 2
  9. Châteauroux stayed in the second division because the league association refused to include Luzenac AP , who had been promoted to athletes .
  10. "Les 50 qui ont fait la Ligue 2" , France Football of January 27, 2016, pp. 34-42