FOOTBALL - This weekend, France’s Ligue 1 has kicked off with the reigning champions Montpellier drawing Toulouse 1-1. We have taken a closer look on what made Montpellier a unique winner last season. Click to Read More.
Playing small ball
Becoming league champions is a difficult task for any club, anywhere. But you will have a huge advantage if your club is from one of the outstanding cities in your country. If it’s not the political capital, it could be the industrial one. And if it’s not the first city of the country, it might be the second one, or maybe the third. There is nothing new to this. But one champion ignored this ‘fact’, and went along to win the title anyway.
Exception to the rule
Looking at six of the biggest European football leagues last season, and the cities they come from, one exception stands out. Montpellier and its metropolitan area does not even hold one percent of France’s population. That is truly remarkable.
Les plus grands
France has seven metropolitan areas with at least one million inhabitants (Paris has about 12 million), and all of them have a Ligue 1 team. We have to continue down the list of France’s biggest cities to find Montpellier with its surroundings placed 15, with a population just above 500 000. David beat Goliath in Ligue 1 last season, do not expect him to do it again anytime soon.