The Ligue 1 is the highest division of league football in France.
Initially, the First Division football in France was played as an amateur league run by the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques (USFSA) between 1894 to 1919 and by the French Football Federation between 1919 to 1926.
After the National Council of the French Football Federation voted in favour of professionalism in French football in 1930, the Ligue 1 - then known as National - was instituted.
The first season of National began in 1932-33, with 20 teams. From 1933 to 2001, the top-tier league in France was called Division 1 and it was only in 2002 that the French league was renamed as Ligue 1.
Over the years, Ligue 1 has often changed the allotment of clubs (14, 16, 18, 20) to feature in the tournament.
Ligue 1 follows the basic promotion-relegation rules, as it is in other major European Leagues. The clubs who finish the season at 19th and 20th positions are relegated to Ligue 2, while the top two teams in Ligue 2 win promotion to Ligue 1.
A two-legged relegation/promotion play-off is played between the 18th-placed team in Ligue 1 and the winner of the promotion playoffs in Ligue 2.
In Ligue 2, the fourth and fifth-placed teams play a one-legged fixture where the winner faces the third-ranked team in the second-tier competition. The winner of this tie then battles the third-last team in Ligue 1 to secure promotion in the top-flight competition.
In case the Ligue 2 team wins on aggregate, they are promoted to Ligue 1 and their opponent is relegated to Ligue 2. On the flipside, if the Ligue 1 team wins the play-off, both clubs remain in their respective leagues.
The 1992-93 season is the first - and only instance - in history where no team walked away with the league title. Initial winners Marseille were stripped off the title due to their involvement in a bribery scandal and runners-up Paris Saint Germain refused to claim the league crown.
Who were the first winners of Ligue 1?
Olympique Lillois, the predecessor of Lille, were the first league champions of France football in the professional era. They defeated Cannes in the final by a score of 4-3.
Georges Winckelmans netted a brace as his side, who topped Group A with 28 points from 18 games, managed to edge past Cannes - who qualified for the final ahead of top-ranked FC Antibes who were involved in a bribery scandal.
Lyon won the league in 2002-03, the first season following the rebranding of Division 1 to Ligue 1. It was the second of seven consecutive league wins for the club between 2001-02 and 2007-08.
Who has the most Ligue 1 titles?
Paris Saint Germain and Saint Etienne share the record for most Ligue 1 titles. PSG, who won the Ligue 1 2021-22 season, now have 10 league titles just as Les Verts.
Saint Etienne were the first team to win 10 Ligue 1 titles, with their last domestic success coming back in the 1980–81 season.
PSG, who won their maiden Ligue 1 title in 1985–86, have bagged eight of their 10 league titles since winning their third domestic title in 2012–13.
Ligue 1 winners list
2021–2022: Paris Saint Germain
2019–2020: Paris Saint Germain
2018–2019: Paris Saint Germain
2017–2018: Paris Saint Germain
2015–2016: Paris Saint Germain
2014–2015: Paris Saint Germain
2013–2014: Paris Saint Germain
2012–2013: Paris Saint Germain
1997–1998: RC Lens
1993–1994: Paris Saint Germain
1985–1986: Paris Saint Germain
1961–1962: Stade de Reims
1959–1960: Stade de Reims
1957–1958: Stade de Reims
1954–1955: Stade de Reims
1952–1953: Stade de Reims
1948–1949: Stade de Reims
1935–1936: R. Colombes 92
Author: William Paul
Featured photo: AFP / FRANCK FIFE