FC Nantes

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FC Nantes Atlantique
Full name Football Club de Nantes
Nickname(s) Les Canaris (The Canaries)
Founded 1943; 76 years ago (1943)
Ground La Beaujoire-Louis
, Nantes
Ground Capacity 38,285
Chairman Waldemar Kita
Manager Michel Der Zakarian[1]
League Ligue 1
2014–15 Ligue 1, 14th
Website Club home page
Current season

Football Club de Nantes (Breton: Naoned, Gallo: Naunnt; commonly referred to as simply Nantes) is a French association football club based in Nantes, Pays de la Loire. The club was founded on 21 April 1943, during World War II, as a result of local clubs based in the city coming together to form one big club. From 1992–07, the club was referred to as FC Nantes Atlantique before reverting to its current name at the start of the 2007–08 season. Nantes will play in Ligue 1, the first division of French football in the 2014–15 season. The first-team is currently managed by Franco-Armenian coach Michel Der Zakarian and captained by defender Olivier Veigneau.

Nantes is one of the most successful clubs in French football having won eight Ligue 1 titles, three Coupe de France wins, and attained one Coupe de la Ligue victory. The club is famous for its jeu à la nantaise (Nantes-style play), its collective spirit, mainly advocated under coaches José Arribas, Jean-Claude Suaudeau and Raynald Denoueix and for its youth system, which has produced players such as Marcel Desailly, Didier Deschamps, Mickaël Landreau, Claude Makelele, Christian Karembeu or Jeremy Toulalan. As well as Les Canaris (The Canaries), Nantes is also nicknamed Les jaunes et verts (The Green and Yellows) and La Maison Jaune (The Yellow House).


1940s – 1980s

The club was founded in 1943. [2]

The first match played by Nantes as a professional team took place at the Stade Olympique de Colombes against CA Paris, where FC Nantes triumphed 2–0. The first home match was a defeat of the same score against AS Troyes. The club finished fifth at the end of this first season following which the club's manager Aimé Nuic left the club following a dispute, and was succeeded by Antoine Raab who took over in a player-coach role. After winning 16 consecutive matches, Nantes bowed down 9–0 to Sochaux. In 1963, the town council decided to give substantial subsidies to the club to give it a leg-up to climb into the next division.

Supporters at an away match

On 1 June 1963, the club won its place in the first division against Sochaux. Marcel Saupin died on 10 June and would never see the club he created amongst the elite. Nantes went on to win the 1964–65 and 1965–66 league titles with a well polished game, partly thanks to José Arribas, a fan of a more offensive game strategy who was making his first contributions to that which would become known as the jeu à la nantaise.

It was during this period that the famous jeu à la nantaise, made up of well-oiled and offensive tactics, made its appearance.[citation needed] In the summer of 1976, Arribas departed his role as manager and the reins were handed to Jean Vincent. The former player, who had played for Stade Reims during the club's successful years, remained the team's manager until 1982 when Jean-Claude Suaudeau, another fan of the jeu à la nantaise style of play and a former Nantes player, replaced him.[citation needed]

Apart from the titles of French champion which Nantes held in 1973, 1977, 1980 and 1983, the club won their first Coupe de France in 1979 against Auxerre courtesy of a 4–1 victory after extra time. Eric Pécout inserted his name into Nantes folklore by converting a hat-trick in the match. In June 1983, Nantes battled out a Coupe de France final against Paris Saint-Germain. In the match, Nantes striker José Touré scored a memorable goal, but, nevertheless, Nantes lost the match 3–2 preventing the club from obtaining the league and cup double.

They finished second in the 1984–85 championship (behind Bordeaux) and in 1985–86 (behind Paris Saint-Germain).[citation needed]


In July 1991 the club re-instated Jean-Claude Suaudeau, and in July 1992, after spending a fortnight in the second division due to an administrative decision by the DNCG (French Football's financial regulator), FC Nantes is renamed FC Nantes Atlantique, and is able to take its place in the 1st Division back.

In 1992, the jeu à la nantaise made its comeback. The club subsequently made the finals of the French Championship in 1992–93; semi-finals of the French Cup in 1993–94; won the 1994–95 Championship and was Semi finalist in the Champion's league of 1995–96. This period saw the development of a host of players such as Japhet N'Doram, Patrice Loko, Reynald Pedros, Nicolas Ouédec, Claude Makélélé, and Christian Karembeu.[citation needed]

2000 – present

In the 2003–04 season, Nantes was defeated by Sochaux after a penalty shoot-out, thus depriving the team of the League Cup, and a spot in the UEFA Cup.[citation needed]

File:FC Nantes Atlantique logo.svg
Former logo (2004–08)

Before the start of the 2005–06 season, Serge Dassault's team asked executives Robert Budzynski and Kléber Bobin as well as the players Mickaël Landreau and Frédéric Da Rocha to leave. At the same time Vahid Halilhodzic was approached to become manager, even though Serge Le Dizet had only been in place for six months. Jean-Luc Gripond was also finally replaced by Rudi Roussillon on 28 June 2005 following an Extraordinary meeting of the Dassault group.

On 20 September 2006, Georges Eo replaced Serge Le Dizet as club manager. He would only hold this position for five months however, being replaced by the duo Michel Der Zakarian / Japhet N'Doram on 12 February 2007. On 9 May of the same year, despite their victory against Bordeaux (1–0), FC Nantes was mathematically relegated to the league below. The Yellows would therefore get ready to compete in their 19th Ligue 2 season in the club's history. This season would be smitten by the coming and going of a record number of assistant managers, by the arrival and the departure of Fabien Barthez and by the crowds invading the pitch at the last home match of the season against Toulouse in the 86th minute.[citation needed]

Nantes secured a return to Ligue 1 on 25 April 2008, with a 1–1 draw against Montpellier. In the 2008–09 Ligue 1 season, Nantes finished 19th and were relegated back to Ligue 2.[citation needed]

During the 2014–15 Ligue 1 season they enjoyed a run of 9 matches without defeat before losing to Marseille on 28 November.[3]


Stade de la Beaujoire

Their home ground since 1984 has been the Stade de la Beaujoire-Louis Fontenau, which has a capacity of 38,004.[4] It held six matches at the 1998 FIFA World Cup and was also a venue at the 2007 IRB Rugby World Cup. FC Nantes played its first match in La Beaujoire the 17st May 1984 vs Toulon (3-1) in front of 15 116 spectators. The capacity of the stadium at that time is 52 923 standing and seating seats.

La Joneliere is a sport complex located in La Chapelle-sur-Erdre, along the river La Loire, the training center of FC Nantes. The artificial turf and grass football fields of the facility currently host training sessions for the professional team and the FCN Youth academy.


Current squad

As of 31 August 2015.[5]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 France GK Rémy Riou
3 Albania DF Ermir Lenjani (on loan from Rennes)
4 Venezuela DF Oswaldo Vizcarrondo (Captain)
5 Albania DF Lorik Cana
6 Senegal MF Rémi Gomis
7 United States MF Alejandro Bedoya
8 France MF Adrien Thomasson
9 Iceland FW Kolbeinn Sigþórsson
10 Morocco FW Yacine Bammou
11 Guinea FW Ismaël Bangoura
12 Mali MF Birama Touré
13 France DF Wilfried Moimbé
14 France DF Youssouf Sabaly (on loan from PSG)
15 France DF Léo Dubois
16 France GK Alexandre Olliero
17 France DF Anthony Walongwa
No. Position Player
19 Guinea MF Abdoulaye Touré
20 Republic of the Congo MF Jules Iloki
21 France FW Johan Audel
22 Argentina FW Emiliano Sala
23 Brazil MF Adryan (on loan from Flamengo)
24 Cameroon MF Alexis Alegue
25 France DF Enock Kwateng
26 Ivory Coast DF Koffi Djidji
27 Belgium FW Guillaume Gillet
28 France MF Valentin Rongier
30 France GK Maxime Dupé
33 France MF Hicham M'Laab
34 France FW Thomas Henry
38 Democratic Republic of the Congo DF Aristote N'Dongala
40 France GK Quentin Braat

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
18 Venezuela FW Fernando Aristeguieta (at Philadelphia Union)
8 France MF Amine Oudrhiri (at CS Sedan)

Notable players

Below are the notable former players who have represented Nantes in league and international competition since the club's foundation in 1943. To appear in the section below, a player must have played in at least 100 official matches for the club.[citation needed]

For a complete list of FC Nantes players, see Category:FC Nantes players

Former managers

[citation needed]


Winners (8): 1964–65, 1965–66, 1972–73, 1976–77, 1979–80, 1982–83, 1994–95, 2000–01
Winners (3): 1978–79, 1998–99, 1999–00
Winners (1): 1964–65
Winners (3): 1965, 1999, 2001
Winners (1): 1981–82


  1. "Nantes". Ligue 1 (in French). L'Equipe. Retrieved 1 December 2014. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "FC Nantes". Soccerway. Perform. Retrieved 1 December 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "FC Nantes: Le FCN stoppé à Marseille (0-2)". Presse-Océan (in français). 28 November 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "FC Nantes". LFP. Retrieved 1 December 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Effectif pro 2015-2016" (in French). fcnantes.com. Retrieved 1 July 2015. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

  • FC Nantes at UEFA
  • No URL found. Please specify a URL here or add one to Wikidata. (French)