Marseille

5 Reasons To Watch Ligue 1 Not Named Messi

Ligue 1 gets a lot of shit these days. As the fifth-best league in Europe, it’s often derided as a “farmer’s league” by the snobbier football fans. Anyone who has actually paid attention to Ligue 1 over the last few years knows this isn’t the case. With the addition of Lionel Messi to the league now official, here are five reasons you should watch Ligue 1 not named Messi. 

It’s Been A Strong Window For Ligue 1, But Marseille Stands Out Alongside PSG

After a potential title chase ended up in a fifth-place finish and a change of manager, Olympique de Marseille has been remarkably active in the transfer window this summer. 

Jorge Sampaoli has been backed to the tune of $52 million as Marseille has secured 10 signings thus far. This summer has been one of transition for the side from France's second city, as Valère Germain, Yuto Nagatomo and Florian Thauvin have left the club in addition to academy graduate Maxime Lopez, Kevin Strootman and Hiroki Sakai.

The Best Summer Transfers: These 6 Clubs Have Our Attention

Come August, there are always a few clubs that capture the imagination with their audacious summer spending before inevitably collapsing by October. Usually this is Everton. 

The return of a club legend, the signing of a highly touted prodigy or a loan move for a big-name player whose career has stalled (or preferably all three in one window) are the usual fixings for getting way too hyped before the start of a new campaign.  

Tigres Add Another Frenchman, A World Cup-Winning Winger

Tigres are once again turning to France to boost their offensive capabilities. The Liga MX club that’s become a second home to André-Pierre Gignac signed World Cup winner Florian Thauvin, who will join the club after he completes his 2020-21 campaign with Marseille, Tigres announced Friday. The Florian Thauvin Tigres move will be a free transfer. 

The18 Presents: The First-Ever Champions League Bubble Watch

As domestic leagues across Europe enter the final weeks of their seasons, not only are league titles at stake, but qualification for next season's Champions League is also yet to be resolved.

Only 11 of the 26 automatic qualification spots for the UCL group stage have been officially determined, and more than half of the 55 playoff spots are up for grabs. 

With so many bids up for grabs across the continent, tracking the qualification process can be very difficult. 

Former Champions League Winner Djibril Cissé Rebuffs Retirement To Join NPSL Club

Somewhere in an alternate universe, Lionel Messi is the best player MLS has ever seen, Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani are both pushing for their third MLS Cup and the United States is the premier destination for global footballing talent. 

In the meantime, we'll have to settle for a new signing who, while not quite as well-known, is arguably more intriguing than any player to ever put on an MLS kit.

Villas-Boas: "I Have Resigned, I Want Them To Let Me Go"

Portuguese coach André Villas-Boas announced that he has resigned as coach of Olympique de Marseille because he disagrees with the club's sporting policy, although he said he will remain in charge of the team "until the management board lets him go."

"I have submitted my resignation to the management board, I have not yet received an answer," the coach said at a press conference ahead of a league game against Lens.

18 In Police Custody After Ultras Storm Marseille’s Training Ground

French police in Marseille were holding 18 people in custody on Sunday after hundreds of fans stormed the training ground of soccer club Olympique de Marseille a day earlier, the local prosecutor said.

The hardcore Ultras were demonstrating against the club's leadership and a poor run of results. The supporters forced their way into the Commanderie training ground, hurling flares and firecrackers.

Ligue 1 Match Postponed After Angry Ultras Storm Marseille’s Training Grounds Beforehand

PARIS — The Ligue 1 game between Olympique de Marseille and Stade Rennais at the Stade Velodrome on Saturday was postponed after fans stormed into Marseille's training ground hours before kickoff.

"A few hundred individuals from the ultra fan groups broke into the Commanderie's training centre by force and with violence," Marseille said in a statement.

TV pictures showed fans forcing their way in and some were seen throwing flares and lighting firecrackers.

From Alcorcón To Pordenone: The Biggest Cup Upsets In Footballing History

Soccer is one of the very few sports that boasts competitions where small, local sides are able to face off against the best teams in the country. These matchups capture the imagination while providing a sense of hope and magic to a small group of supporters.

Domestic cups have long provided smaller clubs with the opportunity to prove their mettle by facing nationally recognized sides, and while major upsets are rare, just the slightest hope of an improbable win is enough to cause local pandemonium and stir significant interest among neutral supporters.

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