Lyon FC, whose full name is Olympique Lyonnais, is one of France’s most successful football clubs especially considering their record since the turn of the current century. Lyon, playing its home games in the Stade de Gerland can date its formation back to 1899 but was nationally established as a club in 1954.
Lyon enjoyed some successes in the second half of the twentieth century, notably victories in the Coupe de France in 1964, 1967 and 1973 and a European trophy (UEFA Intertoto) in 1997. The best result in the Ligue 1 was a second place in 1994-95.
It took the Millennium to make the big difference to Lyon’s performances. The club won its first Ligue 1 championship in 2002, starting a national record-setting streak of seven successive titles. Lyon has also won a record seven Trophée des Champions, five Coupe de France titles and three Ligue 2 Championships. During the first decade of the new century, Lyon established itself as perhaps the most successful club in French football with an estimate of 11% of all football followers being fans of the team. During this period Lyon reached the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions League three times and the semi-finals just once in 2009-10 where they suffered a 4-0 defeat over two legs to Bayern Munich.
At their period of greatest success, Lyon developed some fine players who succeeded both at Club and international level. These included Michael Essien, Florent Malouda,Sidney Govou, Juninho Pernambucano, Cris, Éric Abidal, Mahamadou Diarra, Patrick Müller, and Karim Benzema. Looking back, , mention must be made of two of the longest serving players: Moroccan-born French midfielder Serge Chiesa who holds the all-time Lyon appearance record playing 541 matches over fourteen seasons (1969 – 1983) followed by . Following goalkeeper Grégory Coupet whose tally is 518 matches over eleven seasons (1997 - 2008.) The all-time scoring record is held by Fleury di Nallio, with 182 goals.
In the last 2014-15 season, Lyon finished runners up in Ligue 1 to Paris Saint-Germain with an eight point deficiency. The Club had several high scoring players of whom the leaders were Alexandre Lacazette with 27 followed by Andre-Pierre Gignac with 21. The runner-up position of course ensures them a place in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League so there will be some great football to look forward to at the Stade de Gerland.
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