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10 Biggest Rivalries In French Football

5) AS Monaco vs OGC Nice (Derby de la Côte d’Azur)

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Derby de la Côte d’Azur is another geographic rivalry with the clubs only being separated by 20kms. The rivalry heated up in the 2000s with the two clubs fighting for the top spot in Ligue 1 year in year out.

It is a violent derby that has seen the supporters from both sides clashing heads on several occasions. AS Monaco’s success in the mid-2010s made the derby one-sided but the clubs are evenly matched in the present times with both fighting for spots to qualify for European Football.

4) LOSC Lille vs RC Lens (Derby du Nord)

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A Rivalry in Northern France, Derby du Nord has become one of the biggest games in French Football with the recent Ligue 1 triumph of Lille. The rivalry originated due to the close proximity between the clubs and also the sociological differences that the two share.

Although the recent head-to-head record is favorable for Lille with Lens only having won 3 of the last 16 meetings between the two clubs, the games are always the fiercest with players and the fans all equally fired up for the fixture.

3) AS Saint-Etienne vs Olympique Lyon (Derby Rhône-Alpes)

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Saint-Étienne vs Lyon often referred to as Derby Rhône-Alpes, Derby Rhônealpin or simply Le Derby. It is arguably the most hotly contested local rivalry in French football. The two clubs are separated by 31kms geographically in the city of Lyon.

This Derby is one of the fiercest rivalries in the world, the two have a fairly even head-to-head record with Lyon having the edge in terms of silverware won.

The fans are at their loudest in this rivalry which makes the Derby Rhônealpin one of the most anticipated in France.

2) Olympique Lyonnais vs Olympique de Marseille (The Choc de Olympiques)

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”The Choc de Olympiques” is historically one of the biggest rivalries in French Football. Unlike PSG v Marseille, this rivalry doesn’t stem from personal hatred or bad blood between the two clubs but because of the historic competitiveness between the two.

Before the arrival of PSG as the top club in France, these two regularly locked horns for Ligue 1, with Lyon winning 7 and Marseille winning 9 titles. While these clubs don’t challenge for the Ligue 1 title anymore for a variety of reasons they still fight for European places every season.

1) Paris Saint-Germain vs Olympique de Marseille (Le Classique)

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PSG v Marseille also known as ‘Le Classique’ is the biggest game in the French football calendar. It is the rivalry between the North and the South for national supremacy.

This fixture involves as much drama off the pitch as it does on it, the fan participation is on another level as the use of flares and other objects is normal in this game so much so that in the recent match between these two PSG Supporters were banned from attending the game.

PSG have had the upper hand as of late but Marseille always up their game when they face their most hated rival.

Checkout: Biggest Football Rivalries in the UK

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Nisarg Desai

Freelance Football Writer & Arsenal Fan, Infatuated to Obscure Premier League knowledge.

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