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Lille OSC

Lille OSC is a football (soccer) club from France.

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About Lille OSC

LOSC Lille Métropole (; commonly referred to as Lille OSC, LOSC Lille, or simply Lille) is a Football in France club based in Lille. The club was founded in 1944 as a result of a merger and currently play in Ligue 1, the first division of Football in France. Lille plays its home matches at the Stadium Nord Lille Métropole in nearby Villeneuve-d'Ascq. In 2012, the club will move into a new facililty, tentatively named Grand Stade Lille Métropole. The team is managed by former Lille player Rudi Garcia and Captain (association football) by France national football team Rio Mavuba.

Lille was founded as a result of a merger between Olympique Lillois and SC Fives. Both clubs were founding members of the Ligue 1 and Lillois was the 1932–33 French Division 1. Under the Lille emblem, the club has won three league titles in 1945–46 French Division 1, 1953–54 French Division 1, and 2010–11 Ligue 1 and six Coupe de France titles, which is tied for fourth-best among clubs. Lille and FC Red Star Saint-Ouen are the only French clubs in the competition's history to win the Coupe de France in three consecutive seasons. The club is the current holder of both the Ligue 1 title and the Coupe de France. Lille's most successful period was the decade from 1946–1956 when the team was led by managers Bill Berry (footballer born 1904) and André Cheuva.

Lille have a long-standing rivalry with its neighbours RC Lens. The two clubs regularly contest the Derby du Nord. Lille is presided over by Michel Seydoux, a French businessman and movie producer. Seydoux initially purchased shares of the club in January 2002 and, subsequently, gained majority control two years later.


LOSC Lille Métropole was formed on 23 September 1944 as a result of a merger between professional clubs Olympique Lillois and SC Fives. Lillois had been in the process of negotiating with Fives as early as 1939. After failing to agree to a merger with Fives, Lillois merged with local club Iris Club Lillois to form Olympique Iris Club Lillois. However, due to World War II and the abolishing of professional football under the Vichy Regime, the club spent most of its existence playing in the amateur war leagues. In 1944, Fives finally agreed to a merger. However, the section of Olympique Iris Club Lillois officials who were representing Iris Club Lillois refused the merger as it meant the club would have to turn professional. The disagreement between Olympique Lillois and Iris Club led to the first merger dissolving. As a result, the original incarnation of Lillois merged with Fives. The club was initially named Stade Lillois and played under the name in two friendly matches ahead of the 1944–45 war championship season. On 10 November 1944, after a directors' meeting, the club changed its name to Lille Olympique Sporting Club. The name pays tribute to Olympique Lillois by retaining the Lille Olympique title and pays tribute to SC Fives by retaining the SC acronym. The club, subsequently, adopted the red and white colors of Lillois as its home kit and took Fives' blue colors as its away kit. Former Fives president Louis Henno was named as the club's first president.

After the war, Lille returned to professional football and was inserted into Ligue 1. Henno brought in the England Bill Berry (footballer born 1904) to lead the team. Henno also successfully recruited several former players of both Fives and Lillois such as Joseph Jadrejak, Marceau Somerlinck, Jules Bigot, François Bourbotte, Jean Baratte, and Jean Lechantre. The influence of these set of players led to Lille reaching the final of the Coupe de France in 1945. In 1945 Coupe de France Final, Lille faced a more experienced Racing Levallois 92 team who humbled the Nord-Pas-de-Calais 3–0 at the Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir in Colombes. In Lille's 1945–46 French Division 1 in Division 1, the club surprised many by not only winning the league, but also winning the Coupe de France. The team, which was nicknamed the "war machine" by local newspapers, won the league by only one point over AS Saint-Étienne and were led by René Bihel who scored 28 goals in 26 matches. In the Coupe de France, Lille defeated FC Red Star Saint-Ouen 4–2 with Bihel, Bolek Tempowski, and Roger Vandooren, who netted two, scoring the goals. After the season, Berry departed the club due to constant interference by Henno and he was replaced by André Cheuva.

Despite the departure of Berry, Lille maintained its form under the leadership of Cheuva. The club finished 4th in its second season in Division 1, but compensated for its league performance by winning the Coupe de France for the second consecutive season. The team defeated RC Strasbourg 2–0 in 1947 Coupe de France Final. In the 1947–48 French Division 1, Lille finished runner-up to Olympique de Marseille in the league. However, Lille again remained strong in the Coupe de France winning the competition for the third consecutive season thanks to Baratte who scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute against rivals RC Lens. As a result, Lille became the second team in French football history, the other being Red Star, to win the Coupe de France in three consecutive seasons. In the next four seasons, Lille maintained its consistent regularly finishing in the top three in the league. In the 1950–51 season, Lille reached the final of the Latin Cup and were defeated by Italy club A.C. Milan. The departures of Jadrejak and Bigot limited the club somewhat, but Lille were still able to capture its fourth and fifth Coupe de France titles in 1953 Coupe de France Final and 1955 Coupe de France Final. The 1955 cup title would be Lille's last major domestic trophy.

The subsequent departures of Baratte, Lechantre, Sommerlynck, and 1950 signing Cor van der Hart led to the club entering somewhat of a downward spiral. The struggle to find talent led to president Henno looking abroad for players. In 1954, Lille, among many other clubs, were interested in the Hungary national football team defender József Zakariás who had performed well in Hungary's campaign at the 1954 FIFA World Cup. In an attempt to take advantage of the player's new-found fame, a former Czechoslovak Legion began posing as Zakariás after departing from Indochina. The impostor, posing as Zakariás, ventured to Lille and announced his intent to sign for the club by declaring that he was going "past the Iron Curtain and choosing the side of freedom." Thinking he had signed one of the world's hottest prospects, Henno overlooked the option of asking the player for his identity papers and, subsequently, signed him and introduced him to the press. On 2 July 1954, the ruse was finally unveiled in "Zakariás'" first match with the club. The spectators and press immediately noticed that the player was not Zakariás based on his performance, which was described as clumsy. The impostor later injured a player and was arrested on the field of play. He confessed to the crime of impersonating Zakariás and was sentenced to two months in prison. The entire ordeal completely shattered the reputation of Lille OSC in France and, later, abroad.

The club's reputation on the field began to deplete, as well. In the 1955–56 French Division 1, just two years after winning the Coupe de France, Lille finished in 16th place in the league, which resulted in relegation to Ligue 2 for the first time in the club's history. The club returned to Division 1 after one season, but after two seasons of top flight play, was relegated back to Division 2 in 1959. That same year, Henno left his post as president and Cheuva resigned as manager. The second relegation led to the club enduring financial problems, which resulted in Lille selling many of its best players, most notably Jean Vincent to Stade de Reims for a then-French record of ₣19 million. From 1959–1978, Lille spent the majority of its life rotating between Division 1 and Division 2. In 1969, the club reverted to amateur status and playing in the Championnat de France amateur. Despite finishing in 10th place out of 15 teams, Lille were administratively promoted back to Division 2 by the French Football Federation and the Ligue de Football Professionnel. In 1978, Lille returned to Division 1 and maintained stability by remaining in the league for the next 19 seasons. The club's best finish during the stint was a 6th place finish, which occurred on two occasions; in the club's first season back in 1978 and in 1991. In 1994, the club was taken over by Bernard Lecomte who saved the club from falling victim to the DNCG's financial regulations. Under Lecomte, Lille reverted from buying expensive talent and began putting emphasis on developing players through the club's youth system, which led to the recruitment of the Cheyrou brothers and many other youth talents. In 1997, Lille were relegated back to Division 2.

Lille returned to Division 1 in 2000 under the Bosnia and Herzegovina manager Vahid Halilhodžić. In January 2002, influential move producer Michel Seydoux purchased shares in the club and became a minor shareholder. That same summer, former Monaco coach Claude Puel was named manager. In January 2004, Seydoux became the majority shareholder and was, subsequently, installed as the club's president. In his first full season of presidency, Lille stunned many French football enthusiasts by finishing runner-up in the league behind Olympique Lyonnais and ahead of the likes of AS Monaco FC and Olympique de Marseille. The club also reached the Round of 16 in the UEFA Cup. The second place position resulted in Lille qualifying for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in its history. In 2005–06 Ligue 1, Lille kept its consistency by finishing in third place in the league. On 2 November 2005, the club recorded one of the greatest results in its history by defeating Manchester United F.C. in the UEFA Champions League group phase.

In the 2006–07 Ligue 1 season, due to focusing its efforts on four competitions, Lille finished 10th in the league. The club did reached the knockout stage of the Champions League for the first time, but were eliminated by Manchester United via controversial circumstances. In the next season, Lille formed a talented core of players that helped the team to a 7th place finish in the league. Between 2007–2009, Lille sold several of its core players, most notably Michel Bastos, Jean II Makoun, and Kevin Mirallas. The club's further potential was hampered by the departure of Claude Puel in 2009. President Seydoux sought to eliminate the idea that Lille was a selling club by recruiting Gervinho, Florent Balmont, Rio Mavuba, and Pierre-Alain Frau to compensate for the loss of the departures. New manager Rudi Garcia also inserted the talented youngster Adil Rami as a starter and promoted the club's Belgium youth starlet Eden Hazard to the senior team. The signings and changes immediately paid off with Garcia creating an impressive attacking style of play, which resulted in the club scoring a league-leading 72 goals and finishing in 4th place in the 2009–10 Ligue 1.

The club's success continued into the 2010–11 Ligue 1 when they were crowned Ligue 1 champions for the third time in club history and the first time since 1954. Furthermore, they again finished at the top of the league with 68 goals and striker Moussa Sow was the top individual scorer with 25 goals of his own.


Lille OSC initially began its existence playing at the Stade Henri Jooris. The stadium had been previously used by Olympique Lillois and, following the merger, became Lille's permanent facility. The facility was named after Henri Jooris, who served as president of Olympique Lillois from 1910–1932. In 1974, Lille moved into the recently-completed Stade Grimonprez Jooris. The stadium was inaugurated on 28 October 1975 with Lille contesting a match against Netherlands club Feyenoord. In 2003, it was announced by Lille OSC and the city that the site of the Stade Grimonprez Jooris would be used to build the club's new stadium. Lille, subsequently, moved into the Stadium Nord Lille Métropole in nearby Villeneuve-d'Ascq. Due to the Stade Lille-Metropole not meeting the requirements to host UEFA Champions League matches, Lille hosted home matches at the Stade Félix Bollaert in RC Lens and Stade de France in Saint-Denis.

Due to several administrative and politically-driven delays, the construction of the facility was put in limbo and eventually called off in 2005. The Urban Community of Lille later agreed to fund the destruction of the Stade Grimonprez Jooris, which officially began on 22 March 2010. In 2006, the city of Lille agreed to assist in funding for the construction of the Grand Stade Lille Métropole, which is on both town of Villeneuve-d'Ascq and Lezennes. The stadium will be completed in 2012 and is currently listed as a site for matches to be played at UEFA Euro 2016.

Stadium history
- Stade Henri Jooris (1944–1974)
- Stade Grimonprez Jooris (1974–2004)
- Stadium Nord Lille Métropole (2004–2012)
- Grand Stade Lille Métropole (2012–onward)


As of 24 January 2012.

Out on loan

Reserve squad

As of 27 January 2011.

Notable players

Below are the notable former players who have represented Lille in Ligue 1 and international competition since the club's foundation in 1926. To appear in the section below, a player must have played in at least 100 official matches for the club.

For a complete list of Lille OSC players, see :Category:Lille OSC players

- Jocelyn Angloma
- Jean Baratte
- Philippe Bergeroo
- Guillaume Bieganski
- Jules Bigot
- François Bourbotte
- Yohan Cabaye
- Benoît Cheyrou
- Bruno Cheyrou
- Christian Coste
- Yvon Douis
- François Heutte
- Joseph Jadrejak
- Bernard Lama
- Jean Lechantre
- André Strappe

- Adil Rami
- Jean Vincent
- Nourredine Kourichi
- Éric Assadourian
- Mile Sterjovski
- Erwin Vandenbergh
- Michel Bastos
- Jean II Makoun
- Per Frandsen
- Jakob Friis-Hansen
- Gervinho
- Cor van der Hart
- Ludovic Obraniak
- Tony Sylva
- Stanislav Karasi
- Boro Primorac

Management and staff

Lille Olympique Sporting Club Lille Métropole (SASP)
- President: Michel Seydoux
- President Adviser: Jean-Michel Van Damme
- Deputy Director: Frédéric Paquet, Didier de Climmer
- Assistant Deputy Director: Sandrine de Castro, Sophie Kaszkowiak

Senior club staff

- - Champions (3): French football Division 1 1945-46, French football Division 1 1953-54, 2010-11 Ligue 1
- Ligue 2
- - Champions (4): French football Division 2 1963–64, 1973–74 Division 2, French football Division 2 1977–78, French football Division 2 1999/2000
- Coupe de France
- - Champions (6): 1946 Coupe de France Final, 1947 Coupe de France Final, 1948 Coupe de France Final, 1953 Coupe de France Final, 1955 Coupe de France Final, 2011 Coupe de France Final
- - Runners-Up (2): 1945 Coupe de France Final, 1947 Coupe de France Final
- Coupe Gambardella
- - Champions (1): 1960
- - Runners-Up (2): 1955, 2000
- Coupe Charles Drago
- - Runners-Up (2): 1954, 1956


- UEFA Intertoto Cup
- - Winner (1): 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup
- Latin Cup
- - Runners-Up (1): Latin Cup Finals

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