FC Lorient

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Lorient
FC Lorient logo.svg
Full nameFootball Club de Lorient Bretagne Sud
Nickname(s)Les Merlus (The Merlucciidaes)[1]
Le FCL
Les tangos et noirs (The dark orange and black)[2]
Founded1926; 96 years ago (1926)
GroundStade du Moustoir,
Lorient
Capacity18,890
OwnerLoïc Fery
PresidentLoïc Fery
Head coachChristophe Pélissier
LeagueLigue 1
2021–22Ligue 1, 16th of 20
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Football Club de Lorient Bretagne Sud (French pronunciation: ​[lɔʁjɑ̃ bʁətaɲ syd]; commonly referred to FC Lorient or simply Lorient) is a French association football club based in Lorient, Brittany. The club was founded in 1926 and currently competes in Ligue 1, the top flight of French football, following promotion from Ligue 2 in the 2019–20 season. Lorient plays its home matches at the Stade Yves Allainmat, named after the former mayor of Lorient. The stadium is surnamed Stade du Moustoir because of its location within the city. The team is managed by Christophe Pélissier.

Lorient had a relatively bleak history nationally before 1998 when the club made its first appearance in Ligue 1 in the 1998–99 season. Before that, Lorient spent most of its life as an amateur club. Lorient's achieved its biggest honour in 2002 when the club won the Coupe de France defeating Bastia 1–0 in the final. Lorient has never won Ligue 1, but has won the Championnat National earning this honour in 1995. Regionally, the club has won five Brittany Division d'Honneur titles and six Coupe de Bretagne.

Lorient has most notably served as a springboard club for several present-day internationals such as Laurent Koscielny, André-Pierre Gignac, Michaël Ciani, Kevin Gameiro, Karim Ziani, Bakari Koné, Matteo Guendouzi, and Seydou Keita. French international Yoann Gourcuff, the son of Christian Gourcuff, began his career at the club before moving to Derby Breton rivals Rennes.

History[edit]

Football Club Lorient was founded on 2 April 1926. Lorient was formed off of La Marée Sportive, a club founded a year earlier by Madame Cuissard, a store patron who originated from Saint-Étienne, and her son Joseph. The club began play as an amateur club under the Czechoslovakian manager Jozef Loquay and won the Champions de l'Ouest in 1929, which placed the club into the Division d'Honneur of the Brittany region. In 1932, Lorient won the league and, four years later, repeated this performance. The onset of World War II limited the club's meteoric rise in the region and the departure of several players who either joined the war effort or left to play abroad effectively disseminated the club.

Following the war, Antoine Cuissard, the grandson of Madame Cuissard, joined the club as a player with intentions of rebuilding it in honour of his grandmother. Lorient began play in the Division d'Honneur. Cuissard began one of the first Lorient players to maintain a place in the France national team while playing with the club. In 1954, he played on the team that qualified for the 1954 FIFA World Cup. Lorient quickly recovered and, by 1948, was playing in the Championnat de France amateur (CFA). The club spent two years in the league before falling back to the Division d'Honneur. In 1957, Lorient was promoted back to the CFA, but struggled due to being limited financially. Subsequently, the club sought sponsors with the hopes of becoming professional. In 1967, under the chairmanship of both Jean Tomine and René Fougère, Lorient placed a bid to turn professional and was elected to Division 2 by the French League. Incoming president Henri Ducassou agreed to do his best to make professionalism prosper in Lorient.

In the second division, Lorient struggled in the early seventies to consistently stay up in the league table. In the 1974–75 and 1975–76 seasons, the club came close to promotion to Division 1, finishing 3rd in its group on each occasion, one place short of the promotion play-offs. However, the following season, Lorient was relegated to Division 3. The potential of that team had proved above its classification when the club qualified for its first French FA Cup quarter-finals in history. The club subsequently struggled financially and domestically. It went bankrupt in 1978. During this period, under the name "Club des Supporters du FC Lorient" (the supporters legally took over to keep the FC Lorient name alive), Lorient played in the Division Supérieure Régionale (sixth tier of the French football pyramid). In the early 1980s, Georges Guenoum took over the club as president and hired former Lorient player Christian Gourcuff as manager. Surprisingly, under Gourcuff, Lorient quickly climbed back up the French football ladder. In 1983, the club won the Brittany Division d'Honneur title and, the following season, won Division 4. In 1985, they won Division 3 and so were back in Division 2 eight years after their demise at that level! Gourcuff left the club after its first Division 2 campaign, with relegation only being effective through an unfavourable goal difference. Lorient spent the next five years in Division 3 playing under two managers. It went financially bust again in 1990 but was nevertheless allowed to stay in Division 3. In 1991, Gourcuff returned to the club and after almost a decade playing in Division 3, Lorient earned promotion back to Division 2 after winning the second edition of the Championnat National.

Jean-Claude Darcheville scored the game-winning goal for Lorient in the 2002 Coupe de France final.

Lorient spent two seasons in the second division and, in the 1997–98 season, surprised many by running away with the league alongside champions Nancy. The 1998–99 season marked Lorient's first appearance in Division 1 in the club's history. The appearance was brief with Lorient struggling to meet the financial demands and stronger competition of the league. The club finished in 16th place and were relegated. Amazingly, Lorient finished equal on points with Le Havre with both clubs having the same number of wins, losses, and draws. However, due to Le Havre having a better goal difference, Lorient was relegated. After only two seasons in Division 2, Lorient were back in the first division for the 2001–02 season. Before the promotion, in April 2001, a takeover of the club led by Alain Le Roch led to internal problems, which resulted in the departure of Gourcuff and one of the club's best players, Ulrich Le Pen, soon after. The club hired Argentine manager Ángel Marcos to replace Gourcuff. However, Marcos lasted only a few months.

Despite the initial issues, Lorient strengthened its squad in preparation for its return to the first division by recruiting players such as Pascal Delhommeau, Moussa Saïb, Johan Cavalli, and Pape Malick Diop. Led by Yvon Pouliquen, the new signings joined the likes of Jean-Claude Darcheville, Arnaud Le Lan, and Seydou Keita and surprised many by reaching the final of the Coupe de la Ligue. Lorient was defeated by Bordeaux in the final. Lorient continued its impressive cup form by winning the Coupe de France just two months later. In the match, Lorient faced Bastia and defeated the Corsicans 1–0 courtesy of a goal from Darcheville. The title was the club's first major honour. The celebration would however end on a sourer note as Lorient was relegated from league play in the same season. The club participated in the UEFA Cup the following season, falling to Turkish side Denizlispor in the first round on away goals.

Lorient returned to the first division, now called Ligue 1, in 2006 with a completely revamped team. Instead of spending money on players, the club focused its efforts on improving its academy and promoted several players to the first-team such as André-Pierre Gignac, Virgile Reset, Jérémy Morel, and Diego Yesso during the club's stint in Ligue 2. Lorient was also influenced by the arrival of the Malian international Bakari Koné. The club, in its return to Ligue 1, finished mid-table in three straight seasons. In the 2009–10 season, Lorient performed well domestically. In October 2009, the club reached 5th place in the table; its highest position that late in the season ever. Lorient eventually finished the campaign in 7th place; its best finish in Ligue 1.

In the 2016-2017 Ligue 1 season, Lorient played against Ligue 2 side ES Troyes in the promotion/relegation play off match. Lorient lost the tie 2–1 and were relegated to Ligue 2 after an 11 year stay in the top flight.[3][4]

On 30 April 2020, Lorient were promoted to Ligue 1 after the LFP decided to end the seasons of both Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 early due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Lorient were top of the Ligue 2 table at the time of the decision.[5]

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

As of 1 February 2022[6]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK France FRA Matthieu Dreyer
2 DF Brazil BRA Igor Silva
3 DF Germany GER Moritz Jenz
6 MF France FRA Laurent Abergel (vice-captain)
7 FW Ivory Coast CIV Stéphane Diarra
8 MF Nigeria NGA Bonke Innocent
9 FW Mali MLI Ibrahima Koné
10 MF France FRA Enzo Le Fée
11 MF France FRA Quentin Boisgard
13 FW Nigeria NGA Terem Moffi
14 DF France FRA Jérôme Hergault
15 DF France FRA Julien Laporte
16 GK France FRA Teddy Bartouche
No. Pos. Nation Player
17 DF Guinea-Bissau GNB Houboulang Mendes
18 MF France FRA Fabien Lemoine (captain)
19 DF France FRA Léo Pétrot
20 DF France FRA Samuel Loric
21 DF Madagascar MAD Jérémy Morel
23 MF France FRA Thomas Monconduit
25 DF France FRA Vincent Le Goff
28 FW France FRA Armand Laurienté
30 GK France FRA Paul Nardi
31 FW France FRA Redwan Bourlès
32 FW Senegal SEN Sambou Soumano
38 FW Burkina Faso BFA Dango Ouattara
40 GK France FRA Thomas Callens

Out on loan[edit]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
DF France FRA Julien Ponceau (on loan to Nîmes)
DF France FRA Tom Renaud (on loan to Cholet)
DF France FRA Loris Mouyokolo (on loan to Bourg-en-Bresse)
FW Nigeria NGA Taofeek Ismaheel (on loan to Vålerenga)
No. Pos. Nation Player
FW Turkey TUR Umut Bozok (on loan to Kasımpaşa)
FW France FRA Pierre-Yves Hamel (on loan to Clermont Foot)
FW Austria AUT Adrian Grbić (on loan to SBV Vitesse)

Reserve squad[edit]

[7]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK France FRA Tom Laurent
DF France FRA Théo Le Bris
MF France FRA Paul Bellon
MF France FRA Ronny Labonne
MF France FRA Rafael Landais
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF France FRA Brendan Lebas
MF France FRA Baptiste Mouazan
MF France FRA Mouhamed Sadjo
FW France FRA Pablo Pagis

Notable players[edit]

Below are the notable former and current players who have represented Lorient in league 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 FC Lorient players with a Wikipedia article, see here.

Management and staff[edit]

Club officials[edit]

Senior club staff[8]

Coaching history[edit]

Honours[edit]

Domestic[edit]

Regional[edit]

  • Division d'Honneur (Bretagne)
    • Champions (5): 1932, 1936, 1957, 1983, 1995[11]
  • Coupe de Bretagne
    • Champions (6): 1958, 1970, 1982, 1990, 2000, 2002

European football[edit]

FC Lorient in Europe
Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
2002–03 UEFA Cup First round Turkey Denizlispor 3–1 0–2 3–3 (a)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "#250 – FC Lorient : les Merlus" (in French). Footnickname. 12 September 2020. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  2. ^ "#364 – FC Lorient : les Tangos et Noirs" (in French). Footnickname. 28 December 2020. Retrieved 22 December 2021.
  3. ^ "Troyes promoted to Ligue 1". beIN SPORTS Australia.
  4. ^ "French Football League - FC LORIENT BRETAGNE SUD". www.ligue1.com. Archived from the original on 20 October 2010.
  5. ^ "Paris St-Germain awarded French title as season finished early". BBC Sport.
  6. ^ "L'équipe professionnelle 2021-22". FC Lorient Official Site. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  7. ^ "L'équipe réserve 2021-22". FC Lorient.
  8. ^ "Présentation". FC Lorient. Archived from the original on 4 December 2010. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  9. ^ "France – Trainers of First and Second Division Clubs". RSSSF. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  10. ^ "Entraîneurs". FC Lorient. Archived from the original on 13 March 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
  11. ^ The 1995 title was won by the club's reserve team.