FC Nantes

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Not to be confused with FC Mantes.
FC Nantes Atlantique
FC Nantes logo.svg
Full name Football Club de Nantes
Nickname(s) Les Canaris (The Canaries)
Founded 1943; 73 years ago (1943)
Ground La Beaujoire-Louis
, Nantes
Ground Capacity 38,285
Chairman Waldemar Kita
Manager René Girard[1]
League Ligue 1
2015–16 Ligue 1, 14th
Website Club home page
Current season

Football Club de Nantes (Breton: Naoned, Gallo: Naunnt; commonly referred to as simply Nantes) is a French association football club based in Nantes, Pays de la Loire. The club was founded on 21 April 1943, during World War II, as a result of local clubs based in the city coming together to form one large club. From 1992 to 2007, the club was referred to as FC Nantes Atlantique before reverting to its current name at the start of the 2007–08 season. Nantes currently play in Ligue 1, the first division of French football. The first-team is currently managed by French coach René Girard and captained by goalkeeper Rémy Riou.

Nantes is one of the most successful clubs in French football, having won eight Ligue 1 titles, three Coupe de France wins and attained one Coupe de la Ligue victory. The club is famous for its jeu à la nantaise ("Nantes-style play"), its collective spirit, mainly advocated under coaches José Arribas, Jean-Claude Suaudeau and Raynald Denoueix and for its youth system, which has produced players such as Marcel Desailly, Didier Deschamps, Mickaël Landreau, Claude Makélélé, Christian Karembeu and Jérémy Toulalan. As well as Les Canaris (The Canaries), Nantes is also nicknamed Les jaunes et verts (The Green and Yellows) and La Maison Jaune (The Yellow House).


1940s – 1980s[edit]

The club was founded in 1943. [2]

The first match played by Nantes as a professional team took place at the Stade Olympique de Colombes against CA Paris, where Nantes triumphed 2–0. The first home match was a defeat of the same score against Troyes. The club finished fifth at the end of this first season following which the club's manager Aimé Nuic left the club following a dispute, and was succeeded by Antoine Raab, who took over in a player-coach role. After winning 16 consecutive matches, Nantes bowed down 9–0 to Sochaux. In 1963, the town council decided to give substantial subsidies to the club to give it an advantage to climb into the next division.

Supporters at an away match

On 1 June 1963, the club won its place in the first division against Sochaux. Marcel Saupin died on 10 June and would never see the club he created amongst the elite. Nantes went on to win the 1964–65 and 1965–66 league titles with a well polished game, partly thanks to José Arribas, a fan of a more offensive game strategy who was making his first contributions to that which would become known as the jeu à la nantaise.

It was during this period that the famous jeu à la nantaise, made up of well-oiled and offensive tactics, made its appearance.[citation needed] In the summer of 1976, Arribas departed his role as manager and the reins were handed to Jean Vincent. The former player, who had played for Stade de Reims during the club's successful years, remained the team's manager until 1982 when Jean-Claude Suaudeau, another fan of the jeu à la nantaise style of play and a former Nantes player, replaced him.[citation needed]

Apart from the titles of French champion which Nantes held in 1973, 1977, 1980 and 1983, the club won their first Coupe de France in 1979 against Auxerre courtesy of a 4–1 victory after extra time. Eric Pécout inserted his name into Nantes folklore by converting a hat-trick in the match. In June 1983, Nantes battled-out a Coupe de France final against Paris Saint-Germain. In the match, Nantes striker José Touré scored a memorable goal, but, nevertheless, Nantes lost the match 3–2 preventing the club from obtaining the league and cup double.

They finished second in the 1984–85 championship (behind Bordeaux) and in 1985–86 (behind Paris Saint-Germain).[citation needed]


In July 1991, the club re-instated Jean-Claude Suaudeau, and in July 1992, after spending a fortnight in the second division due to an administrative decision by the DNCG (French Football's financial regulator), FC Nantes was renamed FC Nantes Atlantique, and was able to take its place in the first division back.

In 1992, the jeu à la nantaise made its comeback. The club subsequently made the finals of the French Championship in 1992–93; semi-finals of the French Cup in 1993–94; won the 1994–95 Championship and was Semi finalist in the Champion's league of 1995–96. This period saw the development of a host of players such as Japhet N'Doram, Patrice Loko, Reynald Pedros, Nicolas Ouédec, Claude Makélélé and Christian Karembeu.[citation needed]

2000 – present[edit]

In the 2003–04 season, Nantes was defeated by Sochaux after a penalty shoot-out, thus depriving the team of the League Cup, and a spot in the UEFA Cup.[citation needed]

Former logo (2004–08)

Before the start of the 2005–06 season, Serge Dassault's team asked executives Robert Budzynski and Kléber Bobin as well as the players Mickaël Landreau and Frédéric Da Rocha to leave. At the same time, Vahid Halilhodžić was approached to become manager, even though Serge Le Dizet had only been in place for six months. Jean-Luc Gripond was also finally replaced by Rudi Roussillon on 28 June 2005 following an Extraordinary meeting of the Dassault group.[citation needed]

Nantes secured a return to Ligue 1 on 25 April 2008 with a 1–1 draw against Montpellier. In the 2008–09 Ligue 1 season, Nantes finished 19th and were relegated back to Ligue 2.[citation needed]

During the 2014–15 Ligue 1 season, they enjoyed a run of nine matches without defeat before losing to Marseille on 28 November.[3]


Stade de la Beaujoire

Nantes' home ground since 1984 has been the Stade de la Beaujoire-Louis Fontenau, which has a capacity of 38,004.[4] It held six matches at the 1998 FIFA World Cup and was also a venue at the 2007 IRB Rugby World Cup. FC Nantes played its first match in La Beaujoire the 17st May 1984 vs Toulon (3-1) in front of 15 116 spectators. The capacity of the stadium at that time is 52 923 standing and seating seats.[citation needed]

La Joneliere is a sport complex located in La Chapelle-sur-Erdre, on the river Loire, the training center of Nantes. The artificial turf and grass football fields of the facility currently host training sessions for the professional team and the FCN Youth academy.[citation needed]


Current squad[edit]

As of 31 August 2016.[5]

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

No. Position Player
1 France GK Rémy Riou (captain)
2 Venezuela FW Fernando Aristeguieta
3 Brazil DF Diego Carlos
4 Venezuela DF Oswaldo Vizcarrondo
6 Brazil DF Lucas Lima
7 France MF Jules Iloki
8 France MF Adrien Thomasson
9 Argentina FW Emiliano Sala
10 Morocco FW Yacine Bammou
11 Sweden MF Alexander Kačaniklić
13 France DF Wilfried Moimbé
14 France MF Amine Harit
15 France DF Léo Dubois
No. Position Player
16 France GK Alexandre Olliero
17 Democratic Republic of the Congo DF Anthony Walongwa
18 Poland FW Mariusz Stępiński
19 France MF Abdoulaye Touré
23 Denmark MF Nicolaj Thomsen
24 Cameroon MF Alexis Alégué
25 France DF Enock Kwateng
26 Ivory Coast DF Koffi Djidji
27 Belgium MF Guillaume Gillet
28 France MF Valentin Rongier
30 France GK Maxime Dupé
40 France GK Quentin Braat

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. Position Player
Iceland FW Kolbeinn Sigþórsson (on loan to Galatasaray)

Notable players[edit]

Below are the notable former players who have represented Nantes in league and international competition since the club's foundation in 1943. To appear in the section below, a player must have played in at least 100 official matches for the club.[citation needed]

For a complete list of FC Nantes players, see Category:FC Nantes players

Former managers[edit]

[citation needed]


Winners (8): 1964–65, 1965–66, 1972–73, 1976–77, 1979–80, 1982–83, 1994–95, 2000–01
Winners (3): 1978–79, 1998–99, 1999–00
Winners (1): 1964–65
Winners (3): 1965, 1999, 2001
Winners (1): 1981–82


  1. ^ "Nantes". Ligue 1 (in French). FC Nantes. Retrieved 21 May 2016. 
  2. ^ "FC Nantes". Soccerway. Perform. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "FC Nantes: Le FCN stoppé à Marseille (0-2)". Presse-Océan (in French). 28 November 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "FC Nantes". LFP. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "Effectif pro 2016-2017" (in French). fcnantes.com. Retrieved 31 August 2016. 

External links[edit]