Coupe de France or French Cup is the national cup held annually for both amateur and professional clubs, just like FA Cup of England. The slight difference is that this competition is also open for the teams in French territories abroad. It was even staged before the professionalism in French football existed. This tournament has also been famous for its shocking results with the rise of the unknown dark horses throughout the history, especially before the domination of PSG in the past few years. The winner of Coupe de France earns one spot in the Europa League and a chance to win Trophee des Champions or French League Cup against Ligue 1 winner before the following season begins.
This competition was first organised by French Interfederal Committee (CFI), the predecessor of France Football Federation (FFF) in 1917. In its first three editions, the Coupe de France was also known as Coupe Charles Simon. He was the key figure behind the establishment of CFI but sadly passed away in 1915 while serving his country in World War I. This championship faces a constant oppositions from the professional teams due to the FFF regulation which seems to be taking sides more to the amateur and semi pro clubs by prioritising them to play at home at the one-off knockout stages. Such feud eventually led to the creation of Coupe de La Ligue in 1990s, which is only limited for professional teams.
Coupe de France in its inaugural year only consists of 48 teams. Yet, the participants grew more and more. In 1948, there had been 1000 clubs joining the competition and today there are even more than 8,000 clubs in total. To ease the organising process, FFF has added the qualifying rounds since 1919/20 onwards, including the regional rounds. Overall, there are 14 rounds altogether from the beginning. The professional clubs start their campaign a halfway on the seventh round.
Before the 1967 edition, the draw would be decided by replays without extra time followed by flipping coin if the draw results remained. In 1968/69 season, the extra time was finally introduced, followed by the penalty shootout in 1970/71 and abolishing the replay system in 1974/75. There have been changes to the venue for the final match. The first Coupe de France final was contested in Stade de la Légion Saint-Michel then moved to Parc des Princes in the following season and in Stade Bergeyre in 1920. Next, Stade Pershing was chosen for the consecutive four seasons. Then, the final was moved to Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir in Colombes from 1925 to 1937, plus 1939, 1942, 1943 , 1945 to 1971 plus occasionally in Parc des Princes before the home base of Le Parisien staged the finals between 1972 to 1997. Since 1998, the clash of two best teams in the competition has been held in Stade de France, Saint Denis.
The record holder for the champions so far is still Paris Saint-Germain. They have won 14 titles so far. Their two players, Marquinhos and Marco Verratti, won the most titles individually by lifting the trophy six times. Meanwhile, Andrea Cheuva and Guy Roux are the manager with the most titles. They have clinched the titles for Lille and Auxerre respectively for four times.
Be ready to be apart of Coupe de France spectators at the stadium. You can support your favourite teams in this national cup, in home and away games. Log on to safeticketcompare.com for more details on the seats you want to pick and the best deals to get your tickets.
The historic moments in Coupe de France are mainly about the giant killer’s impressive campaign or the unpredictable victory of the dark horse in the tournament, which took place quite often before the PSG takeover.
The first historic moments was the success of Ligue 2 team Le Havre to win the cup in 1959 after beating Sochaux 3-0 in a replay. They were the first non top flight team to ever clinch the title. Next, in 1986 and 1987 edition, the favourite Olympique Marseille suffered a consecutive defeat against Bordeaux in the finals. Then, in 1995/96, AJ Auxerre under Guy Roux won double in Ligue 1 and Coupe de France. They had to struggle to thump Nimes which was from tier 3 back then.
Furthermore, the year of 2000 marked the glorious campaign of the tier 4 team, Calais RUFC. They progressed to the final after eliminating Lille, Cannes, Strasbourg and Bordeaux in the previous stages. Unfortunately, their hope to lift the trophy dashed after losing 1-2 to Nantes in the final. Then, in 2009, another team from the top flight securing another title was Guingamp of Ligue 2. They crushed Rennes 2-1 at the summit. Five years later, Guingamp did it again and won over the exact same opposition which they defeated in 2009 final, Rennes.
In the decade of 2010s, Coupe de France saw the record breaking in consecutive win by PSG. Le Parisien won the title four times in a row between 2015 and 2018. They exceeded the success of Red Star’s and Lille’s third consecutive victory in early 1920s and mid 1940s respectively. Last but not least, it was the 2018/19 final when Rennes stunned PSG which was still led by Thomas Tuchel. Julian Stephan’s side beat the reigning champions in a dramatic way on penalties after holding Neymar and Co in a 2-2 draw. Rennes did not only win the cup but also prevented PSG’s ambition for five consecutive victories.
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