top of page
  • Writer's pictureArsenal Bengal SC

L'essor de la France : Is it the Beginning of a Renaissance or a One-season Upsurge?

Updated: Mar 9, 2023

In the modern era of football, the French domestic league is not considered at par with the Premier League, La Liga, or Bundesliga. A league that is overwhelmingly dominated by a single club, PSG, the French clubs are often seen as a second fiddle in the European competitions.

But this season, the story is different. The COVID-19 pandemic forced a premature end to the French league, while two of the French clubs were still hanging on in the Champions League. PSG had a passage safe to the quarter-finals, while Lyon had to face the music at Juventus.

Although the world thought PSG may go long, none of it gave a chance to Lyon. And the latter have played two matches in the Champions League since lockdown, and have knocked out heavyweights Juventus and Manchester City.

Now given the massive money, massive players that PSG has, their appearance in the Semi-Finals is not jaw-dropping, but Lyon's is. Although PSG is a force now, the Paris outfit has never been a big name in European Football.

So, it could have been an all-French final in Lisbon if both of them can get a victory against their German opponents. Lyon's Bayern task was tougher on paper than that of PSG, who met RB Leipzig.

And PSG bulldozed past Leipzig while Lyon faltered against a clinical Bayern despite promises.

Now there shall be enthusiasts who will ask why the sudden rise of the French clubs? It is a new era beginning where we will see more of French clubs making a big name, or is it just a one-season joyride?

Well, there are many ways of dissecting that. The French clubs have promised in the past but only have had shortcomings at the crunch time. Marseille is the only French club to win the Champions League, that was back in 1993. Monaco was the last French team to feature in a Champions League final, that was back in 2004. So there is everything to suggest that history doesn’t speak in favor of the France renaissance. But it definitely can be a beginning if the French clubs can hold on to their prized assets.

The general pattern of the player transfers is that the French clubs feed off a lot of big European clubs several potential stars. The French national team are the current World Champions, but the French league is so feeble, the sole reason being the drainage of wealth (players).

PSG, with a Champions League glory on sight now, can kick on from here. Whether they beat Bayern in the final or not, they have put France in the map of Champions League final after 16 years, which is not bad for the start of a new chapter. But for Lyon, it won’t be the same. There are already players that have been linked with a move away and they may fall in the trap of mediocrity soon.

And that is why it angles to more of a one-season theory, and there are some reasons to explain the argument. The first and foremost is the one-legged affair in the Champions League. It was easier for Lyon to knock off Manchester City in the last round as they toppled them in ninety minutes, which is easier than the two-legged affairs. PSG was also losing the match against Atalanta till the 90th minute, but two late goals salvaged their cause.

A significant point can also be the postponement of the French league, which gave the French clubs a lot more time to rejuvenate, train and focus exclusively for the Champions League. Hence, there are many permutations and combinations to conclude, but what we must do is take nothing away. PSG and Lyon both were fantastic on the day in their quarter-finals and they deserve to be where they are.

PSG has gone a step closer now and a win for them will give the nation the first Champions League winner since Marseille back in the 20th century.

Whether it is the inception of a French renaissance or a short-lived glory - let time decide that enigma.


Author: Sauradeep Ash

117 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page