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Football Club de Metz, commonly referred to as FC Metz or simply Metz (French pronunciation: ​[mɛs]), is a French association football club based in Metz, Lorraine. The club was formed in 1932 and plays in Ligue 2, the second level in the French football league system. Metz plays its home matches at the Stade Municipal Saint-Symphorien located within the city. The team is managed by Frédéric Antonetti. In their 85 year history, Metz have spent 60 seasons in Ligue 1 and 17 seasons in Ligue 2. They have won the Coupe de France twice and the Coupe de la Ligue twice.

Metz
Logo
Full nameFootball Club de Metz
Nickname(s)Les Grenats (The Maroons),
Les Graoullys
Founded1932; 87 years ago (1932)
GroundStade Saint-Symphorien,
Metz
Capacity25,636[1]
PresidentBernard Serin
Head coachFrédéric Antonetti
LeagueLigue 1
2018–19Ligue 2, 1st (promoted)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Contents

HistoryEdit

FC Metz was founded in 1932 by the amalgamation of two amateur athletic clubs, and shortly thereafter became a professional team; it is one of the oldest professional football teams in France. Its roots trace back further, to the SpVgg Metz club, formed in 1905 when the city of Metz was part of the German Empire. SpVgg played in the tier-one Westkreis-Liga for a season in 1913–14, before the outbreak of the First World War stopped all play. Some players of this club were part of the Cercle Athlétique Messin in 1919, which went on to become FC Metz in 1932. Messin was a leading club in the Division d'Honneur – Lorraine, taking out league titles in 1920, 1921, 1922, 1924, 1926, 1927, 1929 and 1931.[2]

The club played in the French second division north from 1933, winning the league in 1935 and earning promotion to Ligue 1 for the first time.[3] The team became a mid-table side in the first division until the outbreak of the war interfered with play once more. FCM did not take part in the top-tier regional competitions in 1939–40.[4]

During World War II, the Moselle département being annexed by Germany, the club had to play under the Germanised name of FV Metz in the Gauliga Westmark. In the three completed seasons of this league from 1941 to 1944, the club finished runners-up each year.[5]

Despite the city of Metz being retaken by allied forces in autumn 1944, the club did not take part in French league football in 1944–45 but returned to Ligue 1 in 1945–46, to come 17th out of 18 clubs. An expansion of the league to 20 clubs meant, the team was not relegated and stayed at the highest level until 1950, when a last place finish ended its Ligue 1 membership. Metz was allowed to stay within L1 as a special privilege due to its catastrophic situation in the year following the war: the stadium had been damaged, almost beyond repair. The team had to start from scratch once again.

The club rebounded immediately, finishing second in Ligue 2, behind Olympique Lyon and returned to the first division. FC Metz made a strong return to this league, finishing fifth in its first season back. After this, the club once more had to battle against relegation season-by-season, finishing second-last in 1958 and having to return to Ligue 2. It took three seasons in this league before it could manage to return to Ligue 1 in 1961, but lasted for only one year in the top flight. FC Metz spent the next five seasons at second division level.

FC Metz ascended to the top level of French football once more in 1967; the team remained in the highest division until they were relegated in 2001, although they bounced back immediately and returned to the Ligue 1 the following year.

After losing the first leg of their 1984–85 Cup Winners' Cup tie 4–2 to Barcelona at Stade Saint-Symphorien, FC Metz were widely expected to be thrashed at the Nou Camp. However, a hat-trick from Yugoslav striker Toni Kurbos gave Les Grenats a shock 4–1 win in the second leg to send the French side through 6–5 on aggregate.

In 1998 the team competed in the qualifications to the UEFA Champions League but lost in the third round to Finnish team HJK Helsinki. In 2006, FC Metz were relegated from Ligue 1, finishing at the bottom of the table, despite the regular presence of an extremely promising prospect, Miralem Pjanic, who would later be transferred to giants Lyon, for an astonishing fee of €7.5 million. At the end of the 2011-12 season, Metz finished 18th in Ligue 2 and were relegated to the Championnat National, the third tier of French football after a 1–1 draw with FC Tours at home on 20 May 2012, in very tense circumstances. Metz spent only one season at this level, rebuilding a team with iconic former player Albert Cartier as coach, winning promotion to Ligue 2, and then immediately finishing first and winning promotion to Ligue 1. Unfortunately the team was relegated again to Ligue 2, but won promotion the next season. This time, Metz managed to secure a 14th place finish, ensuring another season in Ligue 1. For the 2017/2018 Ligue 1 season, Metz endured a horrid campaign, losing 11 out of their first 12 matches. The club recovered later in the season but finished bottom of the table and were relegated back to Ligue 2 [6][7].

On 26 April 2019, Metz were promoted back to Ligue 1 at the first time of asking by finishing first in Ligue 2. The promotion was confirmed with a 2-1 victory over Red Star F.C..[8]

StadiumEdit

FC Metz plays its home matches at the stade Saint-Symphorien, which has a capacity of 26,700. Thus, it is the largest venue dedicated to football in Lorraine.

CrestEdit

Its official colours are grenat (maroon) and white, from which the team derives its nickname Les Grenats. The team's crest features the Lorraine cross, symbolic of the team's regional affiliation, and the dragon called the Graoully, which in local legend was tamed by Saint Clement of Metz.[9].

Youth academyEdit

FC Metz also gained recognition in France and Europe for its successful youth academy, which produced star players including: Rigobert Song, Robert Pires, Louis Saha, Emmanuel Adebayor, Papiss Cissé, Miralem Pjanić, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Sadio Mané. The city's proximity to Luxembourg (about 55 km) plays a significant role in the importation of young prospects. The club's board has close ties with the Luxembourgish Football Federation. Nicolas "Nico" Braun, the team's top all-time goalscorer, as well as Pjanić or, closer to our times, Chris Philipps, have played in the G-D's amateur leagues before joining "les Grenats". Despite this, not all Luxembourgers enjoy success with Metz, with Robert "Robby" Langers as the best example of that, however.

FC Metz in European footballEdit

HonoursEdit

FC Metz has never won the French championship; its best result was a second-place finish in 1998, behind RC Lens. The title race lasted until the ultimate fixture, however Metz never recovered from a 0–2 loss against Lens on their home turf. Metz won the Coupe de France twice, in 1984 and 1988, the first of these victories enabled it to qualify for the European Cup Winners' Cup where it achieved arguably the team's greatest moment, an upset of FC Barcelona in the first round of the competition in October 1984. It lost 4–2 at home in the first leg but won 4–1 away in the return leg, thus qualifying 6–5 on aggregate, making the FC Metz unique among the French teams who have beaten Barcelona at the Nou Camp. FC Metz also won the Coupe de la Ligue twice, in 1986 and 1996, and has made a total of ten appearances in European tournaments.

Runners-up (1): 1997–98
Winners (4): 1934–35, 2006–07, 2013–14, 2018–19
Winners (2): 1983–84, 1987–88
Runners-up (1): 1937–38
Winners (2): 1985–86, 1995–96
Runners-up (1): 1998–99
Runners-up (1): 1999

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

As of 21 May 2019.[10]

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

No. Position Player
1   GK Paul Delecroix
3   DF Matthieu Udol
5   MF Victorien Angban (on loan from Chelsea)
6   DF Mamadou Fofana
7   FW Ibrahima Niane
8   MF Gauthier Hein
10   MF Marvin Gakpa
11   FW Opa Nguette
12   MF Cheikh Tidiane Sabaly
13   DF Stoppila Sunzu
14   MF Ablie Jallow
No. Position Player
16   GK Alexandre Oukidja
17   DF Thomas Delaine
19   MF Habib Maïga (on loan from St-Étienne)
20   FW Habib Diallo
21   DF John Boye
23   FW Amadou Dia Ndiaye
24   MF Renaud Cohade (captain)
27   MF Farid Boulaya
30   GK Guillaume Dietsch
31   DF Laurent Jans

On loanEdit

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

No. Position Player
  DF Oumar Gonzalez (on loan to Villefranche)
  DF Nicolas Basin (on loan to Avranches)
  MF Cafú (on loan to Legia Warsaw)
  MF Youssef Maziz (on loan to Avranches)
No. Position Player
2   MF Jamiro Monteiro (on loan to Philadelphia Union)
  MF Gerónimo Poblete (on loan to San Lorenzo)
  MF Vincent Thill (on loan to Pau)
9   FW Adama Traoré (on loan to Orléans)

Notable playersEdit

Below are the notable former players who have represented Metz in league and international competition since the club's foundation in 1932. To appear in the section below, a player must have played at least a full season for the club.

Current technical staffEdit

Position Name
Head coach Frédéric Antonetti
Assistant coach Jean-Marie De Zerbi
Goalkeeping coach Christophe Marichez
Physical trainer Hugo Cabouret
Head doctor André Marie

Coaching historyEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ www.fcmetz.com
  2. ^ France – Division d'Honneur – Lorraine 1919–1932 RSSSF.com, accessed: 17 May 2009
  3. ^ France – List of Final Tables Second Level RSSSF.com, accessed: 17 May 2009
  4. ^ France – First Division Results and Tables 1932–1998 RSSSF.com, accessed: 17 May 2009
  5. ^ French clubs in the German football structure 1940–1944 RSSSF.com, accessed: 31 May 2008
  6. ^ http://www.ligue1.com/ligue1/article/bordeaux-snatch-last-european-place.htm
  7. ^ http://www.ligue1.com/ligue1/article/amiens-see-off-metz.htm
  8. ^ "John Boye's Fc Metz Secures Promotion To Ligue 1". www.modernghana.com.
  9. ^ The Graoully, symbol of Metz Archived 22 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Effectif et staff". FC Metz. Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  11. ^ France – Trainers of First and Second Division Clubs

External linksEdit