Lille OSC

Lille Olympique Sporting Club (French pronunciation: ​[lil ɔlɛ̃pik spɔʁtɪŋ klœb]), commonly called LOSC or simply Lille, is a French professional football club based in Lille, Hauts-de-France. They are the current champions of Ligue 1, the top tier of French football. Lille has played its home matches since 2012 at Stade Pierre-Mauroy in nearby Villeneuve d'Ascq, which replaced the club's previous home of Stade Lille-Metropole.

Lille OSC 2018 logo.svg
Full nameLille Olympique Sporting Club
Nickname(s)Les Dogues
Short nameLOSC
Founded23 September 1944; 76 years ago (1944-09-23)
GroundStade Pierre-Mauroy
OwnerMerlyn Partners SCSp
PresidentOlivier Létang
Head coachJocelyn Gourvennec
LeagueLigue 1
2020–21Ligue 1, 1st of 20 (champions)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Lille was founded as a result of a merger between Olympique Lillois and SC Fives in 1944. Both clubs were founding members of the French Division 1 and Lillois was the league's inaugural champions. Under the Lille emblem, the club has won four league titles (in 1946, 1954, 2011 and 2021) and six Coupe de France titles. Lille's most successful period was the decade from 1946 to 1956 when the team was led by managers George Berry and André Cheuva.[1][2]

Lille has a long-standing rivalry with nearby club RC Lens, with whom they contest the Derby du Nord. The club is owned by Merlyn Partners SCSp, a Luxembourg based investment fund.


1944–1955: The first decadeEdit

Before the Second World War, the city of Lille had two clubs in Ligue 1; Olympique Lillois and Sporting Club Fivois. Weakened by the war, the two clubs decided to merge in the autumn of 1944, giving birth to Lille Olympique Sporting Club (LOSC). Within its first decade of existence, the new club won two league titles and reached the second place for four consecutive seasons. In the Coupe de France the club accumulated five wins in seven finals, including five successive finals. The final of the Latin Cup was also reached.

1956–1980: Lille loses its wayEdit

Lille were relegated for the first time in 1956. The club became a mid-table side and in the late 1960s, after a long period of anonymity, and weighed down by a lack of facilities and resources, Lille abandoned its professional status. It was feared that the club might disappear. However, some young leaders, such as Max Pommerolle, came and gave new impetus to the club. Nevertheless, the results remained erratic and the only titles that ignited the fans' passions were won in the Second Division.

1980–2000: Laying the foundations for future successEdit

In July 1980, Lille was the first French club to opt for the status of a mixed economy company, of which the city of Lille became the majority shareholder. The team of presidents Amyot, Deschot and Dewailly all struggled to compete with the top teams in the country. Jacques Amyot's resignation in 1990 led to three more difficult years for the club which compromised its very existence. It took Bernard Lecomte's arrival in 1993 to set the club finances on the road to recovery. After a final relegation in 1997, the team trained by Bosnian coach Vahid Halilhodžić was soon promoted back to the elite, in the same year the French Football League was privatised.

2000–present: A steady climb to the topEdit

Moussa Sow and Gervinho celebrate winning the double in 2011.

In just its first season back in the top flight 2000–01 French Division 1, Lille qualified for Europe for the first time in the club's history, booking its place in the 2001–02 Champions League. On the back of the club's new status, Lille entered into a decisive new era under the guidance of chairman and chief executive officer Michel Seydoux and coach Claude Puel. The club left the historical Stade Grimonprez-Jooris to join the Stadium Lille Métropole and became a regular on the European scene. Amongst its most emphatic results was the 1–0 victory over Manchester United at the Stade de France in 2005, the 2–0 triumph over Milan in San Siro in 2006 and the 1–0 home win over Liverpool in 2010. A steady development off the pitch (inauguration of the Domaine de Luchin training complex in 2007, opening of the Grand Stade in 2012), coupled with the sporting progression under the expert hand of coach Rudi Garcia, took Lille back to the summit of the French game with the League and Cup double in 2011 (56 years after the club's last trophy). In 2012, LOSC confirmed its place at the top table of the domestic game with another qualification for Europe's most prestigious club competition, the Champions League in 2012–13. With the club finishing just outside the UCL places that season, Garcia left to join Roma, while former Montpellier coach René Girard was appointed the new Lille manager.[3] After two years in charge of the club, Girard left his role as the head coach by mutual consent. He was joined by assistants Gerard Bernadet and Nicolas Girard in making the exit. In May 2015, the Ivory Coast national team head coach Hervé Renard was appointed as the new manager. On 11 November 2015, Renard was terminated as manager and was replaced by Frederic Antonetti.[4][5] On 23 November 2016, a year after being appointed, Lille terminated Antonetti's contract with the club lying second last in the table.[6] In March 2017, Lille appointed Marcelo Bielsa as new manager of the club. In November 2017, Bielsa was suspended by Lille following an unauthorized trip to Chile with the club lying second from bottom on the table again and only managing 3 wins from the first 14 games of the season.[7]

On 23 December 2017, Bielsa was terminated by Lille and replaced with former Saint-Etienne manager Christophe Galtier.[8] After a difficult 2017–2018 season, Lille managed to avoid relegation to Ligue 2 by defeating Toulouse 3–2 in the second last game of the campaign.[9]

In the 2018–19 Ligue 1 season, Lille secured the second place to qualify for the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League group stage, they returned to the competition after a seven-year absence.[10] Two seasons later, in the 2020–21 season, Lille won their first Ligue 1 title in 10 years and the fourth overall in club history under the guidance of Christophe Galtier.[11]


Lille lining up at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy before its first match in 2012

Stade Pierre-Mauroy was inaugurated in 2012. Originally named the Centre Olympique de Lille Est, the club's sporting venue is spread over five hectares and features three natural grass football pitches and one synthetic pitch, as well as a number of buildings including a medical centre and gymnasium. These attributes had seen the club house part of the LOSC Youth Academy here, before all the club's operations were moved to the Domaine de Luchin in Camphin-en-Pé.[12]

Club rivalriesEdit

The Derby du Nord is a football match contested between Lille and RC Lens. The derby name refers only to their geographical location in France since Lille is the only club of the two actually situated in the department of Nord. Lens are situated in the western department of Pas-de-Calais. The name can also refer to matches involving Lille and Valenciennes as both clubs are located within Nord, however, the match historically refers to matches involving Lille and Lens. As a result, the Lille–Valenciennes match is sometimes referred to as Le Petit Derby du Nord. The two clubs first met in 1937 when Lille were playing under the Olympique Lillois emblem. Due to each club's close proximity towards each other being separated by only 40 kilometres (25 mi) and sociological differences between each club's supporters, a fierce rivalry developed. The Derby du Nord is underpinned by social and economic differences, since the city of Lens is known as an old, working-class, industrial city and Lille as a middle-class, modern, internationally oriented one. Nowadays the matches, which can spark intense feelings on both sides, have gained prominence as they may determine berths in continental competitions.


Current squadEdit

As of 24 July 2021[13]

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   GRE Orestis Karnezis
2 DF   TUR Zeki Çelik
3 DF   POR Tiago Djaló
4 DF   NED Sven Botman
6 DF   POR José Fonte (captain)
7 FW   FRA Jonathan Bamba
8 MF   POR Xeka
9 FW   CAN Jonathan David
10 MF   FRA Jonathan Ikoné
11 FW   BRA Luiz Araújo
12 MF   TUR Yusuf Yazıcı
14 MF   FRA Rocco Ascone
15 MF   MEX Eugenio Pizzuto
No. Pos. Nation Player
17 FW   TUR Burak Yılmaz
18 MF   POR Renato Sanches
19 FW   FRA Isaac Lihadji
21 MF   FRA Benjamin André (vice-captain)
22 FW   USA Timothy Weah
26 DF   FRA Jérémy Pied
27 DF   SEN Cheikh Niasse
28 DF   MOZ Reinildo Mandava
29 DF   CRO Domagoj Bradarić
30 GK   BRA Léo Jardim
31 MF   ENG Angel Gomes
33 DF   MAR Saad Agouzoul
35 FW   FRA Mamadou Simbakoli

Other players under contractEdit

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   SVK Adam Jakubech
DF   CIV Kouadio-Yves Dabila
FW   ITA Luigi Liguori
No. Pos. Nation Player
FW   ITA Ciro Palmieri
MF   CMR Jean Onana
MF   ANG Show

Out on loanEdit

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   FRA Lucas Chevalier (on loan to Valenciennes FC)
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   BRA Thiago Maia (on loan at Flamengo)

Reserve teamEdit

As of 24 July 2021[14]

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   FRA Anthony Herbin
GK   FRA Lucas Lavallée
DF   TOG Hakim Ouro-Sama
DF   FRA Nassim Innocenti
DF   FRA Maxime Wackers
DF   CRO Gregor Gulišija
MF   TUR Ferhat Çoğalan
MF   SEN Barthélemy Diedhiou
MF   KVX Arton Zekaj
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   FRA Maxime Pau
MF   TUR Mustafa Kapı
MF   FRA Joé Kobo
MF   FRA Darly N'Landu
MF   ANG Capita
FW   FRA Fadiga Ouattara
FW   POR Edson Joao De Ceita
FW   GUI Aboubacar Condé
FW   LTU Nauris Petkevičius
FW   FRA Exaucé Mpembele

Notable past playersEdit


Most appearancesEdit

Rank Player Matches
1   Marceau Somerlinck 428
2   André Strappe 365
3   Rio Mavuba 313
4   Mathieu Debuchy 301
5   Florent Balmont 292

Top scorersEdit

Rank Player Goals
1   Jean Baratte 218
2   André Strappe 135
3   Gérard Bourbotte 96
4   Jean Lechantre 81
5   Bolek Tempowski 81

Management and staffEdit

Lille Olympique Sporting Club – LOSC Lille (SASP) [15]

Coaching historyEdit

Former coaches include Georges Heylens (1984–89), a former Belgian international player, Jacques Santini (1989–92), who coached the France national team between 2002 and 2004, Bruno Metsu (1992–93), who coached the Senegal national team at the 2002 World Cup, Pierre Mankowski (1993–94), who was formerly the assistant coach of the France national team and Vahid Halilhodžić (1998–02), who can be credited with the club's revival in the late nineties. Rudi Garcia, who played for Lille from 1980 to 1988, replaced Claude Puel at the beginning of the 2008 season. Puel had been with Lille since 2002. Thanks to his successes with the club, Puel had been approached by Portuguese club Porto to replace José Mourinho and league rivals Lyon to replace Alain Perrin; he finally decided to join Lyon after six seasons at the club.





  1. ^ "France Football, toute l'actualité du football". Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Lille seal historic title". ESPN Soccernet. 21 May 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  3. ^ "Ligue 1: Lille confirm appointment of Rene Girard as their new coach". Sky Sports. 14 June 2013.
  4. ^ "Lille sack manager Renard". 11 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Lille appoint Antonetti as their new manager". 23 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Second-bottom Lille sack Antonetti". FourFourTwo. 22 November 2016.
  7. ^ "Marcelo Bielsa's short-lived catastrophe at Lille is coming to an end". The Guardian. 30 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Christophe Galtier to take over from Marcelo Bielsa as Lille manager". Get French Football News. 23 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Lille have pulled off a miraculous escape from relegation – or have they?". The Guardian. 14 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Lille win Ligue 1 title as PSG battle goes down to the wire". The Athletic. 23 May 2021.
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 July 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Lille – season 2020/21" (in French). Lille OSC.
  14. ^ "Equipe pro 2 - Effectif" (in French). Lille OSC.
  15. ^ "LOSC Lille Métropole SASP" (in French). Lille OSC. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
  16. ^ "France – Trainers of First and Second Division Clubs". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 31 May 2008. Retrieved 31 December 2010.

External linksEdit