Wednesday, 24 Jul 2024

How Many Games In a Ligue 1 Season?

Neymar Jr.

For almost a century, France has been home to a professional soccer league known as Ligue 1. With 20 participating teams, including AS Monaco, this cross-border competition has captivated fans worldwide. In this article, we will explore the structure of Ligue 1 and answer the burning question: how many games are there in a Ligue 1 season?

The Number of Games in a Ligue 1 Season

In a Ligue 1 season, there are a total of 380 games played. Each of the 20 teams faces every other team twice, resulting in 38 games per team each season.

The Number of Teams Determines the Number of Games

When Ligue 1 first began, it comprised 20 clubs divided into two groups. At the end of the season, the bottom three teams from each group were relegated to Division 2. Since then, the structure has remained the same, with 14 teams playing against each other twice—once at home and once away. Over the years, the number of clubs in the league has varied, from a minimum of 14 to a maximum of 20. Currently, there are 20 teams participating in Ligue 1. However, in the upcoming 2023-24 season, only 18 teams will take part, resulting in each team playing 34 games (once home and once away against every other team) for a total of 306 games throughout the season.

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The Excitement of Ligue 1: Determining Who Plays On

In Ligue 1, teams earn points throughout the season through a points system. A win earns three points, a draw earns one point, and a loss earns zero points.

The Ligue 1 season begins in August and ends in late May, leaving only two off-season months, June and July.

The Top Two Teams

The top two teams in Ligue 1 automatically qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage. They will play an additional six games in this stage. The top two teams from each group advance to the knockout phase. If a team from Ligue 1 reaches the final of the UEFA Champions League after completing the group stage, they would have played an additional four games. Hence, in one season, a team can potentially play up to 48 games, including both Ligue 1 matches and their journey in the UEFA Champions League.

Third Place in Ligue 1

The team that finishes third in Ligue 1 earns a spot in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. They would play two additional games to advance to the group stage. If a team from Ligue 1 progresses from third place to the UEFA Champions League final, they would have played 38 Ligue 1 matches and 12 additional games in the tournament, totaling 50 games.

Fourth and Fifth Place in Ligue 1

The fourth and fifth-ranked teams in Ligue 1 qualify for the group stage of the Europa League or the Europa Conference League playoffs, respectively. The fourth-place Ligue 1 team would play six additional games in the Europa League group stage, and if they reach the final, they would play four extra games. This amounts to a potential total of 48 games. On the other hand, if the fifth-place team in Ligue 1 reaches the final of the Europa Conference League, they would play two playoff games, six group stage games, and four knockout round games, totaling 12 extra games on top of their 38 Ligue 1 matches.

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Relegation Play-Offs

At the bottom end of Ligue 1, teams face the possibility of relegation. The bottom two teams automatically move down to the next division. In the 2021-22 season, Metz and Bordeaux faced relegation, each amassing only 31 points. Saint-Etienne accumulated 32 points, giving them an opportunity to participate in the relegation play-offs.

Similarly, the top two teams in Ligue 2 automatically gain promotion to Ligue 1, while the team finishing third in Ligue 2 plays a two-match series against the third-from-bottom team in Ligue 1. The aggregate winner earns a spot in Ligue 1, while the loser competes in Ligue 2. Consequently, the third-from-bottom Ligue 1 team plays their 38 regular-season games and two additional play-off matches, totaling 40 games for the season.


Q: How many teams participate in Ligue 1?
A: Currently, Ligue 1 comprises 20 teams.

Q: How many games does each team play in the regular Ligue 1 season?
A: In the regular season, each team plays 38 games.

Q: How many games can a team potentially play in a Ligue 1 season?
A: A team can play up to 48 games in a season, considering Ligue 1 matches and potential progress in the UEFA Champions League.

Q: How many games does the third-place team in Ligue 1 play to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage?
A: The third-place team in Ligue 1 plays two additional games to qualify for the group stage.

Q: How many games does the fourth-place team in Ligue 1 play in the Europa League?
A: The fourth-place team in Ligue 1 plays six games in the Europa League group stage.

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The number of games in a Ligue 1 season is determined by the number of participating teams. Currently, with 20 teams, each team plays 38 matches in the regular season. The top teams in Ligue 1 earn the opportunity to compete in various tournaments, with the potential to participate in up to 12 additional games if they emerge victorious.

For further information about Ligue 1 and other top leagues around the world, please visit the Movin993 website.

Remember, in Ligue 1, the excitement never stops!